“It’s like that saying: If it’s not broke, don’t fix it,” says Gershwin’s John Natour, who took over the 16-year-old neighborhood haunt this spring. “People have their favorites (dishes) — they’re all still here.”

In fact, the only tradeoff on the Gershwin’s menu has been to switch the top sirloin with a New York Strip.

Natour: “Top sirloin’s always tough, no matter what you do to it.” But the rest? The famous mushroom soup, present and accounted for, and you can still get it “to go,” which happens regularly. The chocolate sack with the strawberries and whipping cream and white chocolate mousse? Get real — there would have been a riot. Some regulars come by just for that dessert and nothing else.

Executive chef Andrew Conroy moved over from the Enclave (same owner) to ensure the re-launch’s success. According to him, Red Snapper en Papillote is the biggest crowd pleaser among the entrées. “We cook it (the fish) in parchment with crabmeat, shrimp and mushrooms in this rich New Orleans-style sauce,” he says. “Chefs over the years have brought their favorite recipes to Gershwin’s.”

Natour adds that each of those recipes “is kept on file.”

The only visible change to the décor is a freshness, compliments of a month’s refurbishment in April: gleaming woodwork, lace curtains, an airy garden look for one of the four dining areas. The weekday  lunch crowd has grown, one of Natour’s promotional efforts, and the lamb salad is still going strong.

Nice to be able to count on something familiar. Especially that chocolate thing.

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Pecan and Walnut Crusted Mahi-Mahi with Fennel Cream

Serves six

Six 8-ounce mahi filets
1 cup fresh bread crumbs
2 Tbsp. Walnuts chopped
2 Tbsp. Pecans chopped

Flour the mahi, then egg wash. Bread the filet in the bread crumb/nut mixture and pan sear in olive oil. Finish in hot over (450°) for about 10 minutes.

1 tsp. Garlic
1 tsp. Shallots
1 Tbsp. Olive oil
1 cup white wine
1/4 cup Pernod
1 fennel bulb
2 cups shrimp stock

Combine all ingredients and cook for one hour. Process in blender and finish with 1/2 cup of cream. Thicken with cornstarch as necessary.

Note: Gershwin’s serves this dish with fresh vegetables and shrimp ravioli.


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