Gotham Bar & Grill, New York
Day 2 PM – USA Adventure
Here we were – at our first fine dining restaurant. As we entered the dining room of the Gotham Bar and Grill, I was overwhelmed by the gorgeously huge room and the dazzling fabric shrouded lights that punctuated the room. It is a stunning venue and I was looking forward to the experience.
Entering Gotham Bar and Grill Restaurant
As I mentioned previously, this evening was a bit of a mini-reunion with Gorgeous AT and Pesky M meeting up with two old school friends and their partners. We quickly ordered some sparkling and toasted our night: to a great evening catching up with old friends and making new ones.
We perused the menu and made our selections, while our resident wine expert Pinot P consulted with the sommelier to make our selections for the night. Interestingly there was no amuse bouche – I’ve only just thought of that now. Given the night ended up costing us close to $200 each – it seems a little strange in hindsight.
Not to worry – the bread was served beautiful and warm, with some lovely butter. So we munched away on that and then our appetisers (as they call them here) were served.
White corn tortellini
My choice was one of the weekly specials – white corn tortellini. It was absolutely melt-in-the-mouth with a fresh, sweet puree of white corn in the centre of delicate handmade pasta. The tortellini sat in a bed of chantarelles, tiny oven roasted sun gold tomatoes, and broad beans, all of which swam in a pool of white wine and chicken reduced stock. It was stunning!
Long Island Pekin Duck and Foie Gras Terrine
iMac had the gorgeous terrine of Pekin duck and foie gras which also featured black trumpet mushrooms and pistachios. This was served with beautiful brioche toasties and a beetroot themed compote which cut through the richness of the terrine. Delicious.
Ruby Red Shrimp Risotto
I did manage to get a taste of this fantastic risotto that both Gorgeous AT and Pinot P ordered . Ah-mazing!! It was a beautiful shrimp risotto featuring Eckerton Hill tomato confit, Niman Ranch bacon and was enriched with a lemon and sweet basil flavoured butter. Although my dish was great, I have to admit I had a bit of plate envy with this one – it was fabulous!
Roasted Cauliflower Salad
This appetiser was ordered by Sanguine S, the partner of one of the old school girlfriends, Gentle J. I have to admit, it’s different to what I was expecting. I didn’t get a report back on how good it tasted – but hoped it was alright. It featured Beluga lentils, Marcona almonds, red grapes, cilantro (coriander), and curried golden raisins. The menu description sounded divine – so I expect the dish was beautiful.
Crispy Soft Shell Crabs
Although this was a main dish (entrée in US) – the restaurant was offering a half serve as an appetiser. Lovely K, one of the school girlfriends, and Pesky M ordered this one. It looks delicious, although I got the sense that the foam was a little bit OTT. The dish also featured Chinese broccoli, Hon Shimeji mushrooms (yum!), sugar snap peas, red pepper purée and that yuzu emulsion (read “foam”). I’m not sure what the verdict was – but it looks a bit fantastic!
We really enjoyed our wines – so they certainly deserve some air space. In particular, I loved the pinot noir and the chardonnay was lovely (although the consensus was that the chardonnay from the night before, a Sonoma Valley one from Giselle winery) was a little smoother and creamier.
For my main dish, I enjoyed the squab from the specials menu. The meat was cooked beautifully so that it was tender but still medium rare. It was complemented by the richness of some seared foie gras, and good amounts of cavalo nero. A fennel and orange compote acted as a foil to the richness of the meat. The miniature gnocchi with the dish were the only let down, because they were mushy, and there probably could have been a little more rich squab jus – but maybe that’s just me being greedy! Overall, I didn’t think this had the finesse or flavour of my first course.
Rack of Lamb
For her main, iMac chose the rack of lamb which featured Swiss chard, sweet roasted cipollini and potato puree with a rich lamb reduction. She was pretty impressed and said the lamb was wonderful and tender. In true style, she cleaned her plate to an almost microscopic level. Pinot P also had this dish.
Berkshire Pork Chop
Gorgeous AT went for the enormous Berkshire pork chop – I had a taste of it and it was amazing. Beautifully tender and moist, it made a mockery of every pork chop I’ve ever eaten. She could not finish the serve as it was a huge piece of meat. So bring your appetite. The dish was served with braised Greenmarket kale and grilled sweet corn polenta (Hello!!). It was also complemented by a spiced apricot chutney and pork jus. Delicious.
Lovely K ordered the duck which was also served with seared foie gras (there was a lot of foie gras on the menu). This came on a quinoa medley featuring mustard greens and almonds, and was also foiled by some roasted plum and ruby port sauce.
28 Day Dry Aged New York Steak
Sanguine S revelled in his steak – served alongside the classic man’s favourite sides: onion rings! It also came with a creamy Dijon mustard custard and bordelaise sauce. I think he was very happy, and I made a note of this one because this is certainly a dish that would appeal to my beloved who I left back home in Australia. Next trip honey!!
Pesky M couldn’t help herself – she had promised herself that she would have lobster somewhere on this trip. The lobster was grilled and served with braised rainbow Swiss chard, fennel and rice beans, and sauce Américaine. I also managed to get a taste of this (all in the name of research, you understand) and it was lusciously delicate.
Fried Zucchini Blossoms
Gentle J ordered the zucchini blossoms – and I have to say I think that the serve looks a little meagre. They were filled with goats cheese and served atop a bed of eggplant “bharta”, which is apparently an Indian dish of roasted eggplants.
Gotham Warm Chocolate Cake
At the end of the night, only three stalwarts decided to order dessert – yes – I was one of them. iMac, faithful and true, also ordered one. We ordered the same thing – the Gotham chocolate cake. Oh my goodness – this cake was ethereally light, but rich with chocolately goodness. It was amazingly complemented by a salted almond ice cream which was stunning. We were very happy.
Testimony perhaps to the small serve of her zucchini flowers – the only other person to join us was Gentle J who in a fit of Australian patriotism ordered the Peach Melba. The presentation was quite spectacular with a medley of fruits sitting on top of what looked like a peach fool. I never got the debrief – so I hope it was amazing. Heaven knows I was very happy with the chocolate cake and struggled to finish it (you’ll be happy to know I took one for the team and did finish it – what a gal!).
We were also served some lovely petit fours – which were mainly enjoyed by our non-dessert eating companions. Wow – what an amazing first fine dining experience in the great New York city. All topped off by a celebrity sighting of Lucy Liu!!
Overall, Gotham Bar and Grill has an amazing ambience, and the service was both expert and excellent. It is a great New York experience – although definitely on the pricey side. This might be because our wine flowed very freely – and we were very merry by the end. Let’s see what our other dining events will bring… there’s certainly lots to look forward to!