New York

First Look: Legendary Restaurant Gage & Tollner Returns to Brooklyn

After a year-long reopening delay due to COVID-19, the iconic Gilded Age space is back in its original glory.

Photo by Lizzie Munro
Photo by Lizzie Munro
Photo by Lizzie Munro

One of the most anticipated restaurant openings of 2020 was without a doubt, Gage & Tollner. That is, until COVID-19 struck NYC during its planned opening week.

One of Brooklyn’s most legendary restaurants, Gage & Tollner, originally opened in 1879, and went through various owners and concepts over the next 12 decades. But after years of decline and struggle on Fulton Street since the late ‚Äė90s, it eventually closed in 2004. In the years that followed, the gorgeous Victorian-era space would (somewhat egregiously) house both a T.G.I.Friday’s and an Arby’s. But in the last few years or so, rumors of a possible revival of G&T began to surface. In 2016, the landlord announced he was looking for a new tenant.

Photo by Lizzie Munro
Photo by Lizzie Munro
Photo by Lizzie Munro

In 2018, veteran restaurateurs Sohui Kim and Ben Schneider (the husband-and-wife duo behind The Good Fork and Insa), and St. John Frizell (Fort Defiance) launched a successful crowdfunding campaign to revive the restaurant, which was followed by a two-year buildout in preparation for a March 2020 grand opening. Just upon its planned opening week, COVID-19 hit and a shutdown ensued, forcing a 13-month delay. New Yorkers were first able to preview the restaurant’s offerings through meal kits that launched in February.

But starting this week, Gage & Tollner is welcoming diners into their landmark dining room at 50% capacity for bookings up to 28 days in advance.

Photo by Lizzie Munro
Photo by Lizzie Munro
Photo by Lizzie Munro

Located at 372 Fulton Street in Downtown Brooklyn, the restaurant is known for its gorgeous Gilded Age dining room with signature gas-lit lamps, wall panels, brass chandeliers, and Victorian hat hooks. Gage & Tollner’s interior helped designate the restaurant as a NYC landmark in 1974, making it, after the New York Public Library and Grant’s Tomb, the third spot in the city to achieve such a status.

Led by Schneider, the restaurant’s interior restoration preserved much of the space’s historic¬† design elements while adding modernized touches. With new silk embroideries for the walls and plush red velvet banquettes to replace the former marble-topped bar, the original revolving door from 1919 was also refurbished, in addition to restoring the chandeliers and adding a coating of Venetian plaster to the ceiling.

Photo by Lizzie Munro
Photo by Lizzie Munro
Photo by Lizzie Munro

With the kitchen helmed by Kim and St. John, the menu pays homage to the restaurant’s original roots as a chop house and destination for oysters. An extensive raw bar menu includes both oysters and decadent seafood platters, house-made breads, steaks and chops a la carte, and desserts from pastry chef Caroline Schiff with classics like takes on both Baked Alaska and coconut cake. Drink options include¬†wine and classic cocktails like a Sazerac or Whiskey Smash.

A secondary concept, to be located on the second floor of the building called Sunken Harbor Club, will also be opening at some point in 2021.

Take a look around the gorgeously revived space and secure your reservations via Resy.

Tae Yoon was born and raised in Queens, and is the Editor of Thrillist New York.

New York

Scavenge for Peeps Cookies and More Fun Treats in NYC This Easter

The best Easter desserts in NYC this spring include Easter Bunny Churros and Carrot Cake Macarons.

Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery
Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery
Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery

As spring makes its way through New York City, not only do we get to enjoy beautiful weather, stunning cherry blossoms, and cool activities priced at $Free.99, but it’s also the perfect time for some limited-edition desserts.

With Easter fast approaching, bakeries are filling their shops with tons of chocolate eggs, carrot cake-flavoured everything and all types of flavours that offer both nostalgia and innovation within the city’s dessert landscape. After you’ve picked up a cake from the city’s best new bakeries, from Easter Bunny Churros to Carrot Cake Macarons, here are 8 Easter desserts to try in NYC right now.

