February 28, 2014
Recently re-opened, the Iron Gate has two seating options. First come, first serve at the somewhat covered carriage house which houses a bar and a handful of tables, or tasting menu in the dining room. Unable to get a convenient reservation (and dying to try it out), we settled for the carriage house.
So, how does a restaurant that is effectively outside manage to be “completely committed” with an hour wait when it is below freezing?
Even though the temperature outside was ghastly frigid, Iron Gate radiated warmth (not insignificantly due to the generous use of heating elements), comfort, and sophistication. We waited for a table while enjoying the ambience of the lovely bar and the delightful cocktails. If it were just the two of us, we probably would have chosen to eat there.
(By the way, for long-married couples, a great way to avoid inane conversation is sitting at the bar, while the barkeep pretends to be your friend in order to extract a large tip at the end of the evening. Otherwise, table discussion often devolves to – “K: I have to do laundry tomorrow. J: I did it already. K: Did you fold it? J: No. K: Did you do the towels? J: I forgot. I haven’t used mine in a few days. K: Wow. That’s a great way to start date night. And I have to do laundry tomorrow.” Large tip very worthwhile.)
We digress. Onwards to dinner, where we were provided with blankets for added warmth. (K: Loved it. J: Be aware of other people’s blankets. That’s how the Europeans spread small-pox to Native Americans. K: Said from a person that hadn’t showered “in a few days.”)
Wine, a 2006 barolo per the recommendation of the manager, was probably one of the best bottles we’ve had in some time.
Our dinner order was literally “everything vegetarian on the menu.” Which turned out to be quite a lot. Focaccia, trio of dips, trio of cheeses, trio of olives (haha – a trio of trios!), crispy Jerusalem artichokes, winter root vegetable salad, farro salad, and pasta. The flavors and ingredients played off of each other deliciously – the food at once combined the lightness of the Mediterranean, with ingredients that felt appropriately wintery. The one non-vegetarian in our foursome enjoyed partaking in our offerings, while also taking great pleasure in his non-veggie entrée.
We’ll go again and often. Look forward to visiting the dining room in the future and enjoying the patio throughout the year