Gotham Bar and Grill
In 1985, Portale took the reins at the young Greenwich Village restaurant. His idea was to bring fine dining downtown, both in terms of cuisine and style. Portale wanted to create a restaurant that emulated the standards of the 3-Star Michelin restaurants from his time in France with Jacques Maximin and the Troisgros brothers. At Gotham, Portale developed a seasonal menu with an American sensibility: relaxed elegance, prime product and bold flavors.
Portale's dedication to sourcing quality ingredients from small farms and specialty purveyors placed him among those chefs who are identified as the leaders of the movement known as New American Cuisine. This movement, now emulated across the country, marked a return to the simple pleasures of quality ingredients fused with French technique and international influence.
Within three months Gotham received its first 3-Star New York Times review and Portale's reputation was established. At Gotham for 29 years now, Portale has continued to transform haute cuisine, making it vibrant, contemporary and relaxed. Today, he has earned a total of five three-star reviews from The New York Times; the James Beard Foundation Award for Outstanding Restaurant in 2002; and the James Beard Foundation Award for Outstanding Chef in 2006.
Portale's dedication to Gotham and its impact on American dining is revealed in the restaurant's kitchen, which has seen its share of many of today's culinary stars including the likes of Tom Valente, David Walzog, Bill Telepan, Wylie Dufresne and even a brief stint with Top Chef's Tom Colicchio.
In 2004 Portale, along with restaurateur Stephen Star, reimagined the Philadelphia restaurant Striped Bass. Portale and his Chef de Cuisine Christopher Lee garnered national attention for their efforts. Lee went on to win the James Beard Award for "Rising Star Chef” in 2005 and went on to be the celebrated chef at the restaurant Gilt in the New York Palace Hotel and Executive Chef for the opening of Charlie Palmer's Aureole Restaurant.
In 2008 Portale opened Gotham Steak at the Fontainebleau Resort in Miami Beach. This interpretation of the American Steakhouse was awarded Best Steakhoue by Miami News and Best New Restaurant. Gotham Steak is a continuation of Portale's commitment to ingredients with a menu featuring select meats representing some of the finest farms in America. The menu features many classic steakhouse fares albeit with Portale's flare for bold and layered flavors.
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