Think of the Gato menu like a sandwich. The bar snack and entrée sections of the menu are the bread: good, but they can be tossed if necessary. The real meat is the appetizer section. This is where all the best dishes live.
For my main course I actually ordered a side of cauliflower and some of the “bar” portion of the menu. All of it was good, though the cauliflower was a bit over-sauced. The bar snacks come as 3 for $17 but do not be fooled – these are not really for sharing since they are each about the size of an amuse bouche. What I would do is order one of these threebies as your app and then an app or two as your entree. For my three, I tried the lamb tenderloin, the 12 layer potato, and the artichoke heart with quail egg and uni. I’ll let you guess which was the best (duh, it was the one with uni).
I also tasted the pork chop and halibut my fellow diners were eating. The halibut was steaky, which I actually really enjoy, and sitting in a pool of romesco-like sauce. I was a fan, but it’s not the super light, flaky fish some may be expecting. The pork chop was huge and had a nice char. It was sitting atop a rich bed of creamy polenta – Albert couldn’t even finish it. The entrées are large but also with a large price tag – the cheapest one is $28, another reason to go with the apps…
So what was so good about this appetizer section? The scrambled eggs. Ughhhhh this was the best item of the night and I want it more. Right now. They are the creamiest. Ever. They are scrambled with boucheron cheese and served with tomato confit toast. Another great app was the octopus which maaaay have been they most tender I’ve had. The poached egg on the white chicory salad mixed effortlessly with the apricot almond dressing – it sounds like a simple starter salad, but definitely one I would recommend. We also had the cremini mushroom pappardelle and oven roasted shrimp. Both were very good but beware, the shrimp are spicy.
If you’re a dessert fan, we all enjoyed the pistachio brown butter cake. The dark chocolate polenta cake not as much. I may be biased because I’m not a fan of fruit in non-fruit things, but the whole table agreed the orange flavor was much too heavy.
I would not say we made any mistakes. We did, however, take on the arduous task of eating through pretty much the entire menu, so take this post as a guideline for the best things to order.