It’s a big day for Gotham Bar and Grill. Pete Wells finds chef Victoria Blamey’s new version of the menu to be “original” with “deep and enveloping flavors” — giving the 35-year-old restaurant yet another three-star review in the Times.
It’s a stark contrast from Eater critic Ryan Sutton’s review that also dropped today. While Sutton thought the restaurant felt dated even with the new menu, Wells delighted in many of Blamey’s new dishes.
On the scallop ceviche:
Normally, you know where you stand with a ceviche. You know how the marinade will change the seafood, how the seafood’s juices will knock the edge off the citrus and how the chile fits in.
The sea scallop ceviche at Gotham is a trickier character. The splayed-open scallops sit in a pale yellow juice that tastes of corn, first sweetly, like a fruit, and then not so sweetly. Then other things enter the picture, smoke and citrus and chiles. The scallops taste like scallops, so of course they’re wonderful, but they’ve also been rolled in chile salt and each one has a pink dot of aged umeboshi paste in the center. There is more to the story, including some charred baby corn whose kernels are the size of poppy seeds, but it should be clear already that you will need to hold on tight if you are going to follow every twist and turn at Gotham.
He also dug the burger, the oysters, the foie gras torchon, the cabbage, and the pea dal. As for the restaurant trying to get a younger audience, Wells points to the wine list, where bottles of “fashionably noninterventionist, sulfur-phobic winemakers” have been added.
Still, the people who are dining at the restaurant “looks a lot like the old crowd,” Wells says, pointing to the “time capsule” look of the restaurant, which has largely remained the same.
The Times has reviewed Gotham five times since it opened in 1985, and each time, the restaurant has kept its three stars, always under the previous longtime chef Alfred Portale. With the new changes, Wells keeps with tradition and declares that the legendary restaurant is still three stars.