Labor Day is for sun soaking and bacon eating – boxes I could check at the Gorbals, a new restaurant and bar perched atop Space Ninety 8, a Urban Outfitters concept complex, in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Eight years ago, Ilan Gold won the second season of Top Chef, a triumph he parlayed into opening his first restaurant in Los Angeles in 2010. The Gorbals LA made waves with a menu inspired by Isreali and Scottish fare (Which is what? you ask. Answer: bacon wrapped matzo balls). Its BK sibling promises the same style of gumption, dangling a “seasonal and mildly obscure mix.”
“I like to make food that’s a little cheeky,” Gold said, “That doesn’t take itself too seriously, but at the end of the day is delicious.”
Gold’s creative arc – from LA to BK – reminds me of the coastal hop-scotch of Abigail Rose Chapin, the artisanal hands behind the ARC of LA line of block printed leather pouches and bags. A NYC native, Chapin moved to LA to explore her music with her sister (they are The Chapin Sisters), an inspired stint that seeded not only their songs but also her leather goods. In homage to the parallel tracks taken by Gold and Chapin, I present her triangles pouch in tandem with the tented nooks of Gorbals.
Faced with the final official days of summer, I would plop down at one of these plywood picnic tables, sip on a spiked slushie and order plates from the pastoral pickings, categorized as Field, Barn, Stream, Coop, Sweets. Indeed a laborious ode to summer.