FELL IN LOVE WITH FOOD & WINE

Gotham Bar and Grill: Celebrating a New York legend

July 19, 2015
Seared Hudson Valley Foie Gras with fig chutney, cherry pistachio granola aged balsamic, apricot reduction
Gotham Bar and Grill (screenshot)

Entrance to Gotham Bar and Grill (screenshot)

Gotham Bar and Grill is the perfect setting for a memorable celebration with family or friends.

We keep a short list of New York City restaurants that are perfect for special occasions. Even though we self-identify as adventurous foodies who love experimenting with new places and tastes, when we’re celebrating a special occasion with family or friends, we don’t want to run the risk of a disappointing meal. That’s when we invoke the short list.

Gotham Bar and Grill has made the cut because it’s exceptional in every way. We started celebrating birthdays here when our son was living a stone’s throw away at an NYU dorm in the West Village. Whenever we return, we are impressed with Gotham’s flawless execution of as-close-to-perfect-as-it-gets meals in terms of the food, service and ambiance. Although it’s no longer as convenient, we always leave wondering why we waited so long to return.

This time the occasion was bittersweet. Our son was moving to the West Coast and this was our last dinner together before he closed up his Manhattan apartment.

The setting 

The dining room exudes “classic elegance” with an upscale but informal ambiance. Tables are nicely spaced on multiple levels so the room feels intimate but not crowded.

View of the bar from our table

View of the bar from our table

The room has lovely artwork (including an Andy Warhol near the entrance). This was the first time we noticed the beautiful garden just outside the floor-to-ceiling paned glass windows at the rear.

Rear Window at Gotham

Rear Window at Gotham

The warm colors and woods (taupe, tan, and mahogany) make the décor feel soothing, a respite from the busy city streets. There is plenty of comfortable banquette seating as well as round tables for celebratory groups. Playfully draped fabric covers the fixtures, softening the light and dampening the sounds of happy diners. The lively bar off to the left side doesn’t distract from the dining experience.

The menu 

Gotham Bar and Grill has a wonderful “New American” menu with enough choices to please the palate of any food lover. Overseen by Executive Chef Alfred Portale, each dish is beautifully prepared, artfully presented and incorporates uber-fresh seasonal ingredients.

We ordered from the a la carte menu although an appealing fixed-price Taste of the Riviera summer menu with small plates was available that evening.

Each dish we ordered was not only delicious but also picture-worthy:

Wild Striped Bass Ceviche with compressed pineapple, watermelon radish, ruby red grapefruit, avocado grenada chili citrus

Wild Striped Bass Ceviche with compressed pineapple, watermelon radish, ruby red grapefruit, avocado grenada chili citrus

Sweet Pea Tortellini with morel mushrooms, leeks, carrots, pancetta, and parmesan

Sweet Pea Tortellini with morel mushrooms, leeks, carrots, pancetta, and parmesan

Seared Hudson Valley Foie Gras with fig chutney, cherry pistachio granola aged balsamic, apricot reduction

Incredible seared Hudson Valley Foie Gras with fig chutney, cherry pistachio granola aged balsamic, apricot reduction

Crisp Fried Soft Shell Crabs with sugar snap peas, sweet corn, cherry tomatoes, verjus caper emulsion

Crisp Fried Soft Shell Crabs with sugar snap peas, sweet corn, cherry tomatoes, verjus caper emulsion

Miso Marinated Black Cod with bok choy, shiitake mushrooms and sticky rice, soy lemon grass ginger sauce

Miso Marinated Black Cod with bok choy, shiitake mushrooms and sticky rice, soy lemon grass ginger sauce

28-Day Dry Aged New York Steak with Dijon mustard custard and Vidalia onion rings, bordelaise sauce

28-Day Dry Aged New York Steak with Dijon mustard custard and Vidalia onion rings, bordelaise sauce

Gotham Chocolate Cake served warm with salted almond ice cream

Moist Gotham Chocolate Cake served warm with salted almond ice cream

Peanut Butter Sundae with chocolate cookie crumble, vanilla ice cream, warm chocolate sauce

Peanut Butter Sundae with chocolate cookie crumble, vanilla ice cream, warm chocolate sauce

Bottom Line 

We’re crazy about this place! It’s not surprising that Gotham Bar and Grill has been a NYC landmark for more than 30 years. It’s had a Michelin star since 2006 and this year (2015), Zagat rated it the best American restaurant in NYC. We believe the secret to its longevity in a crowded field is its consistency. Every meal at Gotham is exquisite and well worth the splurge. Wish it were closer!


Tips

  • If you go, order one of the perennial favorites such the tuna tartare, seafood salad, New York strip, or Gotham Chocolate Cake.
  • The three-course fixed price lunch during NYC Restaurant week at $25 per person is an unbeatable bargain and a great opportunity to experience this New York legend.

Gotham Bar and Grill

12 East 12th Street (between Fifth Avenue & University Place), New York 10003


 

  • Reply
    santafetravelers
    July 19, 2015 at 7:57 pm

    You really took me back in time- we used to go to the Gotham in the 80s when it was pretty new on the NYC dining scene. They had incredible lamb chops and I remember that chocolate cake. Wonder how it’s changed over the years. I don’t remember the high ceilings or vast interior. It seemed more intimate to me. Revisionist memory.

    • Irene S. Levine
      Reply
      Irene S. Levine
      July 19, 2015 at 7:59 pm

      Lamb chops are still great, as is the chocolate cake~

  • Reply
    Marilyn Jones
    July 19, 2015 at 9:25 pm

    Gotham Bar and Grill sounds like a wonderful place to dine for special occasions or just because. The atmosphere and menu are very inviting!

