Gotham Bar & Grill was recently awarded a 3-star review by Sam Sifton of the New York Times. I have a real hard time with that. Why? Let me list the ways:
- The table cloth had a huge, visible stain (gray on white -probably a spilled red wine stain that didn't come out of the linen).
- Only once, during 2+ hours, was my water glass refreshed.
- On course #4 (of 5), they finally cleared the crumbs off the table.
- Bread and butter was slow to arrive -not only at our table, but noticed at others, too.
- The hostess table was overcrowded with cackling girls - 3 of them, to be precise. You don't need 3 hostesses! To make it worse, they certainly weren't doing anything important other than gossiping and laughing too loudly during the dinner service.
- One of the main courses was overcooked (the lamb) and the dessert (a rhubarb shortcake concoction) was yeasty as well as completely tasteless. 3 stars in a restaurant should mean that the food is consistently prepared correctly. Since we ordered the Chef's 5-Course Tasting Menu, I expected the best of their best. I was let down.
- Coffee was sloppily served and ended up making the stained table cloth more miserable.
- Service was more worthy of a 1-star at best...
Overall, Gotham has the potential to be a very chic place to dine with the quintessential NY experience. The location is cool and they do have a decent chef. They just aren't 3-star worthy. I think Mr. Sifton must have been sipping on a lot of mimosas that evening and dulled his taste buds, eyesight and sensibilities.
However, on the other hand and worthy of some star-age soon, Boulud Sud is certainly worthy of another look (as is the adjoining take-away "Epicerie" - get your hands on the chocolate macrons and you'll never be emotionally the same). Although I do not care for the space or the decor of Boulud Sud, the menu is very appealing and trust me, I've tried so many of the dishes that I could be a member of the waitstaff by now!
You should try the Tomato and Sheep's Milk Cheese -Ricotta and Oregano Pan Con Tomate Grilled Manouri and Tomato Confit as an appetizer. Don't get it to share! Ok, maybe... but I like to keep this on my side of the table with some of the extra flatbread that is served. Three letters: OMG. I love the quail as a main dish, and the Waygu beef is beautiful, too.
It's one of the newest restaurants from Daniel, so you shouldn't be disappointed. They know what they are doing in the kitchen and the wait staff is trained to be of helpful service. I really appreciate that!
Speaking of appreciation,.... I've already discussed Riverpark -but hadn't been there for brunch. This place was busy, so I guess that is a good sign that business is doing well. I'd only recommend that when they expect a bigger crowd, the waitstaff should be prepared. It seemed like a struggle for them to keep up and they had a problem keeping up with the demand. However, the food was delicious as always and the outdoor space is now open. Talk about a gorgeous city day! It was the place to be and I'll request a chair out there next time (after allergy season is over and done with, of course).
So there you have it. 3 restaurants over the 3 day weekend - but twice the charm. ;)