The couple behind Williamsburg’s “Jew-ish” diner and bar, Gertie’s, is teaming up with one of the chef’s of Midtown’s fast-casual Middle Eastern spot, Samesa, to create a new restaurant and bar, Gertrude’s, at 605 Carlton Avenue in Prospect Heights, one of the owners, Nate Adler, confirms.
Formerly occupied by the New American restaurant, James, Gertrude’s bills itself as an American restaurant and cocktail bar. Straying away from the Shtetl-style comfort food experience at Gertie’s, Gertrude’s seems to be striving toward a unique upscale Jewish dinner experience. Its dishes will include but are not limited to a reuben-inspired burger, oysters with beet mignonette and smoked and pickled fish, gefilte fish-style croquettes with horseradish tartar sauce, and short rib spaetzle goulash, according to Eater.
Adler says the new restaurant will also experiment with modern “Jew-ish” cuisine.
“It is a continuation of the culinary inspiration we built at Gertie, but grown up as a night time bistro,” Adler says about the new venture. “First and foremost we want it to be a neighborhood restaurant, but all three of us—Eli, Rachel and I—come from the same cultural background, as American Ashkenazi Jews, and we wanted to bring that in with touches on the food and drinks menus.”
Adler opened up Gertie’s, named after his grandmother, with his partner Rachel Jackson, in 2019, with the goal of serving “Jew-ish” diner-inspired comfort food (think bagel sandwiches and fish spreads).
“Honestly, she wasn’t a great cook,” Adler tells What Now New York about his grandma. “[The restaurants] are named after her because she was an incredibly colorful and eccentric person, and her spirit embodies the restaurants and brands.”
Gertrude’s chef, Eli Sussman, opened Samesa with his brother, Max, in 2015, inspired by the food they ate growing up in the Detroit metropolitan area as well as eating at New York City halal trucks. Sussman runs a popular Instagram page where he posts memes about the hospitality industry.
The restaurant will offer a tiered membership program, ranking from Gold ($475) to Diamond ($2,375) to Pearl ($4,750), providing further evidence that the new concept wants to create an exclusive upscale experience. Adler says the membership program will secure a stream of crowd funding, as well as give loyal customers additional benefits.