Maze by Gordon Ramsay
151 West 54th Street
City: New York, NY
Phone: (212) 468-8889
Hours: Monday-Friday Lunch: 12.00noon - 3.00pm Dinner: 5.00pm - 11.00pm Saturday-Sunday Brunch: 11.00am - 3.00pm Dinner: 5.00pm - 11.00pm
Site: Visit the restaurant site
Chef: Markus Glocker
2nd Cuisine: French
Area: West 50s
Entree Price: $25-$40
My son is a huge Gordon Ramsay fan. I can't tell you how many times I found myself watching Hell's Kitchen or Kitchen Nightmares at my son's side. He is so impressed that he's considering becoming a chef at this young age (He is also addicted to Chopped on the Food Network). So, it was no surprise that on his eleventh birthday he requested dinner at Gordon Ramsay's restaurant at the London Hotel.
While I wanted to oblige, $185 dollar price tag per person for the "prestige" menu was simply out of reach. So we opted for a more affordable option, The Maze by Gordon Ramsay, also at the London Hotel. Here a five-course menu can be had for $70, even cheaper if you opt for a pre-theatre meal. So, I made my reservations and we headed out for our meal at Maze.
The Maze shares the same space as the London Bar located just off the hotel lobby. In the bar/lounge area you can order things like burgers and over-sized onion rings that looked quite delicious. Cocktails are a bit pricey - in the $17 range. The Maze, which sits right next door, is also casual but chic. No suits are needed but everyone appeared well dressed. The space itself is dimly lit with olive green banquettes and booths, and tables marked by a simple grid pattern. Candles in hand-blown glass holders shimmer giving the room a warm glow. It might be a little too adult for an eleven year old, but he was impressed, and I must say, so was I.
The food for all three restaurants is prepared in same kitchen and with the same amount of care. Here it is all about presentation Gordon Ramsay style. Our dinner began with a Jerusalem artichoke velouté, a sort of deconstructed artichoke soup made with braised short rib and ramped up with pickled Thai chili. Next up, a beet salad with caramelized sweet breads that is topped with micro greens. Perfectly-roasted scallops arrived with a golden raisin puree and cauliflower beignets. Mackerel, with its crispy skin, sits atop a bed of grilled romaine with shaved parmesan. For a main course, I thoroughly enjoyed the roasted duck breast, served rare, with braised brussel sprouts and drizzled with a fig and red wine reduction. My son opted for a dry aged strip steak served with roasted portobello, creamed spinach and a cube (actually a rectangle) made from potato slices. It was a meal fit for a king and in this case an 11-year-old being treated like one.
The big surprise came as we waited for dessert. A member of Gordon Ramsay's staff approached us, a lovely young woman who asked if we'd like a tour of the kitchen. I immediately said my son is a big fan at which point his shyness took over. But it wasn't too long before were found ourselves inside Gordon Ramsay's kitchen, a sprawling maze of stainless steel counters, plates and ovens that looked to be almost the size of a football field. There were four or five different stations. We snapped pictures with the chef who had just cooked our meal and got a look at the viewing table where you can dine while watching the kitchen staff in action. It is quite impressive and my son was in seventh heaven.
After the tour, we returned to our table for a sweet finish. I had ordered the carrot cake, which to my surpsise, I loved. I'm not a huge fan, but our waitress recommended it. The moist cake was covered with a thick layer of cream cheese frosting and the most delicious walnut praline ice cream I have ever tasted. My son went for the Valrhona chocolate fondant, which resembled a mini souffle. It was fresh from the oven with with a wonderful molten center and served with a scoop of almond ice cream.
All in all, a terrific end to a terrific night and one my son will most-likely never forget. I know I won't.
Review By: Thomas Rafael