Gato has been on my “must visit” list for farrrrr too long. Last week I finally made it there for the first time, and I’m kind of sort of kicking myself for waiting so long. Gato is a Bobby Flay restaurant with a Mediterranean theme.
Upon walking in I loved the atmosphere of Gato. It had that dark and trendy vibe going that so many NYC restaurants have. I’m a total sucker for it. The bar area was near the front and seemed like a destination on its own (definitely a great date and/or happy hour spot).
We started with some of the bar bites, which you order in 3. We went with the Burrata, Yellowtail, and Eleven Layer Potato. They were all delicious. The Burrata was my favorite. I wouldn’t recommend sharing these starters if you have more than 3 people (or order a ton more) because they were about 3 bites each.
Next we had the Roasted Octopus and Scrambled Eggs.
I’m personally not the world’s biggest fan of octopus, but my friend swore that it was her favorite in the city, so I gave it a try. I was actually pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it. It was tender and flavorful – not at all chewy.
The Scrambled Eggs were another pleasant surprise. Obviously you don’t normally see eggs on a dinner menu, but it totally worked. They were incredibly savory and and soft – perfect to spread on the crunchy bread served alongside.
Next we got the famous Kale and Wild Mushroom Paella with crispy artichokes and egg. This was the dish I had seen all over social media beforehand. It arrived straight out of the kitchen looking like this before our server gave it a nice tossing.
I’m a sucker for a good vegetarian dish, so I definitely loved this. It was incredibly flavorful, and I especially loved the crispy artichokes.
We also got an (un-pictured) side of cauliflower, which was actually one of the best side dishes I’ve ever had. I was a bit confused because I thought it had a very distinct Asian flavor (which didn’t exactly fit the Mediterranean theme), but it actually turned out to be one of my favorite parts of the meal.
And, of course, we had to do dessert. We went with the Chocolate Polenta Cake with Caramel Crema and Hazelnut Brittle (brittle on the side for my gluten free friend).
I’m not usually one to go for a chocolate dessert…well, until now. This was one of the best chocolate desserts I’ve had – it was rich, creamy, and had a distinctly different texture from the polenta base.
Gato: 324 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10012
Great for: dinner, drinks, date spot, groups