Bobby Flay is one of my food celebrity crushes, and so when my family decided to spend our Easter vacation in New York City and made a reservation at Flay’s newest restaurant, Gato, I was more than ecstatic. Gato offers Spanish-accented Mediterranean fare in a trendy space in Greenwich Village. The dining area has ceilings with exposed brick, vintage-style tiled floors, and a bar that wraps around the entire restaurant. My favorite part about the location, though, was the glass wall that allowed you to stare right into the kitchen where the gastronomical masterpieces are born. Of course, the first thing I looked for when I peered through the glass was Bobby Flay himself (No, he wasn’t there) šŸ˜¦

Our meal started with bread dipped in the smoothest olive oil I have ever tasted. We shared appetizers that left the entire table licking the plates. The meatballs rivaled those of my grandmother. The burrata essentially melted in my mouth. The pizza was dressed with a pesto so fresh it was as if the basil leaves were plucked from the garden only moments before.

By the time we finished devouring the appetizers, I was not even hungry anymore. However, that did not stop me from enjoying my vegetable paella. As soon as the pan was placed in front of me, my stomach miraculously became a little less full. The waiter scrambled the sunny-side-up egg with the rest of the ingredients right before my eyes. The beautiful, rainbow-colored dish tasted as good as it looked with a perfect flavor combinationĀ that only Bobby Flay could create.

This meal was definitely a highlight of my break. Thank you, Bobby Flay, for making Easter a little more tasty! -Maria Battagliapaella