I met up with a chef friend in the City for a day. He was looking to revisit restaurants that he frequented with his parents. Unfortunately we were zero for two and we ended up at Il Gattopardo on West 54th Street between 5th and 6th. We stopped in front of the townhouse, impressed by its architecture and the fact that a restaurant is inside. This is one of The Rockefeller Townhouses designed by “architect Henry Hardenbergh (Dakota Building and Plaza Hotel), on the so-called ‘Millionaire’s Row’ in the heart of Midtown Manhattan.” “The buildings were designed in the Beaux Arts Renaissance style.”
Perhaps it was the location. We had a weird experience at Il Gattopardo. With its exterior and prestigious address, we assumed the food would be decent and the interior would match the outside. We were wrong. Once we walked in, we were transformed to the 80s, where the color brown and an out-of-date approach dominated the decor.
Brown wicker dinning chairs for a “loyal upscale New Yorker clientele,” per Il Gattpardo. These maybe more appropriate for their atrium.
Chef’s compliments. The round ones had cheese and the other ones had spinach inside. We were not impressed. They were at best, ok. Special: Campanelle with a rabbit ragout. This was the best dish for the meal. The pasta was fresh and cooked perfectly. The rabbit ragout was a tad salty but fine.
Spaghetti alla “Carbonara”, with egg yolk, pecorino cheese and black-pepper corn. This was horrible. The spaghetti was too al dente , bordering on being uncooked. The entire dish was way salty; I think it was salted at least twice. These are rookie mistakes. This was my friend’s dish. Being a chef, the last thing he would ever do was sending back a dish and he considered it very seriously. For $22 a plate, this hurt even more.
Do not recommend this restaurant. Not worth the money.
This experience took place at
13-15 W 54th St
New York, NY 10019
212 246 0412
P.S. Their website is also terrible with unnecessary cooking noises as the audio. The user experience is sub par with confusing navigation functions.