Tuesday, September 22, 2009

New Town Ave. Coffee & Tea - Uber Casual Bistro Dining

The New Town Coffee & Tea eatery is located in the back of Parlett's Card Shop - a longtime Williamsburg purveyor supplying birthday cards and fancy cocktail napkins the genteel host or hostess. At first glance, you could easily dismissed the counter displays of pastries and chocolates as just another coffee bar but there is a breakfast-lunch-dinner menu that one could easily find in the upper 80s and 90s of Madison Avenue in Manhattan. In fact, the name of this place is soooo understated, that I had no idea that a first rate bistro menu was even available (although you place your order at the counter and then find a seat at the rudimentary tables). And so we have a situation. I love the fact that this place is a hidden gem but perhaps a more enticing name would bring the crowds they so deservingly deserve. Borrowing from my very favorite Lexington Avenue diner...how about "Eat Here Now!"

I don't know the full story of the chef/owner who decided to take up residence in a upscale card shop in the horrible Truman Show-esque, perfectly planned community of "New Town", but I'm glad they are here. For breakfast, one could have a number of egg dishes from a hole in one French toast to an oat meal souffle.

I have had lunch here several times now and the soup is a must which changes every so often-soup du le saison. The current offering is a creamy Tequila roasted chicken with corn. I have enjoyed the lamb chop salad and the grilled mozzarella sandwich. My friend Hank has sampled the decandent duck confit sandwich and exclaimed that it was "frickin good". I thought the avocado and grapefruit salad was going to be a sublime experience but it turned out to be disappointing as it was drenched in an Italian dressing that tasted like it came straight from the bottle. A lighter treatment is warranted in my opinion.

The dinner menu is tastefully written and as their website proclaims, it "speaks for itself."  I would suggest that it actually shouts: "Lamb Chop Provencal Merlot Reduction", and "Grilled Rockfish Salad" and "Wild Mushroom Studel with Whipped Brie."  A selection of wine is also offered.

If I had more civility (and companions of a similar ilk) I would definitely check out the "light afternoon tea" - note Reservations Required!

New Town Ave Coffee and Tea is gradually being discovered by the more food astute Willliamsburg resident but we need to spread the word! Word of mouth is important--as my friends Luke and Peggy told me after being told by another friend.  The food at this place is terrific and you get acclimated to the lack of atmosphere-like living in Orlando I guess. The prices are right. And its a perfect place to write your thank you notes on the cards you can purchase at Parlett's. I should write the owners of the New Town Ave Coffee and Tea a big thank you while I'm at it.

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