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You can’t get into this exclusive Brooklyn supper club — unless you’re a sophisticated senior

Forget Zero Bond or Soho House: New York’s most exclusive dinner club is comprised solely of senior residents.

Thirsty Gen Z influencers needn’t apply.

Restaurant Club is reserved for residents of the Watermark at Brooklyn Heights, a luxurious retirement neighborhood catering to the over-65s, and every month, members go away their lavish digs to discover the Big Apple’s culinary scene.

Sampling meals from each up-and-coming eateries and among the metropolis’s most iconic, hard-to-reserve institutions — and constructing friendships within the course of — retains these adventurous seniors younger at coronary heart and loneliness at bay.

Each month, members  of the "Restaurant Club" at The Watermark at Brooklyn Heights leave their lavish digs to explore the Big Apple's culinary scene, sampling foods from both up-and-coming eateries and some of the city's most iconic establishments.
Each month, members of the Restaurant Club on the Watermark at Brooklyn Heights go away their lavish digs to discover the Big Apple’s culinary scene, sampling meals from each up-and-coming eateries and among the metropolis’s most iconic institutions. Stephen Yang

“It’s never too late to try new things,” member Mary Brown*, 73, instructed The Post, saying she sampled Ethiopian meals for the primary time throughout a current outing to Clinton Hill.

“It’s new cuisines and new scenery,” fellow member Esther Goodman, 78, added. “That’s what we like.”

The group of gastronomes has dined at storied spots reminiscent of Brooklyn Crab and the Red Hook Lobster Pound, preferring to dissect a celeb chef’s newest improvements quite than accept bland meatloaf and mashed potatoes. This month, Mediterranean was on the menu, and I — somebody effectively underneath 65 — was fortunate sufficient to attain an invitation into their energetic world.

Esther Goodman, 78, is a member of The Watermark's "Restaurant Club".
Esther Goodman, 78, is a member of the Watermark’s Restaurant Club. Stephen Yang
Mazzat's head chef Jimmy Bakhoum paid special attention to our table, whipping us up huge helpings of hummus and falafel balls bursting with flavor.
Mazzat’s head chef Jimmy Bakhoum paid particular consideration to our desk, whipping us up large helpings of hummus and falafel balls bursting with taste. Stephen Yang

‘We started our Happy Hour at 3:45’

The daring diners met within the chandelier-lit foyer of the Watermark, a swanky 16-story constructing the place month-to-month charges prime $20,000 for residents who require “memory care” help.

At current, there are near 150 residents, though solely eight joined for this month’s Restaurant Club.

After bundling into a non-public bus, the Restaurant Club members headed to Mazzat, a cozy eatery close to Cobble Hill, the place they arrived simply earlier than 5:30 p.m.

After all, most seniors prefer to eat early, nevertheless it’s additionally a deliberate tactic of the Restaurant Club to make sure they command most consideration from waitstaff.

On the move: Esther Goodman, 78, and Dr. Jerry Beeber, 84, are seen leaving The Watermark.
On the transfer: Esther Goodman, 78, and Dr. Jerry Beeber, 84, are seen leaving the Watermark. Stephen Yang
Barbara Gasman, 89, is chaperoned into The Watermark's private bus by driver, Mo.
Barbara Gasman, 89, is escorted into the Watermark’s non-public bus by driver, Mo. Stephen Yang
Barbara Gasman, 89, is chaperoned into The Watermark's private bus by driver, Mo.
Gasman was among the many eight members of the Restaurant Club who dined at Mazzat. Stephen Yang

“We started our Happy Hour at 3:45 p.m., and here we are,” Kellie Liberto, the Watermark’s Community Life Director, instructed The Post.

Liberto, who chaperones the teams on their varied outings, mentioned the Restaurant Club started in 2021 as a manner for residents to re-explore town after being cooped up amid the COVID-19 pandemic. It additionally helps forge connections between the seniors to assist construct resilience in opposition to loneliness.

“With every dinner, a new connection is made, and at the end of the day, that’s what it’s really all about,” she declared. “But great food doesn’t hurt either!”

While most seniors like to eat early, it's a deliberate tactic of the Restaurant Club to ensure they command maximum attention from waitstaff — and Mazzat's team didn't disappoint.
While most seniors prefer to eat early, it’s a deliberate tactic of the Restaurant Club to make sure they command most consideration from waitstaff — and Mazzat’s workforce didn’t disappoint.
Amy Haus and James Raimes toast to an evening of delicious food and conversation.
Amy Haus and James Raimes toast to a night of scrumptious meals and dialog. Stephen Yang

‘Getting to know you’

As glasses have been topped up with extra wine, the group shared tales about their lives, attending to know one another on a deeper degree.

Among the Restaurant Club members: former Staten Island doctor Dr. Jerry Beeber, 84, and James and Ann Raimes, native Brits who met as grad college students at Cornell within the Sixties.

Beyond the meals, James Raimes mentioned a Norman Podhoretz e book with Goodman whereas Liberto mentioned the neighborhood beloved “Barbie” once they watched it throughout one in all their twice-per-day film screenings, one in all many actions supplied for residents.

Later this month, a group of residents will enterprise to Montauk the place they scored a coveted reservation at celeb seafood hotspot Duryea’s, in addition to the enduring Lobster Roll.

All the actions assist stave off the loneliness that so many senior residents really feel. And throughout dinner, issues obtained private. The group candidly mentioned their marriages, households and careers, along with the adjustment it took to maneuver into a retirement neighborhood.

“Don’t be alone,” Beeber, who misplaced his spouse of 52 years, instructed me. “It’s not good for you.”

“Right now, I’m going through a separation from my old life,” Brown mentioned, not too long ago relocating to the Watermark after promoting her Brooklyn house. “It’s like getting a divorce.”

The outings help forge connections between the seniors.
The outings assist forge connections between the seniors. The Watermark additionally gives an array of different actions for residents, together with artwork courses, sport nights and outings to the New York Philharmonic. Stephen Yang

‘Don’t have any regrets’

Soon after, our plates have been cleared away, and it was time for dessert.

“Get the tiramisu,” Beeber implored earlier than I responded that I used to be making an attempt to observe what I eat.

“It won’t hurt you,” he shot again.

Who was I to argue with a doctor who had practiced for over 50 years? Loneliness: dangerous. Tiramisu: good.

Shwarma, kafta and sea bass were among the entrees ordered, but the group's collective favorite was the lamb shanks.
Shawarma, kafta and sea bass have been among the many entrees ordered, however the group’s collective favourite was the lamb shank. Stephen Yang
Esther Goodman and Dr. Jerry Beeber are seen dining at Mazzat.
Esther Goodman and Dr. Jerry Beeber are seen eating at Mazzat. Stephen Yang

I requested the opposite clever Restaurant Club members if that they had any extra life recommendation for me, a 33-year-old nonetheless greater than three a long time off admittance age on the Watermark.

“It goes so fast,” Brown instructed me as she took a spoon to her ice cream. I couldn’t inform if she was speaking about her dessert or about life itself. But perhaps it was each.

“Don’t have any regrets. Just enjoy it.”

*Some names have been modified to honor requests for privateness.

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