One of the last restaurants I visited was Gilt at the Palace Hotel. Originally, the plan was to visit with a reader (and chef!) but our schedules never worked out because our work schedules were so different. I ended up visiting with my mom right before Christmas – the courtyard is already really beautiful and unexpected in New York City but with the addition of trees and lights, the entrance really was breathtaking:
The hotel is where Gossip Girl is filmed (I’ve only watched a handful of episodes from the first season but I’m pretty sure everyone knows that the Gilt kitchen is where Chuck Bass whips up a grilled cheese sandwich with truffle oil to lure Serena…or something like that). The entrance to the hotel had two additional trees and the overall decor was very festive:
The main dining room is through the Gilt bar, which was actually really packed for their daily happy hour but the main dining room was pretty empty for our 7:30 reservation. We started with a server bringing by a bread tray with lots of interesting selections:
The breads reminded me of Bouley’s bread selections – we had fig and walnut, butternut squash, and apple bread to start:
And then I went back for their brioche and baguette because I figured I might as well have sampled all of the breads that were being offered! They were all on the greasy side and weren’t as flavorful as they were nice to look at, but it was an interesting differentiator from all of the other Michelin restaurants I’ve visited this year.
To start, the amuse bouche was a tortellini with autumn vegetables:
For my first course, I ordered the Nantucket Bay Scallops with black truffles, grapefruit, and parsnip veloute:
And with the parsnip veloute:
I used to be a fan of cooked scallops but after experiencing scallop sashimi and one too many experiences with sandy scallops, I no longer get the same enjoyment from eating a warmed scallop. The parsnip sauce was velvety and very creamy and the dish was executed well, but I didn’t think it was a knockout dish.
My mom’s first course was the ruby red shrimp with nori, toasted sesame, turnip, and roasted shrimp jus:
For my main course, I went with a lighter choice – Tasmanian sea trout with Romano beans, cockles, flowering herbs, and green tomato vinaigrette:
And my mom ordered the dry-aged Niman Ranch strip loin with alliums, bone marrow, and hen of the woods:
The trout’s coloring was more orange than I’ve ever seen and looked really similar to salmon but the taste was much lighter and paired well with the light vinaigrette. My mom’s dish was cooked really well; medium rare but not too rare (a problem I’ve encountered with a lot of restaurants in the city) and very tender and juicy. The green bread was dehydrated parsley bread – an interesting experiment but way too hard to chew.
For a palate cleanser, the server brought some lychee sorbet:
For dessert, I ordered the tropical – mango, banana, and frozen pink peppercorn cappuccino foam:
And my mom ordered the chocolate souffle with chocolate cake and caramel custard:
The tropical dessert had interesting temperatures; the banana and mango ice cream/custard weren’t very cold but had a consistency like creamy ice cream. I didn’t taste much pink peppercorn (actually, none at all), but the kiwi and passion fruit custards were really delicious and tart with the sweet banana and mango custard.
My mom’s chocolate souffle was a little tough and by the time it arrived at the table, I felt like a crust had formed and the souffle lost it’s airiness.
Finally, the server brought by some chocolates:
The meal at Gilt was satisfactory and my mom enjoyed herself but I thought it was definitely not two-star worthy and I also thought it was a tad stuffy just in general. While I thought the meal was adequate, I definitely think GIlt belongs in the one star category.