My girlfriend and I ate dinner at the Iron Gate for Valentine’s Day 2007 and were horribly stunned by the poorly executed and terrible tasting food. After eating (or attempting to eat) at this restaurant I could not recommend it to anyone, friend or foe.
For starters, the ambiance and off-set location make the Iron Gate romantic, mysterious and charming. Unfortunately, the positives end there.
The wine list, although long, included a handful of bottles that the restaurant currently did not stock - most notably the only Riesling on the menu - which is not only a VERY popular wine among younger generations, but also a great wine for beginning drinkers that find it more pleasing to their palate than heavy and oak-aged reds and dry whites.
The menu was limited, but I ordered the lamb shank which, when presented, was reminiscent of something that would be served at a hotel wedding. The meat was cooked perfectly and fell from the bone (a huge plus), but the taste was bland and uninspired. No sauce was used, or seasoning given to the meat. Granted, a lamb shank should taste like lamb, but for over $25, one would expect the chef to be more adventurous and bold with his flavors…or maybe use some thyme.
If possible, the sides were even less inspired than the lamb. Orzo was served with crumbed feta cheese on top, but was dry and lacking any complexity in flavor. Even a house of fraternity boys with access to a local supermarket could cook pasta and crumble feta cheese on top (no insult to fraternity boys…I myself was one). The other side was steamed broccoli…steamed broccoli? Are you kidding me?
Needless to say, the dish was promptly returned, and the Cuban-style pork was requested in its stead. That's when things took a turn towards the inedible.
The pork was sour and tasted exclusively of vinegar. The rice and beans were dry, and the plantains rubbery and cold.
Needless to say, I went home without dinner, and the Iron Gate ruined Valentine’s Day. Stay away!