It was part of an extended birthday celebration that we made our way to Gordon Ramsay at The London, and it just so happened to be perfectly timed with the week the Michelin list came out maintaining the restaurant’s two-star rating. Not that I follow ratings closely, I actually prefer the little known places that will never have enough pull to get written up in the NYT. But our friend made the executive decision and we followed her initiative. My default answer to many things is “No,” but an offer of food is never one of them.
Any excuse is good enough to eat well. Why not go through an actual list to either praise or debunk each one?
The 45-seater dining room is tucked behind frosted glass doors which separate it from the more casual Maze bar and restaurant outside. GR’s formal dining room is cozy and romantic, but could use a good window or two to make it less stuffy inside. I was too intimidated to use my camera flash so you have to excuse the dark photos.
We opted for the tasting menu (called Menu Prestige) on that evening to celebrate over a course of a few hours. Before selections were made we were served an amuse bouche of a warm celery soup shot to start our palates right.
The dishes at GR were creative and imaginative, a little shy of the creations of Blue Hill at Stone Barns but in a less relaxed way. I like attentive service and one’s needs anticipated before they’re even spoken. Even more than that, I like nodding at a meal and expressing my pleasure in a series of letter Ms. Mmmmmmm….
The combination of sturgeon over crispy wild rice gave the fish an added depth, and this tradition was consistent in most of the other courses such as the lamb with braised artichokes cut with a Meyer lemon roasted almonds and a vinaigrette.
After the rich main courses our tongues definitely had to be stripped off the savory flavors and the first dessert had enough citrus and herbs to do just that. Basil cake? That was only topped by the basil ice cream of the main dessert, teasing you with an Asian combination of coconut and some chocolate thrown in there just for fun.
And in case you wanted to linger after dessert and have some coffee or tea, a roaming candy cart stocked with jellies, cookies, brittles, macarons and candy made its way to our table pushed by a gentleman who was surprised we chose so many of his offerings.
And why the hell not?
We finally got up from our meal with happy bellies, having experienced a good meal with great service (our server was so attentive that she noticed I looked cold and got me a nice pashmina to warm up).
Will we be back? Probably not very soon, as there are so many other restaurants to try. Plus there are some things that you might want to just leave well enough alone.
Gordon Ramsay at The London
151 W 54th St
(between 7th Ave & Avenue Of The Americas)
New York, NY 10019