I went to Gayle tonight anticipating a great meal and was not disappointed. We were advised by the server against getting the tasting menu, as it was a Wednesday night, one of the few nights a la carte ordering is allowed. We took her advice, and ordered clams chowder/casino, crisp risotto (basically arancini), winter wings, lobster roll, surf and turf, and beef tenderloin with shepherd's pie. These orders were all made with the guidance of the server, who was very opinionated. I'm not sure if that was a positive thing, since she steered us away from certain things that I may have enjoyed more than others, but there you have it nonetheless.
First of all, the menu is really simplistic, but the dishes are anything but simple. The clam app. was basically a clam soup with a deep fried clam casino in it. I'm not sure it was thick enough to be called a chowder, but it was very tasty. The risotto balls were fantastic, with a nice truffle and soy sauce to dip in. The lobster roll was great as well; it had a really sweet taste to it, which I was told was lavender. It was very light and pleasant. The winter wings were pretty good, but if anything, unspectacular. It was sort of awkward to have to eat something with your hands in a place like that. The entrees were amazing. The chef's take on surf and turf was a small lobster tail topped with short rib meat, accompanied with napa cabbage and some claw meat from the lobster. It was a very creative, delicious and rich entree. The other entree was a smoked beef tenderloin with shepherd's pie, which came with little fried balls of gruyere cheese. The whole thing was great. It had a distinctly smoky taste from both the beef tenderloin and the bacon in the shepherd's pie. Sadly, I didn't have any room for desert, as the portions were very sizable, but the chef's take on breakfast for desert, a sticky cinnamon bun, sounded very appealing.
Overall, I found the meal to be relatively inexpensive for what it was, as the check was $110 before tip, including glass of wine for each of us. The service was very attentive and knowledgeable, and the space was pleasant, if a tiny bit crowded. I think going on Monday-Wednesday, when you don't have to do the tasting menu is preferable, because it gives you the freedom to order how you want. I will definitely be returning.
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