Note: Gold St. closed on April 1, 2009. It re-opened as Harry’s Italian.
Has a diner ever had so much attention? Practically every newspaper, magazine, or blog in town that chronicles restaurant openings mentioned Gold St., the latest brainchild of Harry Poulakakos, who owns Harry’s Steak, Harry’s Café, and various other Lower Manhattan restaurants.
To be fair, Gold St. isn’t quite a diner. It has an executive chef (Patrick Vacciariello from the Smith & Wollensky chain), a chef de cuisine (Tony Landeros), and a sushi bar. It serves a few items not found at many diners, like Kobe Beef Sliders and Fries with brie fondue, to say nothing of the sushi. But in other ways, it’s very much a diner, with the predictable burgers and meat loaf, on a menu long enough to include far more than any kitchen can execute well.
Gold St. is also the Financial District’s first 24-hour restaurant, located at the epicenter of a neighborhood now dominated by rental and condo conversions. It might not be the East Village, but the area has as much need of 24×7 food as any other, and now we have it.
If you come to Gold St. expecting fine dining (as NYCnosh did), you’ll be disappointed. If you come looking for a “diner plus…,” you’ll probably conclude (as Bloomberg did) that Gold St. is “just about right.”
Slow Roast Pork ($15), cooked on a rotisserie all day, had a nice pink barbecue texture. Peas and carrots were expertly done. There was nothing special about the fries, and the tomato salsa garnish seemed unnecessary. I had nothing else, aside from two diet cokes ($3.25 each, no refills) and a coffee ($2).
I’m not going to recite the various menu categories, but the cheapest dinner item is a hamburger ($8), while the most expensive non-sushi choice is grilled shrimp ($22). The very long sushi menu has the usual suspects, and some creative ones, like an Angry Spider roll ($11.50) and a Yellow Tail Tasting ($12.50). Sushi combo platters run all the way up to $52. The breakfast and dessert menus have all of the expected items, and the back page of the menu lists a number of fruit smoothies. There is also a full bar and a modest wine list.
There’s nothing original about the vaguely retro 1950s décor, but the seats and banquettes are quite comfortable, and the waitresses wear short, short skirts. Service was attentive, although the restaurant wasn’t very busy when I visited. I saw Harry Poulakakos himself nervously pacing around, which was unexpected on a Sunday evening.
Be it ever so humble, I’m glad Gold St. has arrived. Most importantly, it means the Financial District as a residential neighborhood has arrived. Unfortunately, I’m moving way uptown this summer, so I won’t be around long to appreciate it.
Gold St. (2 Gold Street at Maiden Lane, Financial District)