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The Boka group's River North restaurant and oyster bar; chef Giuseppe Tentori is the "GT" in question.

Our Review

A smart abstraction of the panregional seafood shack, GT is candlelit and carefully appointed with wood paneling hung with shark's teeth and framed oil paintings of tall ships in distress, and though it's perpetually mobbed by a spirited crowd taking its time at having a good time, there's plenty of room to breathe. The complex, even challenging dishes familiar to fans of Giuseppe Tentori (Charlie Trotter's, Boka) are balanced by smart updates of domestic and international classics, ranging from clam chowder and crab cakes to squid paella and miso-glazed cod. He doesn't mess so much with the most hallowed of these—a modestly sized lobster roll, which abounds with sweet chunks of shellfish in a buttery roll next to buttermilk-battered frazzled onion, nested like a disassembled Awesome Blossom. Even unadorned sea creatures are accompanied by careful accents: terrifically fresh and skillfully shucked raw oysters come with cocktail sauce emulsified with sweet apple; steamed Alaskan crab legs are perfumed with lemongrass, oranges, and lemons. For the most part the more ambitious dishes are every bit as appealing as the simpler ones. And you have to admire the sheer cojones of putting out something as visually challenging as the pitch-black squid-ink gnocchi and fiddlehead ferns, a primordial-looking bowl of pasta and greenery I'd throw down in front of anyone with even the slightest taste for confrontation. Read the full review >>

Mike Sula

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Price: $$$
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