Having recently moved to New York, I know that I am in a culinary haven and not only do I need to explore new places, but I also need to relive old favourites. The Cornelia Street Café is one of those little gems that I’m so happy I found a few years ago when looking for somewhere new for brunch. When in New York one must do as they do…and my God do they know how to ‘brunch’.
Cornelia offers main plates, typical brunch dishes of course with their own twist to it, like homefries roasted with garlic and rosemary and they use fresh salad instead of an abundance of toast – really it’s quite refreshing. You can either order like normal or go for their offer of $20 for a side – there are a few to choose from including the delicious chocolate bread that literally melts in your mouth (courtesy of Amy’s Bread that is just a stone’s throw away on Bleecker), a main dish, and a hot and cold drink. This is a great bargain for the quality of the dishes.
The orange juice is as fresh as it can come, the tea – well for Americans they did try. It was served as black, not even a side of milk, but when I asked they politely brought it over. I’m not sure I’ve ever heard of Stash Tea before though, it wasn’t great.
The oh so difficult question always comes to me and that is ‘sweet or savoury?’ Well lucky for you I tried them both – so you’ll hear what I thought on both accounts. First up – Buttermilk Pancakes topped with fresh fruit and accompanied with Vermont maple syrup. The pancakes were the depiction of fluffy – not too sickly sweet and the perfect amount. The fruit was ripe and sweet and the maple…oh the maple, the heavenly nectar trickled over each pancake literally completing the dish. Perfection!
On the savoury side I chose The Farmer’s Breakfast -Eggs Any Style on a Bed of Greens w/ Crumbled Bacon, Rosemary Roast Potatoes & Roasted Garlic. The salad really takes the edge off the portion size – if it was with toast then I don’t know how much I could have handled. I chose to have my eggs poached and they really were cooked to perfection, the yolk poured out over the bacon so delectably and the bacon was just unbelievable, a slight crunch, but not too much and the saltiness mixed with the sweet of the egg just complemented the dish brilliantly. The roasted potatoes were seasoned well and thankfully the rosemary seasoning wasn’t too strong as I find it can be quite overpowering sometimes. This feels like an adult’s dish – that sounds silly perhaps, but try it and you’ll see what I mean. You’ll leave there wanting to go shopping for rugs or antique coffee tables. Eat it, you’ll see!
The service is good, you don’t notice them that much but they’re polite and friendly. Always the best way.
Cornelia also serves all other meals and has live music and performances scheduled on a regular basis too. Be sure to visit if you get a chance.
The Cornelia Street Café
29 Cornelia Street, New York, NY 10014