Butter Bliss

Written by Mary Ann Fitzmorris March 24, 2023 09:25 in Dining Diary

We found ourselves at Pat Gallagher’s 527 recently, and I asked myself all evening why we so rarely go. I often say you’re either a Keith Young’s person or a Pat Gallagher’s person, but why can’t you be both? These are two excellent places to eat primarily steak and its accompaniments, yet they are quite different.

I have often said I am not fond of restaurants with small rooms, which this is, but I found the environment very welcoming and familiar, and I was delighted to be there.

The staff, to the person, was terrific. I enjoyed interacting with them and their professionalism was outstanding. This is true for all Pat’s restaurants. I was particularly charmed by Izzy, and her interactions with Tom.

We started the meal with two soups. Tom had turtle soup and I had seafood gumbo. He raved about his with each mouthful, comparing it to the Grand Dames versions. Apparently, it was at the top, based on the way he nearly licked the bowl. I was equally thrilled with my seafood gumbo, a rarity in restaurants. I could have made a meal of this. Bursting with seafood, the spice level was right at that max point without being overwhelming.

I often hear people say they don’t eat out much in restaurants because they can cook as well at home. That is wonderful for them, but I have to say any gumbo I would have made would not have been this good. And I am lately having that thought about a lot of things.

I took the safe route with the entree and got a petite filet, but it wasn’t all that petite. We both could have eaten off this steak. But Tom got pompano with crabmeat on top. We also had mashed potatoes and green beans.

Pat Gallagher loves butter, and I love that about him. Tom has always said that Pat Gallagher does lusty food. That is the best description I ever heard. The man cares not a whit about anything but answering the simple question: Does this taste good? And so it does. Really, really good.

I asked for my steak medium, but it was rare. There was no need to send it back because the plate it came on was so hot I cooked slices as I ate them. This large petite filet had the texture of butter, and I ate way more of it than I intended.

 The mashed potatoes were not so outstanding as to rhapsodize about them, but they were very good. The green beans, on the other hand, were pretty spectacular. Soaked in butter (of course,) these were very thin and cooked to the vegetable sweet spot, i.e., tender but not overcooked. I never bother with green beans but I ate all of mine and a bit of Tom’s. Delish! 

Tom loved his pompano as well. He has always said that pompano is his favorite fish. This was done with a light dusting of flour, and of course ladled generously with a lemon cream sauce. A dollop of crabmeat crowned the fish. 

As expected, Tom had bread pudding, which he savored as always. I am intrigued by the signature Ooey Gooey Cake with Vanilla Ice Cream. I first saw it here several years ago, but the idea has been poached by other restaurants, as all good ideas are. So my curiosity about this dessert has risen every time I see it.  

Here was the chance to see what the fuss is about. On the menu, it is described as a butter cake, which sounds benign enough. Not chocolate, but a butter cake is simple and delicious. The vanilla ice cream had melted a lot by the time it arrived, so there was a blending of sweet goodness that came across as creamy caramel. 

It was indeed sweet bliss, so it was tough to pass it to Tom after a few bites. He was happy to receive it and happy to finish it. He is a vanilla guy, and certainly a sweets guy, and he was very enthusiastic about this. Now I get it.

We will return soon to Pat’s butter palace for more lusty food. It’s just delicious.