Monday, February 26, 2024

The Golden Girls Kitchen NYC serves up ambience and nostalgia

Like any good gay, I was thrilled when news came that the Golden Girls Kitchen was expanding across the US, especially since I live in New York City, one of the chosen cities for the expansion.

The restaurant is a collaboration between Bucket Listers and their very own Director of Experiences, Derek Berry, who was the man behind the Saved by the Max, Good Burger, and Peach Pit nostalgia pop-ups of years past. Originating in Los Angeles, the Golden Girls pop-up was so successful that it was quickly decided that this immersive restaurant experience needed to be taken on the road to New York, San Francisco, Chicago and, of course, Miami!

The New York location opened back on December 7th and after an outstanding run over the last two months, its extended its residency through the end of March. Fans of the beloved show are able to book 90 minute slots in one of the four set ups in the restaurant which include a replica of the girls’ kitchen, The Rusty Anchor bar, the Lanai or Blanche’s bedroom.  I booked a brunch slot recently, sitting at bar of The Rusty Anchor.

Brunch menu options included such mains as: Sophia’s Lasagna al Forno, the Bacon Lettuce Potato Sandwich, The Lanai (a Cuban Sandwich), The Rose Marie Combo (soup & Salad) The Rusty Anchor Omelet Sandwich and Avocado Toast. There were a range of simple sides to choose from like fries, cheese balls and truffle fries. Dessert options included the Clown Sundae, Blanche’s Georgia Style Cookie, Genurhenflurgen cake (chocolate cake with ice cream) and five different types of cheesecake, naturally. Cocktail options included The Dorothy (vodka, prosecco and mixer), the Devereux Delight (a deliciously sweet rum cocktail) and the Nylund Negroni, among others.

To be honest I was a bit underwhelmed with the food. I had the lasagna al forno and it was definitely not worthy to be associated with the great Sophia Petrillo. The strawberry cheesecake, on the other hand, was delicious. I was most impressed, however, with the cocktails. I had a Devereux’s Delight and sampled a pinch of The Dorothy & the Nylund Negroni and they were all expertly mixed and quite flavorful.

Where the restaurant shines most, of course, is the ambiance. It was absolutely charming! Enthusiastic fans dressed in their Miami best or as their favorite Golden Girl filled the space near NYC’s South Street Seaport for a sold-out brunch show featuring three local queens decked out as Dorothy, Rose and Blanche. “Dorothy” hosted as “Balance” and “Rose” performed “I’m So Excited” by the Pointer Sisters and “WAP” by Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion, respectively, to the delight of the audience. When not performing, the girls circulated the restaurant (which is two floors) to mingle with the patrons, without breaking character. Those queens deserve a raise!

The staff was friendly and attentive despite how busy it was, creating a really great brunch experience. Visitors were encouraged to walk through the entire space and take as many photos as they’d like. Set photography from the show lines the stairway to the second floor and is featured throughout the restaurant. It was a fantastic experience. Highly recommended.

To make your reservation at the NYC location click here. For Chicago (coming this spring) click here.

San Francisco and Miami coming soon!

John Hernandez

John A. Hernandez is a staff writer for Queer Forty with a focus on entertainment. He is also a writer for Vacationer Magazine and a contributor to Bear World Magazine and Gayming Magazine. He has a special love for all things horror and Halloween. He currently resides with his husband in New York City.

John Hernandez has 135 posts and counting. See all posts by John Hernandez

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