Gotham Steakhouse is known as the gold standard when it comes to a traditional steakhouse experience in the City of Vancouver. Step inside and you are greeted by lush, heavy velvet curtains framing the picturesque patio, double-height ceilings soaring high above your head, and real mahogany walls still shining with lustre.
It’s as if you have traveled to another era inviting you to slow-down and enjoy the lustrous dining environment.
Large art deco paintings decorate the spacious walls, celebrating the historic building that dates back to the 1930s. The building was once a bookstore, then a home economics school before it was purchased by the current owner in 1996. On March 25th, Gotham Steakhouse will celebrate two decades in business, a rare feat in Vancouver’s restaurant industry.
Throughout the twenty years, consumer tastes have changed and patrons have become ever more educated with the increased access to and curiosity towards culinary information, techniques and standards. Gotham has evolved with the times while staying true to their commitment to serve the highest quality, never-frozen meat. Now, patrons will discover a healthy selection of seafood items and lighter additions such as the tuna poke and burrata salad.
Most people see Gotham as a traditional steakhouse, and would be pleasantly surprised to see these items on the menu, and the team serves these options with heart and dedication, choosing only the best ingredients. The tuna used in the tuna poke is sashimi-grade tuna, seasoned with macadamia nuts and Maui onions and mixed with sesame-soy honey dressing.
The tomatoes, beets and burrata salad is also a delicious alternative, made with local greenhouse tomatoes that are densely packed with flavourful juices, perfect to mesh with the creaminess of the burrata. The baby beets add sweetness to the dish to complement the tanginess of the tomatoes and balsamic dressing. This is a hidden gem available on the lunch menu we recommend for those who love cheese.
For those who lean towards flavourful options, the bone marrow packs a punch. Served with classic gremolata, fleur de sel and toasted baguette, you will ask for a refill on the baguettes with the aim to soak up every last drop of the delicious oils.
If you choose to start your meal with a few appetizers, the thought of having an entire steak to yourself may be a bit daunting, which is why you will appreciate the changes in Gotham Steakhouse’s steak program. Whereas some may perceive steakhouses as a place where people visit to devour sizeable steaks individually, you are encouraged to share the steaks. It gives everyone at the table to try different cuts and gives the table an opportunity to interact over the course of the meal.
While you may think there is little reason to converse over steak dinner, as everyone is having the same ingredient - meat - then you have much to learn about the art of consuming steak. When Gotham says it serves only prime-grade steak, it is not referring to a ‘prime rib’, which is defining a cut of beef and not the grade quality. Prime quality beef is rated based on factors including colour consistency and marbling, and Gotham Steakhouse is Canada’s largest consumer of prime grade steaks, meaning you can rest assured you are consuming only the best beef.
The different aging methods also provide another reason for you to share a few steaks at the table, much like we did during our visit. You will be able to taste the distinct difference between ‘wet-aged’ and ‘dry-aged’ steaks. Of course, there is also the tomahawk steak, which does not need a taste test to set it apart from the crowd. In fact, due to its sheer size it was tough for us to frame the tomahawk steak in a photo to capture it in all its glory.
Aside from the Tomahawk steak photo op, we also grasped the opportunity to taste both a wet-aged and dry-aged steak. The team explains that the wet-aged steaks remain their best-sellers as they are the all-time favourites for both steak lovers and those who are just starting to appreciate the different steak flavour profiles.
Wet-aged steaks were the standard aging process twenty years ago, where the meat is vacuum-sealed and then left to age with no air, which causes the aging process to happen much more quickly. Dry-aged steaks are hung to dry, where the meat and enzymes are exposed to the air, giving it a very different flavour leaving the meat with more rind, a unique concentration of flavour, and has been described by consumers as ‘experiencing steak in HD’.
One bite and we had to agree that the indescribable flavour of the dry-aged steak is something one must experience. Where a wet-aged steak is known as the signature steak, a dry-aged steak will increase your understanding and appreciating for the aging process, and make you wonder in amazement how one raw ingredient treated in a different way yields such a phenomenal result.
Dining at Gotham Steakhouse and experiencing the varied cuts and aged steaks provides much more than a shared culinary experience amongst friends, family and colleagues, it also shares a valuable lesson to elevate your culinary knowledge. Strike up a conversation with any of the knowledgeable staff on the team and they are happy to divulge how to identify high quality steaks, the best way to enjoy your steak, and even how you can prepare your steaks at home. Their passion is to help you enjoy high quality meat to the fullest, and you will feel this dedication through every conversation and dining experience at Gotham.
615 Seymour Street, Vancouver
Photos by Florence Leung