Posts Tagged With: Gato

NYC – Top 10 Dishes of 2014

Lincoln StrozzapretiBowery Steak at Bowery Meat Company.  Normally in the food blogging universe, when a steak is compared to a Hockey puck, its usually in order to describe a poorly cooked piece of meat.  But in this case, its the odd looking Hockey puck shaped perfection sitting on top of creamy whipped potato puree, and topped with a little bit of Chimichurri.  One little touch of that thing with your fork or a prolong stare breaks the spiral roll of ribeye cap, aka the more flavorful part of the ribeye.  A most noble cut, generated by none other than the legendary Pat LaFrieda of course.  Don’t believe me?  Ask fellow meat lover Justin Bieber who was spotted there a day after yours truly and his family.  “Way to go dad, always picking the wrong days”

Bowery Meat Company Bowery Steak

Oxtail Soup at Pam Real Thai – I’m starting to believe this soup has special healing powers.  Whether you are suffering from Flu like symptoms, Depression, Frontal Baldness, Cholera, try the soup and see a doctor.  Best to have the soup solo, as it will clear up both your nostrils and allow free grazing of the two giant oxtail bones in a way that should leave no witnesses.  Its spicy, complex, addictive and just about my favorite soup in NYC at the moment.  Which really means America!

Pam Real Oxtail

Patate Alla Carbonara at Marta – The White pizza section to me is like the pet isle in the supermarket.  I only get there by accident or under some form of influence.  My wife found me there once and though I was having an affair.  These days the only way for me to cheat on the reds is with this Bianca, featuring Guanciale, Pecorino and egg “juice” poured ever so slowly all over the pie.  It took a few initial incarnations (started as “Gricia” with an egg in the middle) until this thing was perfected by Nick Anderer who perfected so many things at Maialino.  Its Roman style pizza which means Matsoh like cracker thin (especially at the edges), but it holds its own nicely throughout so knife needed.

Marta Patate alla Carbonara

Lobster Roll at The Grand Banks.  This place rocked!  Literally!  In fact we almost left upon entering this Schooner (a ship for the German readers) parked on Pier 25 in the warmer months.  But the food obsessed that we are, we braved it out and stayed for the main event.  A Maine style Lobster Roll (cold) using the meatiest and clawiest parts of the lobster, with tarragon mayonnaise and cucumbers which isnt very “Mainely” I know, but serve as barriers between meat and bun.  Very often lobster rolls lose its luster due to a soggy bun, but here the cucumbers keep it fresh and dont deter from the taste.  The roll which comes with well seasoned potato chips (no frier on board) is not exactly a value play at $25, but you gotta pay up for the good stuff mon.  Especially on the island I call Manhattan

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BBQ Squid at Annisa – Stunner!  Actually the first word that comes to mind is “gorgeous” but its hard even for the feminine inner Ziggy to say the G word these days.  When was the last time you heard a straight man say something is gorgeous.  And adding the F word just makes it sound awkward.  But this dish is not only attractive to look at, but got the flavors to match.  Marinaded, perfectly grilled Squid with fried tentacles, mint, and fresh peanuts boiled to match the texture of the tender Edameme.  Add Hoisin sauce for some sweetness and tanginess and the formula is complete.  I hope it never leaves the menu.  Anita Lo are you reading?

Annisa Squid

Carrot Wellington at Narcissa – A rarity.  A meal where the veggie dishes outperform the meats and fish.  Even the beet dish here made me question everything I knew about beets and seek Borscht the next day.  I never seek Borscht.  The carrots are cured, roasted and simply shine in those puff pastries.  They are tender and rich enough that you wont miss the meat.  And the accompanied veggies especially the earthy Bluefoot mushrooms complimented nicely.  Along with Piora’s carrots, perhaps the carrot dish to beat.  If you are having commitment issues, you can always share it as a middle course.

Narcissa - Carrot Wellington

Strozzapreti Con Aragosta at Lincoln (Top).   Orange is the new crack!  Possibly the most ingenious pasta dish I ever had.  First of all its looks gorgeous sensational, and you smell the sea as soon as it arrives.  Smell it!  Its an important aspect of any meal.  The Strozzapreti (invented I suppose when someone envisioned a pasta shape while witnessing a priest being slowly strangled) is made with lobster coral, the female egg sac, to bring that bright sexy orange prison look.  Sweet lobster chunks are added to the mix along with Tarragon and a delicate citrusy sauce.  But the best part and what puts this thing over the top was the shockingly flavorful lobster and scallop “sausage” bits which had the texture of chicken skin nut tasted nothing like it.  As of this writing the dish is not on the menu, so write to your local congressman

Scrambled Eggs at Gato.  I’m quite the sucker for nicely executed egg dishes, and this one topped a year filled with good ones (Casa Mono comes to mind).  Almond Romesco (spanish red pepper sauce), Boucheron cheese, and fluffiness levels that I’ve yet to produce no matter how hard I try.  I Google the heck out of how to make my scrambled eggs this fluffy, and it looks like Boucheron may be the answer.  Bobby Flay got something nice going there, but dont tell him that, or mention this pick.  We dont want success to get to his head.

Gato - eggs

Zabzi Tagine at Bar Bolonat – I attacked this mini Tagine on more than one occasion in 2014.  But I confess that the first time, closer to the Bar Bolonat debut was the best rendition.  Homemade couscous, aromatic fresh herbs, and short rib or beef cheek (it changes from time to time) so tender and flavor packed, even the Goyim foodies can appreciate this modern Israeli delight.  Get this, the kibbeh, Creme Brulee, and any of the other “Best of 2014” dishes circulating the web.  Einat Admony got herself another winner.

