Our glorious age of great new NYC bakeries continues into 2020 with the recent opening of Red Gate Bakery in the East Village. It's a bright, friendly sliver of a spot, two steps down from 1st Street, specializing in sweets—the founder and baker is Greg Rales, who named the place after the farm in Nantucket where he spent his presumably-idyllic summers as a kid.

There is a certain farmhouse vibe to Red Gate, but Rales and his director of operations (and long-time friend) Patricia Howard aren't trying for some sort of rustic theme-park situation here. Red Gate Bakery is an unmistakably contemporary operation, from the space-age floral arrangements and snap-a-selfie Polaroid board to the inventive menu of cookies and cakes, brownies and bars.

Rales started his adult life heading in a completely different direction (he studied creative writing at Columbia, and worked in production at AMC Networks), before finally turning his private passion, making cookies, into a profession. His most relevant baking experience preceding Red Gate was helping to open Flour Shop, Amirah Kassem's "sprinkles and smiles" sugar rush of a place on Lafayette Street. Thankfully, Rales's creations here at Red Gate are much more about the deep pleasures of eating than providing fleeting thrills for Instagram.

The cookies are where Rales really excels, and no matter which of the flavors you choose you're guaranteed that perfect textural balance between chewy and crisp. The wintry Spiced and Iced Oatmeals (or "Snoatmeals"), the rich Choco-Toffees, the complex White Chocolate Grapefruits, are all knee-bucklers right from the first bite. And his "Oreos," sometimes available in multiple flavors, are particularly wonderful. Or have it both ways with the excellent Cannibal Cookie, which takes a brown-butter base and mixes in crushed Oreos.

Rales also makes superb Blondies and Brownies, both of them gooey and moist, the former crunchy with pecans, the latter oozing salted caramel. He likes cakes better than pies and, in addition to filling special orders for full "Celebration Cakes," there's always a slice of something available at the counter. When I went last week that meant Toasted Coconut Banana Bacon, made with bacon fat, actual bacon bits, and a cream cheese frosting. It was dense and intense as you would expect. Same for the double-chocolate Midnight Banana Bread and the buttery Toasted Carrot Loaf with candied pistachios on top.

Although she, too, went to Columbia for creative writing, Howard entered the hospitality business at Angie Mar's Beatrice Inn (she was also a line cook at abcV). In addition to running logistics and sourcing at Red Gate, Howard also works the counter, and Rales is always right back there as well, tending to his creations in the open kitchen. Together they make a winning pair, infusing the shop with warm humor and a palpable enthusiasm. Their goal is to make Red Gate a neighborhood favorite, and my bet is that they'll succeed.

Red Gate Bakery is located at 68 East 1st Street, between First and Second Avenues, and is open Wednesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Closed Monday and Tuesday (646-870-5553; redgatebakery,com)