12 East 12th Street,
Phone: (212) 620-4020
Talk about a classic New York dish: The tuna tartare at Gotham Bar and Grill has been around since the late 80’s and it’s still going strong. (Eater recently featured it as one of it Untouchables.) Chef Alfred Portale dreamed up the dish while sitting at a sushi bar, which is why he uses sushi-grade yellowfin tuna (his purveyor is the same as the guy who use to deliver fish to his favorite sushi spot, the late Sushi Hatsu). Portale likes to build food vertically and his tower of tuna is visually captivating. He makes his tartare with finely diced tuna mixed with shallots, salt, pepper, and some fresh herbs. The tower itself rests on a bed of Japanese cucumbers and comes topped with three baguette spears and a tangle of frisee. It’s an architectural masterpiece that sits about six inches high. If you’ve never been to this New York institution, the tuna tartare is reason enough to visit, but while you’re there, their lineup of classic cocktails are worth a look as well.