Gemma: Bowery’s Best Italian

Gemma at the Bowery Hotel

335 Bowery

New York NY, 10003

http://www.theboweryhotel.com/dining.php

While contemplating what to do with our Saturday nights, a few of my friends and I decided to grab dinner at Gemma at the Bowery Hotel. It was about 8:45 pm, and the restaurant was very packed, so we decided to sit outside to avoid a half hour wait.

When I walked into the restaurant, it felt as though I was entering a cozy Italian cabin (as if those actually exist). But you know what I mean. The white brick walls and wooden ceilings give the room a vintage vibe, while the walkways are rounded at the top giving some Italian flare. The large wooden chandeliers also add to the rustic atmosphere.

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I was only inside for about a minute when the hostess took us to our outdoor table. It was a bit chilly, but we thought it was worth it (questionable decision considering we were pretty chilly the whole time, so bring a jacket). Anyways, we got our menus, and soon realized that there was not a bottle selection on the menu. Because we so desperately wanted some Pinot Noir, we then asked the waiter for the cheapest bottle, which was $45, but it was also very delicious and went down so smoothly. The wine tasted crisp and it was perfect for an outdoor meal in the beginning of autumn.

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After our wine came, we ordered our appetizers and entrées. We were also brought large crackers with a hint of olive oil, basil and salt. I skipped an appetizer went right for an entrée: the Burrata Pizza without the olives (I’ve just never been an olive person). My friend got the appetizer special: Mozzarella with Prosciutto served on top of Artichoke Hearts and for her entrée, she got the “Bistecca” (its NY strip steak) with sautéed spinach. My other friend got the Buratta and Prosciutto for her appetizer, but unfortunately I did not get to taste her meal or get a photo.

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About fifteen minutes later, my friend’s appetizer special came to the table. I couldn’t get a good look because it was pretty dark outside, but when I asked her how it was she said it was a bit dry and requested to have some balsamic vinaigrette come to the table to give it some more “mmph.”

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About a glass and a half of wine in, our entrées came. My pizza was a lot bigger than I had imagined, but it was surprisingly not as filling as it looked. To be honest, I did not know what to expect when I ordered the pizza because I had no idea how a burrata pizza could work. But this pizza was phenomenal. When I looked at my pizza, I noticed the extremely thin crust and the hints of grease on top of the cheese. I took a bite, and the crust was not mushy, but it was not hard. It melted in my mouth and each bite felt light and invigorating. The burrata was a lot lighter than traditional mozzarella and the tomatoes were sweet and squishy on top of the basil and herb covered cheese. The basil also had a very prominent flavor and complimented the pizza perfectly. I would definitely recommend this dish for anyone in the mood for a nice, light pizza.

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I tried my friend’s steak and it was also delicious as well. She ordered hers medium well, which is not usually recommended because it can take away from the flavor. However, her steak did not lose a hint of flavor and was actually very tender for being done medium well. It did not taste dry like a lot of other medium well steaks tend to. The steak was also a good size, not too big, not too small and she was able to finish it without feeling filled to the brim.

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My other friend got the burrata and prosciutto, but like I said, I was not able to taste it or take a picture. But the good news is that she ate it all without a complaint in the world, so that says something.

Over all, Gemma was a nice, trendy restaurant in a prime location if you want to go to bars after (its near King’s Cross and Phebe’s). The down side was the pricy wine ($45 being the cheapest Pinot Noir) and the pretty pricy entrées. It’s more of a “grab a drink and appetizer” place for college students. But hey, it’s a nice treat to have if you have the time and money! Also, the mozzarella appetizer special was not very good, but there are obviously other options to pick and choose from. 3.5/5 stars!

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