Gotham Bar and Grill

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87 Very Good

The raucous ‘80s-style grand café has mellowed into a trusted Alfred Portale–helmed classic.

12 E. 12th St., New York, NY, 10003


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Known For

The lowdown

While other venerable dining establishments around the city indulge in elaborate makeovers, open random outlets in places like Vegas and Dubai, and then, sadly, close up altogether, Alfred Portale’s influential downtown restaurant sails serenely on. Portale has pioneered all sorts of trends during the course of his long, storied career, including tuna tartare, green-market dining, his signature “vertical” cuisine. But the key to success here has been a kind of comforting, old-fashioned stability, from the pots of mixed nuts that are set up every evening on the iconic, marble bar, to the beige, resolutely ‘80s décor of the vaulted dining room, to Portale himself, who still visits the market most mornings with his cooks in tow dressed in their kitchen whites, and who, after all these years, continues to relentlessly hone his craft in the kitchen.

Adam Platt

What you need to know

DrinksFull Bar

Noise LevelCivilized