There’s a particular art to reading a restaurant through its menus. And if some change constantly, the one thing you notice in Gage & Tollner’s, through its many iterations, is how little the choices shift. More steaks and chops prior to the 20th century, but then largely the same local seafood from 1919 through the 1970s.
This makes it, in its way, one of the quintessential pillars of New York cuisine, however that might have been defined — and well before such terms as “Continental cuisine” ever appeared.
The consistency, as much as anything, speaks to its role as an icon of Brooklyn community life.