Gato is a tough reservation to get if you want to eat at prime time, so I reserved far in advance and kept my fingers crossed that we would be able to make it. So it was that we arrived for our 8:45 reservation to be told they were running “a bit late”, with the usual suggestion that we have a drink at the bar, which we had no desire to do. We were finally seated at 9:10, after I made it clear that they should have a better handle on how long diners remain at tables and schedule reservations accordingly.
To their credit, they immediately brought out a platter of pita bread with 3 spreads for us to nibble while perusing the menu. The pita was obviously freshly baked and the spreads were excellent. We ordered beers and then chose the octopus, the pizza with lamb sausage, the rabbit and the halibut. All were delicious, with the octopus and rabbit being the standouts. For dessert we shared a cake topped with sliced peaches and blueberry ice cream, very good. They also gave us some really good biscotti and a glass of sherry. Our server was very conscientious, attentive but not intrusive, just right. Being seated directly opposite the bar, we did find the noise level high. In future I would try to be farther back.
Despite his fame, Bobby Flay clearly cares about his restaurants and takes pride in the food. Gato should be around for a long time.