Ze Cafe: New York, NY, USA
Mid-May took me to the Big Apple for a close friend’s wedding. Of course not only did I line up a timeline of things to do such as capture the city on camera at Top of the Rock (Rockefeller Center), I also lined up a few things for my mouth to hit up as well!
Ooh la la! Melt-in-your-mouth heaven for perhaps what is one of the best brunches I have had in a very long time. It is tucked away at the very end of Manhattan on the middle East Side. We almost missed it especially given that our hotel clock was set BACK an hour, causing us to wake up an hour earlier than the restaurant actually opened! Good thing yours truly was too tired to wake up “on time”, and we ended up only being fifteen minutes early to the restaurant. However, the reviews on Yelp were amazing and actually forewarned of long lines an hour or so past opening so to wake up early was actually a bonus! The cafe is also associated with a flower shop next door that supplies fresh flowers for both outside and inside the cafe. You can smell the wonderful sweet scent of fresh peonies both waiting outside and at your table!
The tasting menu for Ze Cafe included:
Fried Stuffed French Toast: this was the best stuffed french toast that I have ever had. Two fluffy pieces of toast are dipped in batter but stuffed in between them are slices of fresh banana in what I am guessing to be creme fraiche. Then the concoction is rolled in panko breadcrumbs and deep-fried (or flash-fried). It is served with two plump sausages and something that I like to call a “berry hash”. The best way to eat this is straight off the plate as soon as it comes in with a light drizzle of syrup but be careful, the inside of the french toast can burn your mouth!
Smoked salmon breakfast sandwich: served with a side salad of greens which was lightly tossed in a vinaigrette, it was quite the filling meal for two people. Served with a hefty dollop of cream cheese, it was actually quite heavy when combined with the stuffed french toast.
Pineapple Gallette: on the house! I can’t remember why but I think it was because they didn’t have our initial order for one of the dishes. (this is why you should blog as soon as possible, otherwise memory fails you miserably!). It was fairly large, but was quite the treat and goes very well with their house coffee. The outer part of the tart is rubbed w/ a fine pistachio crumble and the pineapple is baked just right with a golden brown tint to it. Not too sweet and yet not too tangy, it is truly the perfect start (and possibly the perfect end) to a very enjoyable meal!
All in all:
- Stuffed French Toast: **** (4 stars)
- Smoked Salmon Sandwich: ***.5 stars (too much cream cheese for my taste)
- Pineapple tart: **** (4 stars)
If you wanted to check out Ze Cafe for yourself:398 E. 52 St., New York, NY (212) 758-1944 http://www.zecafe.com