Living 400 miles away from my partner in crime at Rookie Chef is not ideal. But when my sister Kristin and I are in the same city — most recently New York City — we make it count.
A quick two day visit called for a big night out in Manhattan, checking out one of the the city’s hottest spots — Gato, brought to you by the one and only Bobby Flay. We were ready for an amazing, no boundaries, order whatever we want kind of night. And boy, we were not disappointed.
Gato (324 Lafayette St., Manhattan)
Kicking off the night, while we were overly-impressed with Gato’s wine selection it was a “house margarita on the rocks” kind of evening.
The menu itself was just the best. There really wasn’t one dish we weren’t up to try and knew it would be a hard decision. Luckily, we can always come back for round two. To start, we selected three plates from “Choose 3” tastings at the top.
Our picks — the Mussel & Clam Salad with saffron pickled shallots, the Piquillo filled with raw tuna & saffron sauce and finally the Artichoke Heart with quail egg and sea urchin. Here’s a closer look.
Yes. Quail egg AND sea urchin. When in Rome — or should we say, when in Flay’s Spanish-accented Mediterranean establishment — do as the Top Chefs do.
From the appetizer menu, we selected the Oven Roasted Shrimp with diavolo oil and oregano. Bubbling in the dish, the shrimp were bursting with flavor and we couldn’t sop up the amazing oil and sauce left over with the bread at our table fast enough. Then we ran out of bread.
But wait, there’s more.
The main courses were even harder to select which such inviting items on the menu such as Duck Confit, Orata and Taragon Chicken. Those were for next time. Tonight we went with the entree of Crab Risotto with garlic bread crumbs, calabrian red chile and the Porterhouse Pork Chop with tomato pan juices, romesco and polenta.
Every last bite of the main course was packed with incredible flavor. Each taste of risotto, just filled with seasoned crab and so rich and smooth. Perfection on a fork. Now the pork was just as good, paired with a creamy polenta, we didn’t want the meal to end.
And it didn’t have to.
For dessert, it was a no brainer. The Chocolate Crema Catalana with toasted hazelnuts was on our radar as soon as we got the menu. Kristin described it as a “fancy nutella crème brûlée” — which was 100% correct. Just spoonfuls of heaven.
Was it a splurge? Of course. For two girls in their twenties, we don’t often go nuts at trendy restaurants, but being together was a special occasion. Was it worth it — hell yes.
Will we go back? That’s a definite yes. There’s still half the menu to taste and we know we won’t regret it.