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Gotham Bar and Grill, New York City, New York

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12 E. 12th Street
East Village
New York City , New York
Tel: 212 620 4020
view web site ›'s insider take:

After more than 20 years, Greenwich Village institution Gotham Bar and Grill still feels like New York's most expertly run bustling restaurant. A destination for birthdays, anniversaries, and expense account feasts, the lofty dining room—with light fixtures festooned in white parachute fabric—remains as inviting as the day that it opened. Though founding chef Alfred Portale has neither an empire (Gotham is his only restaurant) nor a show on TV, he is widely recognized by his peers as one of the most influential chefs in America (half the restaurants in New York are manned by Gotham alums). Portale, who all but invented vertical food presentation, is best known for his precarious, towering, seasonal compositions. A slice of silky pistachio-studded foie gras terrine leans, like a charcuterie Tower of Pisa, against a boutique lettuce mountain; roasted butter-drenched lobster in its split shell stands tall atop a jasmine rice molehill with fragrant puddles of coconut nage and bouillabaisse sauce. Desserts—like an indulgent pair of chocolate peanut butter bars—tend to be more homey, and horizontal. Service here is as precise as a German automobile but never fussy or formal.

Open Mondays through Thursdays noon to 10 pm, Fridays noon to 11 pm, Saturdays 5 to 11 pm, and Sundays 5 to 10 pm.

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