Hours: Dinner: seven days
Open late: Friday & Saturday till midnight, Thursday till 11
Wine-friendly contemporary American in the former LM Restaurant space.
You might think this location, right across from the Old Town School, would be a veritable gold mine for restaurateurs. But the space wasn’t too kind to Troy Graves's Tallulah, or even to LM Bistro. Now there's Gather, featuring former Trotter's and Cibo Matto chef Ken Carter. Carter's put together a tight menu of shareable plates, appetizers, and entrees with a varied but not terribly adventurous array of stuff (steamed mussels, grilled flatbreads, crispy pork belly, steak, tagliatelle, etc) geared toward casting as wide a net as possible. An arid, dense bacon cheeseburger and a porchetta sandwich with dry slices of pork were discouraging, but the bartender knows how to make a balanced manhattan with quality spirits (Old Weller, Carpano Antica), and there's a terrific dessert of apple-cobbler fritters with caramel and vanilla ice cream. And I came away with an indelible memory: an exceptional brandade, light and fluffy, crowned with a few fingerling potato chips and served with dabs of lemon confit and roasted garlic. The key to its success is the warm potato blini that arrive with it, thick, hot, and complementarily fluffy. Their quality is duplicated in the corn cakes that come with an order of thick, stout-spiked short rib and pinto bean chili. If Gather ever opens for brunch, my first order of business will be flapjacks.
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Wine is the emphasis at this spot right across from the Old Town School, but the bartender knows how to make a balanced manhattan with quality spirits (Old Weller, Carpano Antica). —Mike Sula