Gourmanoff, a new gourmet supermarket from the folks behind NetCost Market, is now open at 1029 Brighton Beach Avenue, taking up the ground floor of the former Millenium Theater.
The owners celebrated the grand opening Monday evening with an invite-only party, with Vegas-style cocktail waitresses handing out champagne and a full display of the market’s culinary talents. Here’s our photo tour.
“We want Gourmanoff to be Lexus to NetCost’s Toyota,” said executive chef Zack Hess, pictured above. “It’s a different caliber than NetCost. Our products are super high-end.”
Hess, 32, said the market only sells organic meats, and all seafood is shipped fresh from Alaska, Maine and Long Island.
The third-generation chef comes to Gourmanoff after stints at Manhattan restaurants and ritzy country clubs. Now he oversees Gourmanoff’s prolific kitchen, which produces dozens of hot items served along the market’s perimeter. From sushi to shashlik, lobster rolls to olivier salads and a huge display of smoked fish, Hess, a Sheepshead Bay native, has a hand in all of it.
His favorite items on the menu are the scallop ceviche and short ribs, which we can attest were among the best of the dozens of samples offered Monday night.
The 15,000-square-foot-space replaces Oceana Hall, a nightclub below the Millenium Theater. The new owners have renovated the entire space. The entrance keeps to the theater’s roots; a box office sits in the front hallway, followed by a long, red carpet to the market’s inner doorway.
Inside, the palatial market feels more like a casino with tables ripped out, and replaced with rows of produce stands, buffet lines and product shelves.
In keeping with the opulent theme, Gourmanoff isn’t for the cost-conscious shopper. Prices are higher than the standard supermarket and few, if any, everyday goods are in stock. But it does have a wide selection of organic meats and produce, as well as artisanal and imported goods – all of which seemed to be priced on par with similar markets.
And while you might find similar items like gourmet pasta at Dean & DeLuca, Gourmanoff expands on that and plays to its neighborhood roots with shelves full of salty, pickled fish or freshly made smoked duck borscht.
Not to mention a selection of fresh-baked Eastern European breads. Come to think of it, I don’t think the market sells any pre-sliced, packaged bread.
They also claim to have New York City’s largest selection of smoked fish and caviar, with more than 60 varieties of smoked fish and 40 varieties of caviar in stock.
Even NetCost sells draft beer, and for that we raise our glass. But rather than take it home, shoppers can sip some suds or have a hot meal at their interior dining area.
That area is actually one of two places to eat. In a separate but connected storefront accessible from the street, Gourmanoff has launched Cafe Inn, a coffee shop, bakery and gelato station.
Good luck to our newest neighbor, Gourmanoff!