A new New Yorker tucks into the West Village’s offerings with her Abueti, a longtime Manhattanite.
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By Tanya Sichynsky
Hi there! I’m Tanya, an editor on this newsletter and your substitute teacher this week in Ms. Richardson’s absence. Please, get off the desks.
There was a lot to look forward to when I moved to New York City from Washington, D.C., nearly five months ago: a new apartment to decorate, new friends to make, new haunts to discover. But above all else, I could finally have breakfast with my grandmother, who has lived in Manhattan since the ’60s, whenever I pleased.
Abueti doesn’t just love breakfast — she loves going out for a nice breakfast. She relishes in a really good cup of coffee, perfectly scrambled eggs, a flaky pastry. I share her enthusiasm, so together we are slowly scouring the West Village for stellar breakfast plates.
Two things I keep in mind: We don’t excel at speaking the other’s native language, so it’s crucial that we can hear each other wherever we go (sorry, Jack’s Wife Freda). And the menu must skew toward breakfast, not brunch — we’re not here for bottomless Bloody Marys.
So, below, you’ll find a few of our favorite spots. Call your grandma!
All-Day Cafes Are Back, Baby
Much like millennial pink and VSCO filters, all-day cafes can feel very 2017. St. Jardim, the year-old cafe and wine bar at the corner of West Fourth and West 10th Streets, is fresh despite that. The day menu is simple yet curated; the soft scrambled eggs are some of the best I’ve eaten recently. Abueti adored the coffee here, which comes from Sey, and she finished the large yogurt bowl topped with fresh fruit with ease and delight. The small assortment of pastries at the counter are supplied by La Cabra — grab a canelé if you can.
On the opposite corner of West Fourth Street, you’ll find Fairfax, another all-day joint that, surprise, opened in 2017. The dining room is eclectically appointed with wildlife taxidermy and vintage art depicting jockeys and dogs and pinup girls. The petit omelet from their proper, albeit pared-down, breakfast menu is only improved with an order of very good bacon.
Old Standbys in an Always-Changing Neighborhood
When you’ve lived in New York for more than a half-century, as Abueti has, it is impossible to ignore the ever-evolving landscape. Storefronts on Bleecker Street announce themselves as quickly as they vanish, like destinations on the old Penn Station departure board.
But you know what hasn’t changed? Bus Stop Cafe, where Hudson and Bethune Streets meet and spitting distance from the M11 bus stop. Since 1995, this corner restaurant has been a neighborhood fixture. The question shouldn’t be “What does Bus Stop Cafe serve?” but rather “What doesn’t Bus Stop Cafe serve?” You’ll find pastrami omelets, scramble-filled croissants and eggs Benedict on the all-day menu. But we keep it simple: two everything bagel platters with lox and tomatoes for the ladies, please!
A quick stroll down Bleecker Street will get you to the 11-year-old Buvette on Grove Street, a secret to no one but reliable all the same. The restaurant is cozy and a destination for locals and tourists alike, so it’s not uncommon for walk-ins to huddle outside. (Keep this in mind for anyone who might find waiting physically uncomfortable.) An early weekday visit (it opens at 8 a.m.) is advised, and the cappuccino that awaits will perk you right up. We love the saumon fumé, steamed eggs with smoked salmon and crème fraîche, but I’ve been known to tuck into the Belgian waffle under a heap of fresh berries every now and then.
Where should I take Abueti next? Let me know on Instagram! I’m @tanyasic, and thanks for having me.
In Other News …
Pete Wells reviewed Nabila’s in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, which serves up the Lebanese cooking of Nabila Farah. Her food has long been a hit on the Washington, D.C., party circuit.
Florence Fabricant detailed 29 restaurants to visit this fall, including Hav & Mar, with seafood by the chefs Rose Noël and Marcus Samuelsson; a new location for Eric Huang’s Pecking House and his fiery fried chicken; increasing options at Rockefeller Plaza and Grand Central Terminal; and more.
A new generation of tasting menus finds chefs embracing lower price points and ditching the attitude, Brett Anderson reports.
Michelin Guide New York City provided an advance list of new restaurants it plans to add to the guide, Florence reports.
Tickets for The New York Times Food Festival on Oct. 8 are sold out, but don’t fret. You can join the wait-list to be the first to know when more tickets become available.
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