THE RESTAURANT


 

In 1984…

When the restaurant first opened its doors it sought to break from convention. At a time when dining existed only at the poles, the owners set out to create something for those in the middle: a lively, downtown restaurant that could capture the spirit of a Parisian brasserie while remaining unabashedly American.

The grand setting, first-class food, and unpretentious service made it an instant sensation. In time the restaurant would introduce the world to the talents of an ambitious young chef named Alfred Portale. Under his leadership the restaurant would receive three James Beard Awards, One Michelin Star, and five 3-star reviews from the New York Times, an unprecedented achievement.

Now, after three and a half decades, the baton has been passed to Chef Victoria Blamey. A native of Santiago, Chile, she brings a diverse range of experiences from her travels around the world. She received her training at the International School of Culinary Studies in Santiago, before going on to work in some of the world’s most revered kitchens. She’s spent time at The Vineyard at Stockcross (Newbury, England), Interlude (Melbourne, Australia), Mugaritz (San Sebastian, Spain), and a host of restaurants here in the city including il Buco Alimentari & Vineria, Atera, Corton, and Upland.

In 2016 she accepted the Executive Chef position for the re-opening of Chumley’s, where she drew the attention of the New York dining community at large. In his review, New York Times Restaurant Critic Pete Wells announced: “Ms. Blamey loads her dishes with more excitement than you will find in other new restaurants that are getting far more attention.”

Her arrival at Gotham marks an exciting time for the restaurant.

 

PRESS AND ACCOLADES

 

 
 
 

 
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OUR PEOPLE

 
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VICTORIA BLAMEY
Executive Chef

At New York City’s Chumley’s, where she was Executive Chef, she drew the attention and affirmation of some of the top critics in the United States including New York Times’ Restaurant Critic, Pete Wells, who dubbed her “a chef worth following.” A native of Santiago, Chile, Blamey was a student of history until she course-corrected into the professional kitchen. Though she came to cooking relatively late, she immediately set her sights on the rarefied air of fine-dining, finding herself especially drawn to Michelin-lauded, tasting-menu restaurants. With that mission in mind, in 2004, Blamey spent the next several years traveling the world, working in some of the most celebrated kitchens on earth: Mugaritz (San Sebastian, Spain), ABaC (Barcelona, Spain), The Vineyard at Stockcross (Newbury, United Kingdom), Interlude (Melbourne, Australia), and WD-50 (New York City). In 2010, she began a run of kitchen positions here in the city that would eventually lead her here to Gotham: Sous Chef to Chef Matt Lightner at Atera; Chef de Cuisine for Paul Liebrandt at Corton; Sous Chef and Chef de Cuisine to Chef Justin Smillie at Il Buco Alimentari e Vinieri and Upland, before eventually opening Chumley’s in 2016 as Executive Chef. As she looks forward to this next chapter, she remains energized and committed to building an exciting new future for Gotham Bar and Grill.


 
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RON PAPROCKI
Executive Pastry Chef

Ron received his culinary training at Elisabeth-Knipping Schule in Kassel, Germany and served as an apprentice pastry chef at Café Alheit in Kassel. Upon receiving his diploma in 2004, Ron moved to New York where he became Head Baker and Assistant Pastry Chef at the celebrated Financier Patisserie. Since then he’s been part of the opening teams of Sasch Bakery/Restaurant, as well as Gordon Ramsay at The London.

Chef Paprocki joined the Gotham team in 2011, heading up the Pastry Department as well as the Gotham Chocolates program. He approaches dessert as a light and enjoyable finale to one’s dining experience, and likes playing with the natural acidity of fresh fruits to brighten even the richest chocolate experience.

 

 
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BRET CSENCSITZ
Managing Partner

For the past ten years Bret has served as Managing Partner of Gotham Bar & Grill, ensuring that the restaurant lives up to its legacy while continuing to push boundaries as a leader in the New York dining scene. During his time at the helm, he has also helped develop the Gotham Chocolates program, as well as a collection of fine culinary products under the label, Gotham Selections. Csencsitz has also demonstrated his commitment to New York and the food movement through his ongoing work with GrowNYC.

Like many in the industry Bret has his roots in the performing arts, having spent much of his early time in the city as an classically-trained actor, director, and producer. His studies in the work of the Bard have impacted nearly every aspect of his life and work, including naming his son William… and his daughter Cordelia.

Food, family, and the arts remain Csencsitz’s driving passions.

 

 
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JOSHUA LIT
Wine Director

Josh joined the Gotham team in May, 2018, bringing with him a broad base of knowledge and experiences. He was first introduced to wine at Charleston Grill under Wine Director Rick Rubel and General Manager Mickey Bakst.  After 2+ years under their guidance, he headed west to work the 2014 harvest, learning from Master Sommelier, Greg Harrington, at Gramercy Cellars in Walla Walla Valley, WA. His time in Washington would prove invaluable as Josh was able to learn the fundamentals of viticulture and vinification.

Deciding it was time to head back east, he took a Sommelier position working under Master Sommelier, Michael Engelmann, at The Modern. During his tenure at The Modern, the restaurant earned 2 Michelin Stars and Wine Spectator’s most coveted trophy, the Grand Award. Josh is excited to continue building and cultivating the wine program here at Gotham.

 

 
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JASON HEDGES
Bar Director

An authority on both wine and spirits, Jason Hedges joined Gotham Bar and Grill in 2013. He spent his first two years at Gotham working in the wine department as a sommelier before heading up the bar program in 2015. An ardent spirits and cocktail enthusiast, he is constantly looking for exciting new spirits to add to our vast and growing collection. His cocktail program offers a delicious amalgamation of solid variations of the classics as well as thoughtfully honed signature drinks that tap into seasonality and fresh market ingredients.

Jason is actively involved in the beverage community, he sits on the judge’s panel for multiple wine, spirits and cocktail competitions including one of the worlds most highly regarded, “The Ultimate Beverage Challenge” and he teaches a course on the subject at the International Culinary Center ICC in Soho. Stop by and visit for a drink any night of the week.

 

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