New Yorkers can now officially try the more casual fare of Flynn McGarry, the teen chef prodigy who just opened his first solo restaurant Gem.
The Living Room, the more casual section of the Lower East Side spot, is now open with coffee and pastries at 116 Forsyth St. between Broome and Delancey streets. It’s intended to be 19-year-old McGarry’s version of a neighborhood coffee shop; a second, fancier section called The Dining Room, which will serve an $155 set menu, will open on February 27.
For now, though, only cafe fare is available at Gem. Potential options include sweet potato bread, a blueberry violet muffin, semolina apple bundt cake, and a savory tart with grilled chicories and squash. Drinks-wise, The Living Room will have toasted nut milks, a house blend of chai, and coffee.
McGarry’s gotten some flack for being a baby chef, but so far, he’s taken it in stride, saying that he’s still operating with the same constraints as other restaurateurs. He’s also been cooking for many years now. At 13, he started hosting dinner parties at his parents’ house, and since then, he’s staged at places like Eleven Madison Park and hosted tasting menu pop-ups around NYC that cost well-above $100 per person.
Gem is his first permanent restaurant. The real thing to watch for will be the pricier set-menu debuting later this month, but locals looking to check out the space can do so now. The Living Room is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Stay tuned for photos of the space and food later this week.