Friday, April 2, 2010

Gilt Bar - The Meal

The food served at Gilt Bar is some of the tastiest in town. Everything is made fresh in house (including pasta and ice cream) with no detail too small in their strive for the best taste (playing around with frying temperatures and prep days). The detail is also found in the decor and vibe, with country music playing, low light levels on the fixtures with no cover to compliment the dark wood and leather couches. It brings you back to a time when the drinks were as important as the food, and the size of the flavors were not directly related to the size of the price. I was fortunate to dine with three lovely ladies (my sister Alyssa, girlfriend Erica and great friend Michelle), and that we all wanted to explore the Gilt Bar menu. The menu is very approachable and affordable. Small plates and pastas are $12 or less, main dishes under $20 and all cocktails $10. The micro-brew beer list is a nice compliment (or grab a Hoffman, aka goblet, of PBR for $2) and the wine list is unpretentious (try $4 house wine). Everything we ordered, from the cocktails, small plates, pasta dish to the dessert was delicious. The main concept is to present simple food simply and with the best flavors possible. I think Sodikoff achieved this aim with flying colors and great value; it is only a matter of time before the rest of the city finds out.
photo credit: stevenjohnsonphotography
I started the evening with a cocktail. These days I'm ordering whiskey so I went with a classic sazerac. I'm not a cocktail aficionado, but I know when things drink and taste good; this was delicious. Our first course arrived quickly: shaved root vegetable salad and gioia burrata with olive oil. Burrata (think mozzarella with a creamier middle) was new to me, but if Gilt's version is an indication, I know I will order it again. The cheese was milky soft and melt in your mouth good on top of the salted toast. Shaved raw vegetables are not normally exciting, but the thin cut and champagne vinaigrette combination is a delicious and refreshing start to a meal.

The next items were the unquestionable favorites: crispy kennebec frities, blackened cauliflower with red onions and the caramelized sweet diver scallop pasta. Simply put, the fries, served with garlic aioli, were incredible. Sodikoff says they are one his favorite items on the menu and I can see why. Fresh potatoes, crispy texture and salt all combine for a taste that you can't stop eating no matter what you doctor says. The cauliflower was full of flavor and texture, another example of simple ingredients done very well. The pasta was equally impressive. Nothing too fancy, but again, executed well. You can taste the freshness and richness of the homemade noodles, and not overpowered by the light creamy sauce. The diver scallops were cooked to perfection and fit with the dish.


Everything on the dessert menu is made in house (except the licorice) and features multiple ice cream flavors, candies and other items I'm forgetting. Apparently we all had a sweet tooth that night because we ordered two glasses of ice cream (mint chip and vanilla), caramel popcorn, and the red New Zealand licorice. I ordered the mint chip ice cream and did not share well. Why does everything taste better when people vs. machines make food? Erica loved the vanilla ice cream, my few bites were filled with fresh vanilla bean and rich cream flavors. As with these, I'm sure the other desserts are all worth the extra minutes on the treadmill the following day.

 I want to return (with more friends) and try the larger course dishes. If they can make first rate fries and raw vegetables, I can only imagine how good the hand cut pork meatballs are. In the meantime, Gilt Bar serves a clientele looking for great tasting simple food at affordable prices. Combine that with a first rate cocktail and beer list  and I see a place I will visit often.

Gilt Bar on Urbanspoon

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...