Note: First Looks give previews of new dishes, drinks, and menus we're curious about. Since they are arranged photo shoots and interviews with restaurants, we do not make critical evaluations or recommendations.
Open since 1984, Gotham Bar and Grill is by now a true New York establishment. In that time the menu has continued to update and refresh, most recently with a limited time, 3-course chocolate dessert tasting menu created by pastry chef Ron Paprocki. ($30 with an additional $20 for wine pairings.)
Crafting dessert at Gotham since the summer of last year, Paprocki has assembled chocolate in every way he knows how, venturing from classic French design to whimsical, abstracted dishes. Progressing from white chocolate to dark, this trio celebrates this favorite ingredient, one course at a time.
Starting with "white," this modernist take features white chocolate ganache with cilantro candy, matcha fizz, compressed pineapple, and white rum. Refreshing and zesty, each bite melts away, but not without the sensation of various texture and flavor.
Next comes the milk chocolate, or "brown". A sturdy sable cookie holds two tiers of chocolate mousse and coffee ice cream, with chocolate and spun sugar twills balancing atop the tower. A smear of fudge and candied hazelnuts finishes this sculpture.
The final "dark" course returns to the more modern approach, though this time seasonal and deconstructed in its manner. Blood orange wedges and red sorrel are scattered through pillows of dark chocolate sorbet, black cocoa sable cookie chunks, and creme diplomat (a mix of pastry cream, whipped cream, and vanilla). While separate the ingredients are intense and concentrated, a composed bite is mixes textures in a smart way.
Click through the slideshow to see photos of all three of the courses at Gotham Bar and Grill.