Walking into Gilt’s dining room, I could not help but stand back and admire the room. A relatively smaller dining room with dim lighting gives diners a feeling of intimacy. However, high ceilings and elegant decor make it seem almost extravagant. Gilt offers both an la carte menu and tastings. On this particular night, we opted for the regular five course tasting. Service was excellent throughout the meal. Our waiter was very attentive to all our needs, but still kept his distance and did not give us a feeling of being nosy or unwanted. The bread selection was nice, but our favorite was an atypical chewy pretzel bread.
To start off our meal, we had an amuse bouche of elderflower and cucumber juice. It was a bit fizzy with a dash of salt that emphasized the taste of the cucumber even more.
Our first course was a lubina fish tartare from Veta La Palma with green strawberries, miner’s lettuce, and fennel juice. The tartare was really tasty, both in texture and flavor. It added a salty taste to the dish while complementing the semi-sweet and refreshing strawberries. The fennel juice added a good earthy balance of flavor to an overall good dish to start off our meal.
The second course was Scottish langoustines with Ibèrico ham, saffron, and cauliflower crème. The langoustines were somewhat over salted and took away from the other components of the dish. Besides that, the quail egg was cooked nicely.
Next, we had wild Alaskan king salmon with cherry blossom, white asparagus, black olive, and salmon roe for our third course. The seared salmon was good, but not memorable. The white asparagus added a nice bit of texture to go with the fish while the black olive sauce was a bit overpowering.
Niman Ranch beef was our fourth course, alongside charred cucumber, heirloom carrot, and peanut. The ribeye steak was cooked a beautiful medium rare with a nice char on the outside. The picked cucumber also had a nice char on it which provided a smokey taste to the dish that went well with the sweet carrots. Unfortunately, the steamed bun on the side didn’t quite fit as it had a totally different flavor profile.
For my fifth course, I had steamed chocolate cake and black forest Bavarian. Good tart flavor from the cherries paired nicely with the creamy dark chocolate.
My friend had a delicious strawberry rhubarb with lots of flavor and different textures. It was not overly sweet and was the perfect end to our meal.
I can see why Gilt holds two Michelin stars against its name. Exception service, well thought out and delicious food, all with beautiful presentation make this a special restaurant. It’s not everyday that you get to dine at a two Michelin-starred restaurant; and even with my expectations, I was not disappointed.