Rating: ★★★★★★★★☆☆ (8.0)
Gertie is a colorful luncheonette & liquor bar in Williamsburg that serves their snappy take on old-fashioned diner eats, boozy sodas, natural wines, and craft cocktails.
In Gertie’s own words, “It’s a place to eat early and drink late. Or drink early and eat late. A place to gather. Or to sit alone with your coffee and thoughts. Just like you did at Grandma’s.” So wholesome it hurts.
This is the perfect spot for a leisurely breakfast or lunch, and is the next place you should go for a Wednesday dinner for half-off bottles of wine and a Free Comedy Show in their basement. (Pro Tip: if you and your friends are the largest group at the comedy show, you get a bonus bottle of wine to split!) Or, take advantage of their backyard with stadium seating, picnic tables, a sound system, and lively mural that will become your go-to summertime day-drinking spot. Don’t just take our word for it, in 2019, Eater named Gertie Design of the Year and Thrillist named the luncheonette one of the Best New Restaurants of 2019.
We’ll definitely be back for breakfast (what they’re known for) and can’t wait to try their Griddled Muffin and their version of the Best Bialy with egg salad, pickled onions, yellow mustard, and smoked salmon. If you don’t know what a bialy is, it’s like a bagel, but definitely NOT a bagel. Rumor has it that among Jews in Poland and Russia, the bialy was often the measure of a man. A father would hand his son a bialy and say, “Be a man, eat a bialy,” meaning that if a boy can digest a bialy, he has become a man. Challenge accepted, bialy. Challenge accepted.
We could go on and on about this relish tray. At first with just the two of us, we thought getting this whole tray was a bit much, but we were convinced by the waitress and so intrigued by what was included: think your mom’s spread of appetizers at her annual jewelry party but elevated to the extreme. Everything’s homemade, great on its own, and easily dippeable. Thank god. Let’s break it down:
French Onion Dip: Store bought could never
White Bean Hummus: Smooth, creamy, subtle enough to pair with everything
Pickled Veggies: Bright, crispy pickled red onion + arguably the most perfect, fresh pickle, just the right balance of sour and sweet
A Mini Salad: Golden beets and romaine hearts dressed with a bright, herby red wine vinaigrette
Soft Boiled Egg: We want one on everything
Fried Cauliflower: Salty, crunchy, and your new favorite vehicle for dipping
Potato Chips: Straight out of the fryer, dusted with sea salt
Smoked Whitefish Melt
If you gave us a tuna melt, sure we’d eat it and enjoy it, but this smoked whitefish melt...well, we could eat one every day. Served open face style on toasty, seeded bread, it reminds us of the smørrebrød in Copenhagen we know and love. And with melty, sharp cheddar and the acidity and sweetness of the pickles, you’ve got all the textures and flavors of a perfect bite. Extra potato chips and pickles on the side, obviously. Gertie gives the people what they want.
They even have an entire section on the menu dedicated to Veggies with a variety of zesty vegetarian options like their Veggie Gyro Bowl with rotisserie vegetables, pickles, cilantro, white and hot sauce over everything rice, and a fried egg, and their Cauliflower Parm with breaded cauliflower, mozzarella, house challah garlic bread, and red sauce. For anyone who is somehow still feeling bad for vegetarians because they can’t have bacon, (1) Grow up and (2) Go to Gertie.
Warm Chocolate Chip Cookie
Because you can never leave Grandma’s without dessert, do yourself a favor and order this salty, brown butter cookie with melted chocolate chunks. It comes a la mode with Davey’s Vanilla Ice Cream and is just what you need before you tuck yourself into bed.
Natural wine. If you haven’t hopped on the bandwagon, you must. It’s wine’s cool younger sister and she’s made with sustainably-farmed grapes, has no additives and little to no sulfites, and is wearing effortlessly cool labels. Opt for a bottle of Marigny, or any of their by-the-glass selections which they categorize for amateurs: funky, stony, juicy, so hip right now, fresh + so clean, etc. We have our eye on their Boozy Sodas on tap and, once we’re mature enough for a martini, the Dirty Gertie with aquavit, white vermouth, and pickle brine.