Gato Rating: 8.0
Gato is the new Bobby Flay restaurant in NoHo which claims to have a Mediterranean/Spanish vibe going on. I mean, having studied abroad in Spain, we can actually say in our extremely worldly and not at all obnoxious way that there was really nothing really “Spanish” about it except the name and maybe the floor tiles. That aside, we loved Gato.
So many times you go to a trendy restaurant that foodies rave about, but the menu only has like 1 or 2 items that you’d even consider eating. Gato was the total opposite. It has a large menu and was one of those meals that’s really delicious as you’re having it but it doesn’t hit you how seriously quality it was until you’re on the way home talking about the meal with nothing less than a shit that was fresh.
We were big fans of the decor, but not of the comfort level of the chairs or the shitty instagram lighting. The restaurant was not full despite being difficult to get a reservation less than a month in advance on Open Table. We recommend calling for a reservation or just walking in.
Is the bread worth the carbs? Nah.
What celebrity would you see there? Jerry Seinfeld, anyone from the Food Network, Bobby Flay
Instagram friendly? No, it's super dark with some spot lights. The food is well presented but when you take a picture of it you're like, wait that's what we just ate??
Shoe Situation: You can definitely wear heels here, but you don't have to.
Good for: Date night, dinner with parents, dinner with the besties, discussing which food competition show you like upon Bobby Flay sighting, speaking terrible Spanish
Kind of an older professional crew. Younger hot bros at the bar, Bobby Flay’s friends and family in the dining area. It’s a good date spot and a good place to eat at the bar.
Wasn’t memorable. There was one creepyish waiter who would kind of peer over at our table in an obvious manner, and when we asked the waiter his favorite dish he basically named the whole menu.
Eggplant with manchego, oregano, and balsamic – Best bar appetizer we tried. Extremely flavorful and the cheese does not overwhelm.
Artichoke heart with quail egg and sea urchin – Not good as it sounds. We love anything uni but don't let this dish description tempt you because it was worst thing we had.
Eleven-layer potato with caramelized shallots and fried sage – Ordered this to see how they were going to fit eleven layers into a tiny little appetizer. It wasn’t bad, but just maybe like too cheesy and that immediately reminded us of that episode of Strange Addiction when that girl would only eat cheesy potatoes and cried when she saw a vegetable. So maybe she would love this appetizer, we on the other hand would have skipped.
Octopus with tangerine, bacon, oregano – Amazing appetizer and prepared perfectly. Not too chewy and the glaze was unreal. Looked slightly frightening but we got over it. Get this.
Scrambled eggs with tomato confit toast – A really solid dish, and the cheese somewhat masked the eggs, but in a good way. The tomato confit toast was a chic Americanized version of a classic Spanish breakfast tostada.
Charred carrots – These were cooked phallic whole carrots prepared in a vanilla yogurt sauce that loved so much we smothered it in our other dishes. Like classy foodies.
Roasted cauliflower – Really flavorful. This dish caused like a really serious discussion at the table over whether cauliflower is trending or not. #firstworldproblems
Kale and Wild Mushroom Paella – One of the actual Spanish dishes. They even had Hispanic bus boys do an interactive tableside scraping performance. Mucho authentic. We debated not ordering this because, carbs, but got it anyway and turned out to be our favorite dish probably because, carbs. We liked that it was vegetarian and the use of kale instead of having like, fish claws sticking out of it. Two words: crispy risotto.
Orata – The waiter recommended this over the halibut so we actually got two orders of the orata because we all wanted it, and the orders were cooked differently which was odd. That said, they were both cooked well but one was slightly better than the other. Mildly underwhelming, I'd stick to the paella and the treadmill tomorrow.
Gluten Free Options
Gato says they'll modify almost everything to be gluten free, but some GF entrees include: the chicken, halibut sans pasta, kale and mushroom paella, charred beef (without the side), pork chops (without the side), & orata.
Tarte Tatin – We wouldn’t recommend this dessert necessarily, not because it was bad, but because the house-made gelato was the best part, so you should probably just order that instead sans pastry. Everyone was also given a round of complimentary sherry which wouldn't be our first choice digestif, but we didn't turn them away. That's wasteful and giving away alcohol is an alarmingly loud signal you're becoming a nicegirl.
324 Lafayette St,
New York, NY 10012
Phone: (212) 334-6400