The New York Palace Hotel will shutter Gilt after service on December 15th, 2012, bringing its Michelin two-star run to an end.
With an exciting menu of contemporary cuisine, Gilt pays tribute to The Gilded Age of the late nineteenth century by boldly complementing the 1882 Villard Mansion's opulent walls and cathedral ceilings of the interior landmark rooms with a revolutionary design concept. The concept for Gilt’s 52-seat dining room aims to provide guests with a feeling of being simultaneously comforted by the future and inspired by the past. With gracious service overseen by restaurant director Christopher Day, guests’ needs are thoughtfully anticipated. Moreover, Gilt is formal without being stuffy, elegant without being pretentious, opulent without being excessive.
First off, the design for the bar has been conceived to exude a sense of intimacy and warmth within the sleek and ultramodern structure being built for the space. Gilt features a selection of wines by the glass that is among America’s most elaborate. With a stunning visual display of the great vintages of the world, Gilt’s commitment to wine is obvious. The wine list of Gilt serves to highlight an avant-garde, cross-cultural menu that is devoted to the principles of spontaneity and diversity.
The New American cuisine can be variously enjoyed via a three-course prix fixe menu, a five-course tasting menu or the lavish and sumptuous Grand Seven Course Tasting Menu. Moreover, Gilt's “menus within the menu” concept will make it possible for many dishes to change daily, while the American classics remain. Some suggestions: The three-course dinner is the perfect option for a night out on the town, a business meeting or a date. Diners choose a hot or cold first, and a second of fish or meat. Some exciting options might include a starter of Foie Gras Torchon with smoked bacon caramel or Three Cheese Risotto with Florida frog legs and lemon purée. For the second course, some devastatingly delicious options include Farm-Raised Sturgeon with smoked potato gnocchi, golden beets, Meyer lemon and caviar crème fraiche sauce or Aged Prime Beef Rib Eye with white asparagus, bone marrow stuffing, pea greens, and chimichurri sauce. The evening ends on a high note with dessert such as the deceptively simple Chocolate Tart, glossy chocolate hiding a bounty of salty caramel in the finest pastry shell.
For an extravagant, truly memorable culinary experience, the tasting menus offer an adventure that presents a series of small plates, ranging from tiny amuse bouches to delicate starter compositions, seasonal palate pleasers and refreshing intermezzos. The culinary adventure builds from cold to hot appetizers, light to hearty entrees, fish to meat. The flavors are rich, yet the preparations are superbly clean, leaving diners with a light feeling. For example, the first “official” course (but who’s counting?) might be Yellow Fin Tuna Tartare with kim chee, rice pearls (tapioca) prepared with the freshest, most delicate red tuna and a delicate but powerfully tasty scallion pancake, followed by a contemporary French Onion Soup in which meltingly tender, sweet caramelized onions float in a rich broth with Kobe beef, chanterelle mushrooms, topped with cheese foam croutons. From there, consider the ocean, reinforcing the restaurant's expertise with seafood in dishes such as Crispy Black Sea Bass with chorizo and red bliss potatoes in saffron mussel broth or the transformative Tuna “Wellington,” gorgeous bright red tuna topped with flat leaf spinach and porcini mushroom, wrapped in luscious, light pastry with delectable foie gras sauce and a perfect red wine reduction.
From the land, consider numerous possibilities such as “Haus-Made” Bratwurst with herb spaetzle with Belgian beer cheese sauce and tender, succulent Macadamia Nut Crusted Venison with salsify, cronses, kumquats and spiced chocolate venison jus and Australian Rack of Lamb with lamb shoulder ragout and Swiss chard, that takes leaps of inventiveness and a Mediterranean flair by pairing the luxurious lamb with golden raisin falafel and preserved lemon jus.
Executive Pastry Chef David Carmichael (Daniel, Le Bernardin, Oceana) takes the helm of the dessert kitchen at Gilt as an inventive artist with a predilection for powerful, pure, flavors. Carmichael, who was named as one of the nation’s top ten pastry chefs in 2004 by both Chocolatier Magazine and Pastry Art & Design Magazine, crafts modern reinterpretations of classic desserts, and concentrates on luxurious flavors and ingredients that suit the elegance and glamour of Gilt.
In addition to the main dining room, the bar seats 40 and the resplendent Madison Room features private dining for up to 100.