Gotham Bar & Grill 12 East 12th Street, New York NY 10003; map); 212-620-4020; gothambarandgrill.com Service: Excellent Setting: A spacious well-lit room makes you forget you are downtown Cost: 3 Courses, $31 Imagine a kitchen with Tom Valenti, David...
Gotham Bar & Grill
"First and foremost, we have a focus on seasonality, not only in terms of ingredients but also in the general feel of each drink," says Gotham Bar and Grill's Rick Pitcher, who says he often starts his cocktails with flavor combinations that happen in the kitchen. For example, his Garden Party cocktail began with the pairing of fresh, vivid carrot juice and ginger, and then Pitcher began to look at possible spirits for the drink before settling on Double Cross Vodka from Slovakia.
Though there hasn't been a burger on the Gotham Bar and Grill menu since there was a margarita machine at the restaurant's elegant bar, chef and owner Alfred Portale knew the time had come: Portale wasn't using the trimmings from the 28 day dry-aged steak on his dinner menu, and he knew that had to stop. "The end piece, the aged fat, about four inches of the strip loin—all amazing pieces—were going to waste," says Portale. "I realized these could be elements of the most incredible burger."
If ever there was a fancy plated dessert that captures the essence of fall, Gotham Bar and Grill's Pumpkin Soufflé ($16) is it. But this dessert is about more than just pumpkin. Executive Pastry Chef Ron Paprocki cleverly incorporates a host of other ingredients that will make any diner nostalgic for the holidays.