On the Occasion of Gotham Bar and Grill’s 30th Anniversary, A Few Thoughts About Alfred Portale
[Note: This is our monthly sister post to the Kitchen Time Machine series on Eater. Click over there to read my just-posted interview with Alfred Portale. – AF]
NEW YORK, NY — Alfred Portale once told me: “There are two ways to become great. One is to be born brilliant; the other is to work harder than everybody else.”
He paused for effect, then added: “I did it the second way.”
He has a point: The history of Gotham Bar and Grill, which celebrated its 30th Anniversary with a gala benefit Monday night, followed by a late-night industry party, is dotted with evidence of Alfred’s constant striving. (He became chef there one year into the restaurant’s lifespan.) In our Eater interview, we discuss how he and his partners have periodically shepherded their prized possession through several of what Alfred calls “restorations,” revamping everything from the restaurant’s logo to its color scheme and artwork to keep Gotham from developing a middle-aged frumpiness….