It seems that the Iron Chef has come out on top. Pete Wells published his review of Bobby Flay’s new restaurant Gato, and has given the restaurant the New York Times’ top honors: two stars and a critics’ pick. As he says in the introduction of his rave review, “Mr. Flay brushes flavor on his ingredients in thick impasto strokes….The cooking at Gato is many things, often all at the same time, but it is rarely shy.”
The cooking itself, as Wells and other reviewers have noted, is not only boisterous, but also done by Bobby Flay himself. As Wells notes, many celebrity chefs rarely cook or visit their many restaurants but Flay is in the kitchen, “not twirling cilantro sprigs at the pass but facing the burners, his back to the audience, like Miles Davis.”
The highlights at the Mediterranean-American restaurant, according to the review, include his small plates, like the burrata which, piled with beets and black olives, is “a dish with something to say.” Wells also raves about the rabbit in carrot-hot sauce, saying he’s “never seen a rabbit take to vegetables the way Gato’s juicy, braised rabbit leg does.”
For those worried about the atmosphere of the restaurant, Wells writes, “It looks like a set for a TV show about sexy young downtown vampires who unwind over blood sausages.”
Joanna Fantozzi is an Associate Editor with The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @JoannaFantozzi.