Gem, From 19-Year-Old Chef Flynn McGarry, Opens in the Lower East Side

Gem, From 19-Year-Old Chef Flynn McGarry, Opens in the Lower East Side


Flynn McGarry at Gem, which consists of an all-day cafe and, soon, a space for set-menu dinners.

Caitlin Ochs for The New York Times


GEM The kitchen whiz-kid Flynn McGarry, who has been coming up with tasting menus for a cult following at pop-ups in Los Angeles and New York since he was 12, is aiming for permanence. He’s now 19, as slight as a reed, with hair like a tangle of spiralized carrots. His restaurant, in a pair of narrow storefronts on the Lower East Side, consists of the Living Room, an all-day cafe serving coffee, tea and pastries from morning until 5 p.m., which has just opened. In two weeks, the adjacent Dining Room will follow, with $155 (including tip) set-menu dinners. “My idea is to make it like a dinner party,” he said. So guests start with a glass of Champagne and hors d’oeuvres in the cafe before proceeding to the main room, with its simple wood tables and open kitchen, for an appetizers, followed by a couple of family-style platters of pasta and meat, like a lamb feast, with side dishes. Appetizers might include peanut Ritz Crackers with foie gras, king crab with leeks and grapefruit, and slow-roasted sunchokes with pumpkin seed oil and apple. Mr. McGarry describes Daniel Humm of Eleven Madison Park and Ari Taymor of Alma in Los Angeles as mentors. “They let me work in their kitchens, but gave me real responsibilities and taught me the business side, instead of just having me pluck herbs,” he said. His Ritz Crackers are just the sort of thing Mr. Humm might serve: 116 Forsyth Street (Broome Street), no phone,


BASTA Here’s another entry in the growing inventory of Israeli dining options from the chef Raz Shabtai, who grew up in Tel Aviv, learned to cook from his grandmother and worked at restaurants in Israel and with Meir Adoni at Nur in New York. His kosher (dairy) Mediterranean restaurant features charred eggplant carpaccio, shakshuka, several seafood preparations and North African dishes like fish with couscous. Long tables are set in a room with a brick oven for bread and pizza, an open kitchen, and vintage artifacts and fresh produce on display: 62 East 34th Street, 917-261-7352.

MALA PROJECT Amelie Kang’s East Village take-no-prisoners Chinese restaurant featuring dry pots dense with ingredients, is venturing to Midtown Manhattan, near Xi’an Famous Foods. It will offer a number of dishes for the lunch crowd with lamb or chicken-based combinations. (Opens Wednesday): 41 West 46th Street, 917-261-7520,

BOUCHERIE PARK AVENUE SOUTH The meat-focused brasserie that opened in the West Village in late 2016 will welcome a sibling near Union Square. It’s a big place, like the original, finished in the Belle Époque style and serving French bistro fare. New, at this location, is a counter that specializes in charcuterie. (Wednesday): 225 Park Avenue South (18th Street), 212-353-0200,

THE HARROW A former hardware store is now this new American restaurant with the chef Eric Thomas, formerly at Nice Matin, in the kitchen. Lobster pierogi, duck magret and a vegan Pavlova dessert with meringue made of aquafaba are some of his specialties. (Thursday): 720 10th Avenue (50th Street), 212-757-6977,

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