Rating: 4.9 out of 5 Forks
Have you ever walked into one of the great cathedrals of the world – like Notre Dame in Paris or St. Petersburg in Rome – and felt the magnitude of their beauty create an immediate sense of awe and respect? Well, I had a similar experience at Gotham Steakhouse & Bar recently.
After being greeted curbside and graciously escorted to the door, I walked down a dimly lit Art Deco corridor toward a golden mural faintly glowing from the light of two marble sconces. I immediately knew that I was entering an esteemed place of worship – of steak, of course.
The room is dark, rich and elegant and reminiscent of an opulent – and perhaps slightly nefarious – gathering place for the rich and well-to-do from an Ayn Rand novel. But once seated, our friendly and unpretentious server made me feel comfortable and at ease. Alas, there were no carnivorous secret rituals being conducted that evening (at least, as far as I knew).
As expected, the menu consisted primarily of classic steak and seafood items that adorn the menus of most steakhouses I have been to. But, this was not the time to experiment – I was in one of my rare purist moods.
We ordered jumbo prawns and oysters to start, followed by filet mignon (with a side of steamed broccoli) and steak & lobster. For dessert, a simple bowl of mixed berries. There is nowhere to hide with these types of dishes – if the execution is not perfect, and if the quality is sub-par, there are no creamy sauces or exotic sides to distract the palate.
And I was not disappointed. The prawns and oysters were fresh and sweet (though the oysters were a bit small and the cocktail sauce was your standard fare). The filet mignon was cooked to a perfect medium rare and the amount of seasoning was just right – enough to draw out the rich and juicy flavours of the meat, but not too much to overpower it. Even the broccoli was cooked perfectly, with a tender-to-the-tooth texture and buttery glaze. The bowl of berries (strawberries, blueberries and blackberries) was a lovely ending to the meal, with each berry being a perfectly hand-picked gem.
As you can imagine, this type of experience does not come cheap – over $300 for two of us. While the quality was top notch, and the overall ambiance and experience was stellar, I did feel the portion sizes were quite small. My filet mignon was supposed to be 8oz, but it seemed more like 6oz, and the same was true for my dining companion (10oz seemed more like 8oz).
So, would I go back? Well, if someone else was paying, I definitely would. But I would like to try a few other steakhouses first before making my way back to Gotham. Perhaps it’s like they say: once you’ve seen one cathedral, you’ve seen them all.
@flygyrll is a foodie who’s had the opportunity to travel to over 60 countries. Her passion for travel and food has afforded her a palate and appreciation for world cuisine. She now resides in Vancouver and is systematically working her way through the local food scene as an epicure and hobby blogger.