Bar Bolonat - Zabzi Tagine

Fried Chicken at Root and Bone – Last year it was the Ma Peche Habanero, this year its R&B singing the chicken song.  Choon!  The bird is brined in sweet tea, onions and garlic for 24 hours, and finished with a dusting of dehydrated lemon powder to add that nice zesty tone.  Perfectly crisped skin, and juiciness levels I havent seen since college.  Great dish and a great menu that features all sorts of goodies like Sticky Toffee Pudding with whiskey sauce and beer flavored ice cream.

root and bone chicken

Special Mentions:

Burger at the NoMad Bar
Marinated Pork at Somtum Der
Falafel plate at Zizi Limona
Agnolotti at All’onda
Chicken Burrito at Missions Cantina
Beer Braised Pork Tongue Tacos at Empellon Taqueria
Octopus at Marea
Kimchi Fried Rice at Louro
Tofu at Dunji
Samsa at Nargis Cafe
Elk Chops at Henry’s End
Carrots at Piora
Green Curry Ramen at Bassanova
Dirty rice at Ivan Ramen
Cha Ca La Vong at Pok Pok Brooklyn
Oxtail and Bone Marrow Fried Rice at Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill

Categories: East Village, Gramercy, Flatiron, Lower East Side, Midtown West, New York City, SoHo, NoHo, Nolita, Upper West Side, West Village | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Gato – Pussy Galore

Gato barOne of those meals that stays with you for a few days.  You think about it when you have your boring scrambled eggs in the morning, and your gloomy salad with kale for lunch a couple of days later.  All while you sit there massaging your cat, with soft classical music in the background, sporting a scar.  That’s how I pictured Bobby Flay in his new Mediterranean hot spot in NOHO (cat in Spanish) named right after a cat went between his legs while waiting for the real estate broker.  But instead of sitting holding a cat, he was in the kitchen doing his thing.

Gato loungeIn a city packed with celebrity spots, one does not need to eat in one to have a great meal, and a great meal is certainly far from a guarantee.  But this was one of the most enjoyable meals in recent memory (well, 3 months is just about as far as I can go these days — thankfully I have this blog to remind me).  With the “5:30 or 10” hotness at the moment, I opted for the senior citizen slot of 5:30.   The hostess seemed a little puzzled when I asked if “We are team #1” much to the horror of my kids.  Perhaps to clarify the “Amazing Race” reference, I should invest in one of those Travelocity gnomes (though the dude is scarier than some people I know without makeup)

The space is quite striking.  It has a spacious, warehousy, rustic, modern but casual feel, with no neighbor in sight.  A rarity these days.  Though they are taking it slow at the moment and not trying to fill the room.  Some prefer to wait until the establishment settles down into a comfortable groove, but not Ziggy.  Bring on the uncomfortable groove.  With the entire town watching they simply can not afford to make a mistake.  Flay is in the kitchen even on a Sunday night. A slew of hostesses, 3 of which helped with our coats.  Employees outnumbering guests roughly 3 to 1.  The kids had a blast counting the number of times their water was filled (12 times, mostly when it was above 3/4 full).  Overall however, no issues whatsoever.

Gato - Small platesDrinks — Wife enjoyed the Bolo Sangria while my Negroni was spot on.

Bar menu — Pick 3 for $17.  The 11 layer scalloped potato and the duck liver were quite delectable, but the Eggplant with Manchego and Oregano solidly triumphed above the rest.

Gato - duck liverAppetizers– Expertly cooked oven roasted Shrimp with Diavolo oil, garlic chips and chile that provided a nice punch.  A notch above the average Gambas dish at a tapas joint near you.  Octopus was quite scrumptious and when you get it as tender as this, its most enjoyable.  The pungent green pepper and salty bacon bits just added to the joy.  Pizza with lamb sausage was just a good pizza with lamb sausage, missing the drama of the other dishes.  Perhaps losing to Giove is still not sitting well with Flay.  Dish of the day nominee… Scrambled Eggs! A Revelation! Almond Romesco (spanish red pepper sauce), Boucheron cheese, super fluffy eggs… what a combo. I suggest trying this without the accompanying oily tomato toasts which have no business being there except to complete the otherwise naked dish

Gato - octopusMains — Crab Risotto (enlarged app) was original and exceptional.  Mushroom and Kale paella with egg and artichokes was a glorious combination of flavors and textures, especially once you mix the sticky “Socarrat” from the bottom and the egg.  The Halibut was one of the better “white fish with red broth” dishes I’ve had, all due to the addictive saffron tomato sauce with mint and couscous and a perfectly cooked fish.

Gato - halibutDessert —Espresso soaked bread pudding – somewhat flat, more like a weak tiramisu.  Not gonna win any awards in NOLA.  Chocolate Crema Catalana with hazelnut was much more like it.  Like a sick chocolate hazelnut Creme Brulee with that toasty crust and richness beneath.  Complimentary Sherry, and exceptionally fresh Biscotti capped off this awe-inspiring meal.  I’m a fan!

Gato

324 Lafayette St

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Recommended Dishes – Eggplant (bar menu), Shrimp, Scrambled Eggs, Octopus, Crab Risotto, Halibut, Mushroom and Kale paella, Chocolate Crema Catalana

Gato Gato - lamb pizza Gato - eggs Gato - Shrimp Gato - Chocolate Gato - paella Gato up

Categories: New York City, SoHo, NoHo, Nolita | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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