Before he had ever spent any substantial time in restaurant kitchens, the chef Michael Psilakis went to college and earned an accounting degree. Oddly, it was a fluke, part-time post-graduation waitering gig at a T.G.I. Fridays that first convinced him that he should be a chef and restaurateur. His father Gus had always been a generous culinary daredevil, having built a spit in the backyard for roasting whole lamb, and he imparted a strong love of home cooked food. At the same time, Psilakis' mom taught him the basics of classic Greek cuisine, so it's not unusual that his new restaurant—just opened in the original Kefi space—combines comfort food like homemade potato chips and choices like smokey tomato soup with made-from-scratch versions of riblets and tater tots.

Gus & Gabriel, named for Psilakis' late father and young son, is a treehouse of a restaurant. Psilakis designed the interior, which notably includes a penny farthing bicycle and a suit of armor that's bound to be stared at by kids for a really long time. Food-wise, Psilakis has made an honest, small plates menu out of the entire Applebee's oeuvre, and it turns out that's not a bad thing: those potato chips are made from scratch, as are the "crab & fish sticks." With the latter, don't expect perfectly molded rectangular fried nuggets of the Gorton's persuasion. Don't expect something haute or overly-styled, either: Psilakis is interesting in making food from scratch, and food that tastes good, not museum pieces and plates painted with sauces.

While there are a few vegetarian options, the menu is meat heavy, and carefully prepared at that: chicken wings are smoked for 20 minutes and hit with sauce for good measure; fried chicken is brined for two days. The pastrami is made in house. The burger ($11.50) is a mix of 70 % dry-aged beef and 30% regular, and may well turn out to be a contender in the ever-raging city burger sweepstakes. Nothing on the Gus & Gabriel menu costs more than $14.95. 50 beers and 70 whiskeys round out the menu, and spirits can be ordered by the flask in 8 oz. quantities. Your flask, when unfinished by the meal's end, will be stowed away behind the bar for subsequent visits. Below, the opening menu, nachos and all.

Gus & Gabriel // 222 West 79th Street // (212) 362-7470

Beer Snacks

Hot Potato Chips 3.95
Sour Cream, caramelized onion, garlic & chive dip

Pretzel Nuggets 3.95
Honey mustard glaze

Spicy Pickled Fries 3.95

Onion Rings 3.95
BBQ sauce

BBQ Pork, Cheddar & Jalapeño “Tater Tots" 3.95
Spicy BBQ sauce


American Salad 7.95
Romaine, bacon, hard-boiled egg, carrot, red onion, crouton, cheddar, cherry tomato, red & green peppers
Choice of Dressing: garlic ranch ~ Italian ~
blue cheese ~ roasted tomato, onion & bacon

Chili 6.95
Aged cheddar, scallion, sour cream,
chipotle-scallion-jalapeño corn bread

Buttered Sweet Corn &
Jalapeño Soup 5.95
Crème fraîche, Pecorino Romano, chive

French Onion Soup 6.50
Sourdough crouton, gruyère

Black Bean Soup 5.95
Sour cream, cilantro, avocado

Glazed Pork “Riblets” 7.95
Sherry, honey, molasses

Nachos (for two) 9.95
Chili, refried beans, guacamole, sour cream, salsa

Crab & Fish Sticks 7.95
Tartar sauce

Mexi Mac & Cheese 7.50
Monterey Jack & cheddar, jalapeño béchamel, sour cream, salsa

Potato Skins 7.95
Chili, aged cheddar, Monterey jack, bacon, sour cream

Spicy BBQ Chicken Wings 8.95
Blue cheese, celery, carrot


Burger 11.50
French fries

Bacon & Cheddar Burger 12.95
French fries

Smoked Tomato, Garlic Confit & Mozzarella Burger 12.95
French fries

Roasted Mushroom, Caramelized Onion & Gruyère Burger 12.95
French fries

Fried Egg, Bacon, Onion Rings & Gruyère Burger 13.95
French fries

Beef Brisket French Dip 11.95
Gruyère, caramelized onions, beef jus, French fries

Two House~made Hot Dogs 10.95
French fries

Two Chili & Cheese Hot Dogs 12.95
French fries

Meatball “Parmigiano” Hero 13.95
Sautéed onion & bell pepper, provolone, mozzarella, tomato, spaghetti

Grilled Beef Ribs 14.95
Beef jus, mashed potatoes

Meatloaf 11.95
Roasted mushroom & onion, mashed potatoes

Pulled Pork Cuban 12.95
Monterey jack, pepperoncini, pickles, sauerkraut, mustard, French fries

Crispy Fried Chicken 13.95
Biscuits, giblet gravy, mashed potatoes

BBQ Roasted Pork Butt 13.95
Onion rings, coleslaw, mashed potatoes

Hot Turkey Sandwich 12.95
Gruyère, bacon, gravy, mashed potatoes

BLT Grilled Cheese 10.95
Bacon, cheddar, smoked tomato, romaine, mayo

Baked Ziti 11.95
Mozzarella, ricotta, tomato

Fish & Chips 12.95
French fries