5 Things We Know About the New Bobby Flay RestaurantBy Billy Lyons | January 15, 2014 By Billy Lyons | January 15, 2014
Bobby Flay's recent interview with The New York Times about his forthcoming restaurant revealed lots of fascinating details about his long-awaited new addition to the Manhattan dining scene - and why we're glad to see the famed food star trade in the bright lights of a TV studio for those of the kitchen.
1. The restaurant takes its name after a random cat
Whether or not fate was responsible for having an orange cat cross paths with Flay will be left up to our imagination. However, the encounter clearly had an impact on the ginger-haired chef, who decided to name his restaurant Gato after the Spanish word for cat. Though early reports suggested that Flay would revive the name of his shuttered Spanish restaurant Bolo - it was the working title of the place when seeking a liquor license - it appears he opted to start fresh.
2. Mediterranean cuisine (not just Spain) is the focus
We know Flay gained fame by concentrating on Spanish cuisine at Bolo. However, his new endeavor resembles a ten day cruise on the high seas, focusing on Greek, North African, French, and Italian delicacies. Olive oils, anchovies, and tomatoes are a few of the ingredients you'll find throughout the menu, encompassing a wider reach of cultures than what was first initially thought.
3. The restaurant will serve scrambled eggs
Though the menu has not been finalized, one dish that is a lock to appear is Flay's take on a scrambled egg dish he had while visiting Barcelona. The chef plans to offer a version with Meyer lemon and artichokes during lunch or dinner, a tribute to what he claimed "were the most perfectly scrambled eggs" he'd ever had.
4. It's going to be huge
Cast iron columns and 22-foot ceilings create the backdrop for the 147-seat dining room located at 324 Lafayette Street in NoHo. The venue previously housed a non-profit group, but is being reworked by architect David Rockwell to preserve several original features as well as make the space more conducive to a fine dining establishment.
5. It's kind of a big deal
Though Flay has his hands full with his growing Bobby's Burger Palace franchise, not to mention TV shows, this isn't something the famed Iron Chef is taking lightly. How important is his new restaurant? He told The New York Times that Gato was "the most important thing I've done in a decade - period." No disrespect to the countless contestants he's upended, but we're inclined to agree, particularly given the Big Apple's high expectations that go along with a famous chef. At least one hurdle has been cleared: the restaurant already has approval to serve liquor, so if you can win over a community board on the first go around, there's a good shot your place must be pretty appealing.