Small and share plates are all the rage in the contemporary culinary sphere, but as any hungry foodie can attest, you can never have too much of a good thing. Head chef Jesse Schenker, best known as the kitchen talent behind quaint West Village charmer Recette, comes to the aid of NYC’s rumbling tums, ditching petite tasting portions for pants-stretching appetizers and entrees at his newly-opened Flatiron bistro-bar, The Gander.
The inventive, modern American underpinnings of Recette are very much in evidence on the generous, crowd-pleasing menu, where simple, well-handled ingredients shine in hearty brunch and lunch offerings like shrimp n’ grits with smoked mushrooms and crackling. Come dinnertime, the classic/casual theme continues with dishes like clam spaghetti sprinkled with salty guanciale, and dry-aged sirloin with garlic jus. But food isn’t the only aspect of The Gander that’s been upsized: there’s no need to cram into the restaurant’s industrial interior, lit by lampshade chandeliers and offering spacious booth seating plus a front bar, where the merely peckish can graze on Schenker’s signature brisket tots and charcuterie. To pair, sommelier Rich Pitcher offers a robust selection of international drops and cocktails, while pastry chef Christine Lee sates sugar cravings with blissful bites like chocolate custard and egg cream, topped with toffee and malt nips. Go on, loosen that belt buckle!
15 W 18th St / +1 212 229 9500 / 11.30am-10.30pm Mon-Thu, 11.30am-11.30pm Fri-Sat, 11am-10pm Sun / thegandernyc.com