Place: Cafe Joul
Location: Midtown East, 1070 First Ave. (between 58th and 59th St.)
The scoop: A group of us were looking for a brunch spot in Midtown/Upper East Side, so we decided to check out Cafe Joul. As soon as I walked into the restaurant, I was turned off by the slight stench. I can’t really describe the smell, but it wasn’t pleasant.
Abstract art hung on the walls, which I really liked. It turns out that the restaurant changes its artwork on a continuous basis, displaying paintings from local artists. That’s pretty cool!
The restaurant wasn’t crowded and we had enough room for four adults and a highchair for a little one. Although the staff seemed nice, I felt like our waiter barely served us. We had to ask three times for our check, and it took forever to receive it. I’m not sure why it took so long considering the restaurant wasn’t packed.
Bottoms up: The prix-fixe menu cost $23 and it includes a basket of pastries and jams, a choice of mimosa, bloody Mary, bellini or freshly squeezed orange juice, and coffee or tea
The bellinis and mimosas were tasty and were well-balanced between the alcohol and juice. We didn’t have any complaints, and we enjoyed our drinks.
Chew on this:
Basket of pastries
The basket of pastries was probably the best part of brunch. I love when restaurants give an assortment of bread. This makes me skip over the sweet brunch dishes since we are already given a sweet treat. The croissants with chocolate were yummy and were great to munch on alone. The basket also contained scones and mini muffins. The assortment of jams were tasty and went well with the treats.
Garden Omelette / Mushrooms, tomatoes, red peppers and red onions, sweet potato fries and organic mesclun salad
Geraldine and I decided to order the garden omelette, and we both thought that it was extremely plain and didn’t taste like much. Even though Geraldine added cheese, she said her dish was still bland. Some greens were served on the side, along with delicious, freshly cut sweet potato fries. The best part of the dish were the definitely the fries, which were cooked to perfection with a soft inside.
The final bite: The drinks were OK, and I liked the bread basket, but none of us were too impressed with the food. I would say skip Cafe Joul and find another brunch spot.
Reviewed by: Victoria