Those of us who have been around Dumbo for a while know about the dearth of restaurant space in the area. This has to do with out-of-sight ductwork requirement to the roof of landmarked designated buildings in Dumbo, which is difficult and expensive. There are restaurateurs, celebrity Top Chefs, and world class sommeliers who live in the neighborhood and have looked for space in Dumbo, without much luck. So when new restaurants launch, you can expect a highly anticipated opening, as it was for Choice Market in February 2010. As much as the neighborhood wanted to love ‘Choice’, kinks and all, people were inevitably turned off by the slow service. After one year of operation, the owners of Choice Market (also known as Choice Kitchen) sold their business.
The new owner, Mike, is a seasoned restaurateur who lives in Brooklyn. He took over the space and soft-launched their new restaurant, The Gallery (d/b/a The Gallery Cafe) in April. The Gallery still provides breakfast items for dine in and take out (now serving Empire Coffee), and lunch to the working crowd. However, the evening service has been transformed into a dining experience. The original ceiling design remains intact but the bench seating was removed and drapes were added to conceal the bright kitchen area. The restaurant welcomes walk-in diners and those who just want to enjoy a nice bottle of wine or a pint of beer.
The food is best described as Mediterranean though the menu includes comfort food classics like burgers and mac ‘n cheese as well as Italian/French/Spanish influenced dishes. Appetizers include sweet shrimp delicately flavored with a savory cream sauce and tuna tartar with a dollop of caviar and a touch of soy chili sauce (see below pic). Short ribs with herb butter in a rich port wine sauce was slowly simmered for 8 hours to achieve that melt in your mouth quality. For sweet-tooths, the house-made desserts are high quality and vary nightly – pear custard tart, apple crumble pie, chocolate mousse, and red velvet cake were recently featured.
The Gallery is a restaurant that believes service and food quality should be first priority. The care Mike puts into service is evident when you see him in the dining room talking with each table as if they were his only guests.
The Gallery also provides a full catering service to businesses and homes in the area. They will deliver a full spread of delicious food complete with warming trays, utensils, plates, and linens. (View a few pics here).
Check it out and tell Mike DumboNYC sent you!
The Gallery Cafe (thegallerycafe.co)
108 Jay Street, Brooklyn NY 11201
Sat-Sun Brunch 9am-4pm