Saturday, April 07, 2007

Cafe au Lait (Le Pain Quotidien)

I was first introduced to Le Pain Quotidien in Paris - as a great place to have a meal that was more reminiscent of an American brunch (though with better bread). Since being back in NY, while I am not a regular, I do enjoy their drinks and pastries when it's convenient. (I might also say that it is likely one of the contributing factors to my going back on to caffeine. (I stopped drinking Diet Coke (2 pack a day habit) about 10 years ago and de facto gave up most caffeine (I hadn't been a big coffee drinker and chocolate doesn't count). But while I was in Paris, I fell for the idea of the social coffee, the cafe au lait for a leisurely breakfast, etc., but didn't quite go back on. But when I moved back to NY and so much of the coffee scene was what I had liked about Paris' and I realized it wasn't temporary, I started drinking coffee again (decaf). It's not just the flavor (which I like), it's the whole ritual/aura of it. I'm enjoying being a coffee drinker.) )

Today my brother, O, was in town and I was trying to figure out a good, relatively quick place for brunch - and realized it was perfect. We were walking back to my place from yoga and so we stopped off (and while I'm not generally a huge fan of chains, the food here doesn't seem to suffer and it's nice to have them conveniently dotted throughout the city). We were in the one on Lex at 63rd, which has a nice little sunroom in that back that I quite like.

I ordered a bowl of cafe au lait (decaf - it really is more the whole spirit of it than the caffeine) - which was perfect. Picking up the warm bowl in two hands, inhaling the smell of the coffee and milk - it's perfect.

O got an orange juice - which he said was quite good.

We decided to share two of their platters. The Mediterranean, which was tabouleh, hummus and babaganoush

And the cheese, which was Gruyere, Brie, Blue and something else I can't remember.

The meals here are good because all the parts are good - the bread is great, the cheese was really nice and the hummus/tabouleh/babaganoush were tasty. It's a nice casual brunch place, with the whole cafe au lait in a bowl aura that made me go back to coffee in the first place.


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