  • Reply
    Paula McInerney
    July 19, 2015 at 11:03 pm

    Placed on the list when we go to NYC this year. Keep them coming

    • Irene S. Levine
      Reply
      Irene S. Levine
      July 21, 2015 at 11:28 am

      Seems like the reasons to visit NYC are endless, especially for people who love food!

  • Reply
    Anita @ No Particular Place To Go
    July 20, 2015 at 7:56 am

    Wow! If this is the “New American” food bring it on! The ceviche looks fabulous and I’d love to crunch my way through some of those Vidalia onion rings as well.

  • Reply
    Anita @ No Particular Place To Go
    July 20, 2015 at 8:01 am

    Wow – If this is the “New American” food bring it on! I’d love to try the bass ceviche and munch my way through a plate of Vidalia onion rings – mmmm!

  • Reply
    Michele Peterson ( A Taste for Travel)
    July 20, 2015 at 8:03 am

    Wow, the Gotham Bar and Grill’s three-course fixed price lunch during NYC Restaurant week at $25 per person is an incredible deal especially given such a beautiful setting and fab food.

  • Reply
    Betsy Wuebker | PassingThru
    July 20, 2015 at 8:50 am

    I love neutral tones in restaurant decor that allow the food to take center stage. And, like you, I love returning time and time again to a place that can be counted upon, if only to exceed expectations. The Gotham Grill has a reputation that’s well-deserved. I wish I could have a bite out of every one of your photographs! Now you will have new places to explore in your son’s new town. 🙂

    • Irene S. Levine
      Reply
      Irene S. Levine
      July 21, 2015 at 12:07 pm

      Yes, it’s so nice to find a restaurant that is reliably good like this one!

  • Reply
    Denis Gagnon
    July 20, 2015 at 12:35 pm

    Thanks for making us discover Gotham Bar & Grill. After reading your wonderful review and salivating at the photos of the food, I can’t believe that we have not yet eaten there. Definitely on the list for our next trip to NYC.

  • Reply
    Jackie Smith
    July 20, 2015 at 3:33 pm

    Another reason to return to New York. Your photos had my mouth-watering. The Gotham Grill looks fabulous.

  • Reply
    Rachel Heller
    July 20, 2015 at 6:53 pm

    Judging from your pictures, the Gotham Grill is wonderful at presentation as well. I’ll keep it in mind for my next visit to NYC!

  • Reply
    Catherine Sweeney
    July 20, 2015 at 10:09 pm

    I’ve wanted to go to Gotham Bar and Grill for a long time, but have never made it happen. I love your enticing pics of the interior and all those delicious dishes. The foie gras looks amazing.

    • Irene S. Levine
      Reply
      Irene S. Levine
      July 21, 2015 at 1:38 pm

      You have a good eye for foie gras. That dish was truly amazing!

  • Reply
    Suzanne Stavert
    July 20, 2015 at 10:16 pm

    What a bittersweet evening. Having to say goodbye is so difficult! We have not been to Gotham, but if I did, I would choose the Miso Marinated Black Cod, it is one of my favorites!

    • Irene S. Levine
      Reply
      Irene S. Levine
      July 21, 2015 at 1:39 pm

      You are going to have to brief me on West coast equivalents, Suzanne! 🙂

  • Reply
    Carol Colborn
    July 21, 2015 at 12:40 am

    The New York Strip would be my and my husband’s best bet! everything looked so meticulously prepared. Would that steak be available with the $25 bargain on NYC Restaurant Week? That would definitely be awesome!

  • Reply
    Cheryl
    July 22, 2015 at 1:50 am

    One of the many reasons we LOVE New York City – so much food diversity and so many amazing restaurants! We have not had the pleasure of getting to the Gotham Bar and Grill, but your post and photos have moved it to the top of the list! All the dishes look fabulous, I am not sure where to start, but with those great desserts, I know where I will certainly finish! It is sad to say good-bye to the Manhattan apartment, but now you will just find a new West Coast area to explore!

  • Reply
    Carole Terwilliger Meyers
    July 22, 2015 at 8:15 pm

    It’s always nice to have another good restaurant to add to my NYC list, and the Gotham Bar and Grill looks like it is a winner. I’d especially like to see that Andy Warhol!

    • Irene S. Levine
      Reply
      Irene S. Levine
      July 23, 2015 at 9:44 am

      That’s right by the door so don’t forget the meal:-)

  • Reply
    Lois Alter Mark
    July 23, 2015 at 1:56 am

    Having grown up in New York, I enjoyed many great meals at the Gotham Bar and Grill. Your mouthwatering pictures made me homesick!

    • Irene S. Levine
      Reply
      Irene S. Levine
      July 23, 2015 at 9:44 am

      So many people recall wonderful celebrations there!

  • Reply
    Suzanne Fluhr
    July 25, 2015 at 1:47 pm

    Your photos make the food at the Gotham Bar and Grill look almost too good to eat. (Yes, I did say “almost”). I don’t usually look for a Michelin star in a restaurant with the word “bar” in the name. Obviously, I probably should reassess that.

    • Irene S. Levine
      Reply
      Irene S. Levine
      July 26, 2015 at 7:55 am

      Hope you get the opportunity to try it. You won’t be disappointed!

  • Reply
    Sand In My Suitcase
    July 27, 2015 at 7:30 pm

    Now you’ve really tickled our tastebuds! Could bite into that dry-aged steak quite nicely right now :-). We’ve bookmarked Gotham for when (if?) we visit NYC… (Bet you’ll be visiting the West Coast soon, right?)

    • Irene S. Levine
      Reply
      Irene S. Levine
      July 27, 2015 at 8:10 pm

      Just purchased the tickets, ironically:-) Would love to meet you at Gotham! (or Cabo)

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