Chef Bobby Flay’s New NYC Restaurant Gato is a Hit!

Image of an artichoke heart stuffed with a quail egg and sea urchin from Bobby Flay's new NYC restaurant

Bobby Flay's Gato feels a bit like the logical culmination of a career… though, knowing the Chef's talent and ambition, it seems more likely to be just another step in the journey, that began with the opening of Mesa Grill some 20 years ago through TV stardom and multiple franchises around the world, as well as the elegant Flatiron spot Bolo.

With both Mesa Grill and Bolo gone, for Chef Flay it's all about Gato right now, and if you peek into the kitchen you'll see the celebrity working the line. So far it's paying off handsomely: Gato is packed and exploding with energy every night, the reviews have so far been unanimous raves, and you have to think that Flay is having the time of his life. 

Off NYC's Gato menu is this chorizo crepinette with apricot and fennel

The All-Star Gato Menu

I stopped into Gato right as the place opened, and was lucky to grab one of the last remaining seats at the bar. The Gato menu has the by-now-expected "Bar Snacks" section, but in this case, ordering from up her is a must. Priced at three for $17, and with more than a dozen from which to choose, these two-bite pintxos pack a wallop. I had:

  • The Artichoke Heart with Quail Egg and Sea Urchin,
  • The Chorizo Crepinette with Apricot and Fennel,
  • And the Duck Liver with Red Grapes and Black Pepper.

All three were balanced, intense, and, despite their small size, satisfying. Plus they're beautifully composed, and it's just a fun way to start your meal. 

Lamb Sausage pizza topped with tomato jam, mozzarella, mint, and red chili oil

Entrees That Are Worth Every Penny

Gato is not an inexpensive restaurant–entrees start at $28 and run into the high 30s–so, in keeping with my bar stool perch, I got Bobby Flay's Pizza next, opting for the Lamb Sausage version, which is also topped with tomato jam, mozzarella, mint, and red chili oil for some extra kick. This was delicious, a wonderful mix of sweet and fiery, crispy and creamy, salty and sharp, and large enough to function as a main course, which, for $17, one would hope would be true. Even if the food wasn't this great, Gato would make for a terrific night on the town of a certain sort! It's one of those of-the-moment places in which everyone seems to be thrilled to be a part of the eating, drinking, and laughing (maybe a bit too loudly). Everyone was all very happy to be there.

Image of the interior of Bobby Flay's Gato restaurant and bar packed with customers

More Information: Bobby Flay's Gato

Gato is located on Lafayette Street between Houston and Bleecker Streets. Dinner starts at 5:30 every evening, and runs to 10:30 on Sunday through Thursday nights, and until 11:00 on Fridays and Saturdays. Reservations are required, though there are bar seats and few low "lounge" tables up front by the window for walk-ins. 

An image of Gato's seating area with tables and chairs and laterns hanging from the ceiling

Gato on Urbanspoon

Posted in Downtown, NYC Dining, Top Picks | Tagged

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