Tucked away on a quiet block on 12th Street in Greenwich Village a few blocks away from Union Square sits Gotham Bar & Grill widely considered one of New York’s restaurant giants. For over twenty-five years Chef Alfred Portale has been at the forefront of what is considered modern day American cuisine. With time honored signature creations and a constantly revisited menu it’s no wonder that many of New York’s finest chefs like Tom Colichio and Wylie Dufresne have worked along side with Chef Alfred Portale. In Its 25 plus years in business they have earned a much-coveted Michelin Star, four consecutive three-star reviews from the New York Times and the acclaimed James Beard Foundation Award as Outstanding Restaurant in the nation in 2002
As giant as Gotham Bar & Grill’s reputation is they have a subsequent dining room to match it. The space boasts countless tables, enough to accommodate any size party as well as a long granite top bar that showcases a wide selection of spirits. Exquisite pieces of art adorn the walls of Gotham reflecting New York City’s rich past. An Andy Warhol, Philip-Lorca diCorcia, and Diane Arbus are just a few of the many pieces that are on view.
Entering Gotham I am asked for my reservation and quickly whisk away by a professional staff that makes me feel that I have been a regular since the 1980’s. I start out with a sweet and delicate sherry Lustau Puerto Fino “SoleraReserva” while I mull over the delightful choices on the menu. I begin with a selection of east and west coast oysters that are accompanied with a champagne mignonette as well as an order of the Nantucket Bay Scallops with a green apple gelee. In many ways the raw scallops remind me of a traditional ceviche that has been reinvented with an American twist. I follow with one of Gotham’s staples, the seafood salad which many restaurants have mimicked but haven’t necessarily perfected. The salad is a vibrant mixture of squid, Japanese octopus, lobster and scallops with avocado in a lemon vinaigrette. The colors, texture, and presentation are beautiful. I am in a seafood heaven tonight. Recommended by the staff I choose the Yellow Fin Tuna Tartar. The Tartar is presented with Japanese cucumber, shiso leaf and sweet miso in an asian ginger vinaigrette. To my delight the tartar is infused with a bold smokey flavor.
For the entrée I choose the Roasted Muscovy Duck which comes with a delicious house cured duck and garlic saucisson. The duck is cooked to perfection with the outside seared and crisp while the interior remains a wonderful red pigment. The duck rests on top of a flavorful bed of acorn squash and quince. This is possibly the most tender and juicy duck I have ever had the pleasure of eating.
Finishing my meal I order the Riesling “Privat” NiglKremstal to go along with the Chef’s selection of Artisanal cheeses. The selection ranges from a rich Catapano Farms goat cheese to a sharp Italian Pecorino and a British Stilton which is similar to Roquefort. The plate is served with sweet fig purée, black plum jam and preserved walnuts which enhance the flavors of each cheese.
It is no wonder that Gotham Bar & Grill maintains its stellar reputation in the New York culinary scene. With Chef Alfred Portal at the reigns for over 25 years Gotham continues to create consistent out of this world dishes.
12 East 12th Street
New York, NY 10003