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Old ‘Gold’: New Ridge deli goes back to Brooklyn’s roots

Michael Esposito, co-owner of the new Gold Coast Delicatessen in Bay Ridge, shows of the deli’s delicious corned beef sandwich.
Photo by Elizabeth Graham

Bay Ridge has struck gold — in the form of homemade egg salad, potato-horseradish knishes, and giant pastrami sandwiches.

The highly anticipated Gold Coast Delicatessen quietly opened on Wednesday, bringing a touch of bygone, egg cream-era Brooklyn to what has traditionally been a red sauce-saturated stretch of Third Avenue.

“The minute we put out our welcome board, people started filing in,” said co-owner Ted Mann. “Older people earlier in the day, and a younger set later at night. It’s all about nostalgia — everyone seems to have a fondness for this sort of classic Brooklyn cuisine.”

Chopped liver and kasha varnishkes seem an unlikely pursuit for Mann and his partner Michael Esposito — who co-own hot dining destinations such as Apartment 138 in Cobble Hill, Bar 4 in Park Slope and Cebu, also in Bay Ridge — but they were determined to fill a gap in the local food scene.

“It was important to us to not try and duplicate or redo anything that had done before,” said Esposito. “We know and love this neighborhood, and we wanted to give it what it needed. A classic deli.”

Not that Gold Coast is your standard take-a-number cold cut counter; it’s a fully realized 70-seat restaurant and bar, with snazzy black-and-white tiled floors, vintage furnishings and fixtures, and a long, glass enclosed “porch” peering out onto the street.

“We’re also making as much of the food as possible in house,” said Mann. “The chef is actually breaking down whole fresh tuna for the tuna salad. We’re steaming and curing our own meats for sandwiches. Our pastry chef is even baking black-and-white cookies.”

A grand opening for the deluxe delicatessen is tentatively scheduled for July 28 — the day the liquor license comes in — along with a formal ribbon cutting and blessing by none other than notorious lunch-meat lover, Borough President Markowitz.

“He really wanted to do it. He even asked to have a sandwich named after him,” said Mann. “We’re not sure what that would be, yet.”

Ham on rye seems fitting.

Gold Coast [8530 Third Ave. at 86th Street in Bay Ridge, (718) 238-8020].

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