When discussions about Columbus Circle and Lincoln Center options, Gabriel's doesn't get mentioned that often, yet it is a reliable Italian restaurant.
It really has only one big minus: it is expensive.
But it is informal, friendly, dependable and is particularly strong with meats. Despite its size, of all the upscale restaurants on the UWS, Gabriel's has the feel of a neighborhood restaurant -- the service has always been terrific (no upselling here).
Friday night, I had wonderful marinated lamb chops cooked in the wood oven. Wonderful stuff. One of my friends had wonderful goat (a huge pile of meat with little on the side -- it reminded me a little of a barbecue plate); my other friend's tuna with horseradish crust wasn't as successful.
In my experience, the meats are superior to the usually good pasta and the sometimes disappointing fish.