This month, Gotham Restaurant (formerly Gotham Bar and Grill) began welcoming guests for Saturday lunch and Sunday brunch for the first time since reopening in November 2021.
This elegant dining spot, a perennial New York City favorite, closed its doors during the throes of the pandemic in March 2020, with an uncertain future at best.
But the iconic dining room—a West Village dining spot for 36 years—has made an amazing revival with a name change, new ownership, updated menu, and reimagined space.
Neo Gotham Kitchen
Executive Chef Ron Paprocki (former pastry chef at Gotham Bar & Grill) now runs the kitchen.
“Everything on the menu at this Gotham restaurant is original other than the Ron Apple Tarte Tatin, which we feature every fall and winter,” Brett Csencsitz (co-owner of the new restaurant, along with environmentalist Kevin Conrad) says in an interview.
Notably, both Csencsitz and Paprocki are part of Gotham’s original DNA. Csencsitz has been a member of the original team since 2007 and a managing partner. He previously worked with Chef Daniel Boulud at Daniel Restaurant & Café Boulud.
The new menu emphasizes fresh, high-quality, sustainable ingredients that vary with the season. The dishes are not only delicious but also artistically plated.
“We focus on vegetables and seafood in the spring and move on to heartier dishes, like steak or lamb, in the fall and winter,” says Csencsitz.
“Some of our specials remind us of old favourites,” he adds. “For example, we have a long-standing relationship with Niman Ranch and often feature dry-aged steaks. Gotham’s famous flourless chocolate cake also appears from time to time as a dessert option.”
A guest favorite on the summer menu is the classic panzanella salad prepared with heirloom tomatoes from Hermans Farms in upstate New York, a fusion of fresh flavors and textures.
Fresh decor in a Gotham restaurant
With high ceilings and plentiful lighting, the multi-level dining room and bar at 12 E. 12th Street always feels private and spacious.
However, over the years, the space is starting to look a bit tired and outdated. So the new owners set out to give the room a contemporary feel to make it feel fresh and relaxing.
James Biber of Biber Architects, the same architect who worked on the original Gotham design, was called in to oversee the redesign.
In a delightful poem posted online titled Hello Gotham (Goodbye Bar & Grill)), Bieber writes:
“If someone is going (…) to Gotham, it really has to be me.
I can “preserve” and protect the basic design and come up with some new interpretations in line with the original intent.
… It had to feel as good as people’s memory of Gotham, and it had to look as if it had just been redesigned, cut a little differently from the same cloth.
Bieber achieved this goal without spoiling it. Gotham Restaurant looks fresh yet feels familiar and conveys the same mix of sophistication and New York moxibustion as its predecessor.
One of the more visible changes: The memorable, plump, fabric-covered chandeliers (dubbed “clouds of light”) that lowered the ceiling have been replaced by more modern, massive (20-foot-tall) pieces of fabric “sails” created by David Weeks of Studio Lighting. David Weeks.
Upon entering the restaurant, guests enter a new lobby area. Book lovers will enjoy sitting in the welcoming nook with book-lined shelves. Long banqueting seats have been replaced by more attractive custom sofas. Freshly painted walls are lined with a vibrant modern art collection.
The bar – dressed in a new stone countertop – remains a favorite casual dining spot for many regulars and first-timers. It might be the creation of craft cocktails, like the Black Forest Martini (made with Great Jones Bourbon from the city’s newest distillery) or the Flipside (made with Casa del Sol tequila and Chareau Aloe Liqueur, or the charismatic personality of bartender/mixologist Billy Steele, who keeps them glued with bar stools.
“Buzzing” with hospitality
Csencsitz has poured his heart and soul into Gotham Restaurant, breathing a second life into this esteemed establishment. His wife, Cassandra, was at his side, helping with decision-making, marketing, and whatever else needed to be done.
Many New York City restaurants experienced massive employee turnover as a result of the pandemic, and with their closures so did Gotham. But Csencsitz’s vision, management and people skills have enabled him to rebuild and train a committed team that maintains the same flawless standards that diners expect.
Summer at Gotham Restaurant
During Labor Day, Gotham Restaurant will be introducing its new weekend menus.
“By launching weekend brunch and brunch, our goal is to honor New Yorkers who stay in the city on the weekends as well as tourists returning to New York City,” Csencsitz wrote in a press release announcing the new menus.
In addition, Gotham Restaurant You will participate in the extended New York City Restaurant WeekWhich takes place this year from July 24 to August 20, 2023. The week. The restaurant will serve three-course lunches at $45 and three-course dinners at $60.
See listings on Gotham Restaurant website And make reservations about The table is open.
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