Gotham Bar & Grill
1984, a George Orwell novel, albeit written in 1949. The year I was born. The year Gotham Bar & Grill opened its doors for the very first time. Now, THAT'S a special year, ahem, if I do say so myself. A mere two years later, Chef Alfred Portale took the reins of the kitchen and made it his own. Fast forward a little over thirty years and you will find him there at the helm guiding this restaurant to be a huge success—a Michelin Star rated success at that (they first earned their Michelin rating in 2005 and have maintained it since).
Sitting at the bar with a girlfriend of mine reading over the bar menu, I gazed up at the silk canopies that were once made of parachute material to mask the industrial ceiling. With a sunken dining room and incredibly high ceilings, this restaurant feels big for the West Village. It’s impressive. Equally as impressive are the incredibly kind staff and the bar menu. Boasting farm-to-table New American fare before farm-to-table was even a thing people knew to care about—hats off to the chef, again—the bar menu was excellent.
The mixologist outfitted our seats with custom wooden slats that adhere to the bar so as to mimic a table top surface that brings me closer to my food—always a win! On this slat, amongst many dishes, the perfectly cooked Gotham Burger topped with cremini mushrooms and truffle pecorino and the beyond addicting Kennebec Potato Chips served with French Onion Dip were placed and demolished. Truly, such a fun meal!
And, I have to say, the bar menu did not leave me wishing that I had sat table-side with the full menu. I feel like that’s a rare and wonderful find.