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19-Year-Old Chef Flynn McGarry Returns to NYC With Gem

By Samantha Leal | May 7, 2018 | Food & Drink

Chef Flynn Mcgarry is realizing his (permanent) restaurant dreams at 19.

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Esteemed teen chef Flynn McGarry is in his element in New York City. “I came here and found people and places that just made me feel at home,” says the 19-year-old wunderkind. Running pop-up dinners out of his parents’ L.A. home since the early double digits (while we were making mud pies), and with stints at Eleven Madison Park and Alinea, McGarry is now ambitiously running his own restaurant—Gem—in the Lower East Side. “It feels like I’m just having people over for dinner.”

A very special dinner, that is. The concept, which features The Living Room, a coffee bar that’s open to the public seven days a week, and The Dining Room, an 18-person restaurant that serves a set menu twice a night starting at $155, is both a nod to the everyday and the extraordinary. The coffee shop features a rotating list of specialty coffees and teas, while the dinner menu of 12 to 15 courses changes frequently—often weekly—to keep things fresh for diners and for McGarry. One thing that tends to stay on the menu? Beets. “Beets aren’t really my favorite. I just like taking something really humble and through technique making it really good,” explains McGarry. Sounds like a solid business plan.

Gem is located at 116 Forsyth St. The Living Room is open 8am-5pm, seven days a week. The Dining Room seats two sets of diners at 6pm and 9pm Tuesday-Saturday. Visit gem-nyc.com for more information, including reservations



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Photography by: PHOTOGRAPHY BY WESTON WELLS