Photo courtesy of Magnolia Bakery
Photo courtesy of Magnolia Bakery
Photo courtesy of Magnolia Bakery

Magnolia Bakery

Throughout April
Various locations
There’s great news for devotees of Magnolia Bakery’s Classic Banana Pudding: For Easter, the spot is mixing up the iconic dessert’s vanilla pudding with some carrot cake. The Carrot Cake Pudding is filled with freshly grated carrots, coconuts, pineapples, raisins, and walnuts. And if both bananas and carrots aren’t your thing, they’ll be offering their Classic Vanilla Cupcakes in pastel colours with a Cadbury chocolate egg hidden inside.

Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery
Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery
Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery

Funny Face Bakery

Through Easter Sunday
NoHo and Seaport
Known for their celebrity face and meme-worthy decorated cookies, fans of Funny Face Bakery know that a new fun design is always just around the corner. For Easter, they’ve created the adorable Hoppy Easter decorated cookie that resembles a classic box of marshmallow Peeps. Along with that, they also have the return of their fan-favourite Caramel Pretzel Chip cookie flavour, plus a set of three mini-decorated cookies perfect for gifting.

The Doughnut Project

Friday, April 7 through Easter Sunday
West Village
With the ever-changing flavours at The Doughnut Project, it’s super easy to miss out on trying out a new debut. But this Easter weekend, there will be two new flavours available. One is of course, a carrot cake doughnut topped with a cream cheese glaze, and the other is known as the Doughnut Nest-a French cruller “nest” with a cream-filled doughnut hole “egg” in the centre.

Photo by Cole Saladino, courtesy of The Fragile Flour
Photo by Cole Saladino, courtesy of The Fragile Flour
Photo by Cole Saladino, courtesy of The Fragile Flour

The Fragile Flour

Wednesday, April 5 through Easter Sunday
East Village
For stellar vegan desserts this holiday, head to The Fragile Flour, a plant-based bakery and dessert wine bar. They’re known for going all out for each holiday with a variety of new pastry options that you can pair perfectly with a glass of wine. This Easter, they’ll have a whole dessert menu that’s both delicious and gorgeous for posting on IG. The menu includes Stuffed Carrot Cake Cookies, a Lemon Cake (whole or by the slice), some festive cupcakes, and specialty macarons.

Photo courtesy of Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate
Photo courtesy of Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate
Photo courtesy of Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate

Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate

Through mid April
Midtown
For a luxurious take on Easter chocolates, browse the selections available at Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate. You can even pick the Easter Signature Chef’s Selection for a special box curated by award-winning chefs. For something other than chocolate, choose between the Carrot Cake Macarons or the cake flavored Easter Marshmallow Trio, both of which are almost too cute to eat.

La Churreria

Throughout April
Nolita
This churro-centric spot is putting the cutest Easter spin on their crispy cinnamon churros by twisting them up into bunnies and bunny ears. At Churreria, choose from a Bunny Churro Lollipop topped with your choice of chocolate or dulce de leche and sprinkles, or the bunny ear churros in the Ube and Matcha ice cream sundae or the Ube Milkshake, both of which are made with ice cream from il laboratorio del gelato.

Photo by Briana Balducci
Photo by Briana Balducci
Photo by Briana Balducci

Lafayette

Throughout April
NoHo
You’ve surely seen this croissant tons of times while scrolling through IG or TikTok, whether it’s the Pain au Chocolat one or the latest of the month. Known as Supr√™mes, these filled croissants went viral and continue to live up to the hype each time a new flavour comes out. April’s flavour-sour cherry amaretto with a Luxardo custard and toasted almonds. While you’ll have to be super early and wait in line during one of their three drops of the day to get a taste, we promise you it’ll be worth it.

Photo courtesy of Levain
Photo courtesy of Levain
Photo courtesy of Levain

Levain

Seasonal
Various locations
We all know the iconic cookies from Levain-they’re gigantic, perfectly crispy and chewy, and well worth the long lines. For spring, the shop is launching a new flavour: Caramel Coconut Chocolate Chip. Filled with gooey caramel chips, fresh shredded coconut, and melty dark chocolate, it’s one you’ve got to try while it’s still around. To further celebrate the new season, all of Levain’s storefronts will be decked out in spring floral displays, serving as the perfect backdrop for pictures.

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Alaina Cintron is an Editorial Assistant at Thrillist. Her work can also be found in Westchester Magazine, Girls’ Life, and Spoon University. When she’s not at her desk typing away, you can find her exploring a local coffee shop or baking a new recipe.

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