WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO DINE AT GOTHAM?
Back in 1984 we set out to create a restaurant that could capture the energy and verve of a Parisian brasserie while remaining unapologetically American. The grand space dazzled newcomers, as did the inspired cooking of a fresh-faced young chef by the name of Alfred Portale. “Tall food” was his claim to fame in those early days, but (as Ruth Reichl pointed out in her 1996 review) the architecture on the plate served only to heighten the guest’s experience.
It was about focus.
All these years later and it suddenly strikes us as apropos. In our increasingly digital world, attention has become the real currency. And so we loop back to the original question:
What does it mean to dine at Gotham?
A meal here on 12th Street can be many things. It is at once comfortable and elegant, indulgent and restrained. It can be a place for celebration, or a quick pre-theatre bite. That flexibility is woven into the fabric of the restaurant, and it’s a quality we cherish. At the heart of it is our desire to craft experiences that can’t be had anywhere else. How then in a city with so many great restaurants can we possibly create experiences that can’t be replicated?
This was the challenge we accepted at the start of 2018.
Our response was to curate a series of events — meals with limited seating providing access to people, places, and products that we felt were special/unique, something our guests might not otherwise have been able to find. We dubbed this new program “Gotham Experiences.”
Our first event came in February when we hosted a special one-night dinner with Westland Whiskey and their Master Distiller, Matt Hofmann. We followed that up with our Caviar Dinner Series in April, partnering with Caviar Russe. In May, we welcomed Fritz Hatton and his team from Arietta Winery for a weeklong residency, culminating in a Library Dinner of older wines from extraordinary vintages. We hosted a launch party in June for our friends at Chapter 24 Winery as they celebrated their newest release: the Rose & Arrow Estate Wines. Then finally, in September we welcomed New Yorkers back to the city with a two-week Late Summer Harvest Tasting Menu. Five different events where we utilized the partnerships we’ve built over the years to bring our guests something new.
As we look to the year ahead, we’re looking forward to expanding on the success of this program. We’ve set an ambitious course for ourselves, aiming to host 12 different events in 2019. Over the next few months you can look forward to the following:
JANUARY: Grgich Hills Wine Dinner with famed winemaker, Ivo Jeramaz (Thursday, Jan 29)
FEBRUARY: The return of our Caviar Dinner Series
APRIL: Gotham’s 35th Anniversary Celebration
OUR NEW WINE DIRECTOR, JOSHUA LIT
This past summer we welcomed our new wine director: Joshua Lit. (Did you read our interview with him?) In a matter of months he’s already broadened the list from 700 labels to more than 1,400. He’s added dozens of new American reds, nearly doubling the number of offerings from Oregon and California. One of his big initiatives has been to secure difficult and sought-after vintages from classic American producers like Opus One, Robert Mondavi, Inglenook, Bond, Heitz Cellars, and Harlan Estate. Page through the 50+ pages and you’ll notice that Josh and his team are curating one of the most extensive lists anywhere in the city.
On top of that, he’s also found time to go LIVE on Facebook once a week. These 15-minutes sessions are all about continuing education, helping to guide our guests and spark a dialogue about wine. We invite you to tune in on Thursdays in the new year via our Facebook Page.
OUR “BEAN-TO-BAR” ARTISAN SERIES CHOCOLATES
In 2018 Pastry Chef Ron Paprocki took the Gotham Chocolates program to the next level with our Artisan Series “Bean-to-Bar” Chocolates. The beans are sourced (direct trade) from Belize, Dominican Republic, and Costa Rica, and then processed entirely in house. Sorted, roasted, winnowed, refined, and tempered right here on 12th Street. Two of the three bars are finalists for the prestigious Good Food Awards; we hold our collective breaths until next week when the winners are announced.
Meanwhile we continue with our seasonal Bonbon collections, as well as our original six Chocolate Bars. The products continue to spread far and wide both here in the city and beyond. Below is a brief list of where you can find our products:
Chelsea Market Baskets (NYC)
Plum Plums Cheese (Pound Ridge, NY)
Hannah’s Bretzel (Chicago, AL)
Miette Cakes (San Francisco, CA)
Schaller and Weber (NYC)
Honeycreeper Chocolate (Birmingham, AL)
Rose Bakery (NYC)
For Five Coffee (NYC, LA)
109 Cheese & Wine (Ridgefield, CT)
Of course, you can also purchase them here on the Shop Page of our website.
EXPANDING THE GOTHAM STEAK PROGRAM
In October, we overhauled the Gotham menu for the first time in a decade. Guests are now greeted with a beautiful paper menu, printed daily, featuring a range of ever-changing selections. Diners will find many of the signature dishes they’ve come to know and love, plus a host of new items., including an expanded Steak Program.
Building on the success of our partnership with Niman Ranch, Gotham now proudly serves all natural steaks, with a focus on American grass-fed beef. In November we started working with Imperial Farms in Nebraska to feature first-class wagyu. This incredible product is tender, delicious, and rich with marbling. We’ve been overwhelmed by the guest response, and look forward to further broadening the variety of cuts we can offer.
WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD?
For that, we invite collaboration.
We have plenty of ideas but would also like to hear from you. Maybe you have an idea for an experience at Gotham, or a twist on a recipe for our chefs to consider. Is there a question our team can answer? Perhaps you are interested in specific wines or spirits and want to know something more… and sure you could Google it but why not ask us?
What are you interested in, curious about? We want to know.
Reach out to [email protected] and leave us your thoughts. We look forward to celebrating our 35th Anniversary all year long, and hope you’ll join us for the festivities.