Place: Cornelia Street Cafe
Neighborhood: West Village, 29 Cornelia St.
The scoop: Cornelia Street Cafe is tucked away on the quiet street of the same name. It is a cute space with sidewalk seating, a decent sized bar, and dining areas in the front and back of the restaurant. Cornelia Street Cafe has a laid-back atmosphere with some funky art on the walls. We were seated in the front dining area, which was a little cramped. I had peeked my head into the back dining area and noticed ample seating in that area, so I was curious as to why we were seated up front. Our party of two was seated at a table for four. About a minute after we sat down, they came and told us they were using the other table for another party of two. They moved the other table literally about three to four inches away, so this made the dining experience a little uncomfortable for us, and I imagine for the party seated next to (or pretty much on top of) us as well. Also, our table was a little on the wobbly side which added to the uncomfortable eating experience. The server was very nice, but a little ditzy. Even though we had both ordered off the prix-fixe menu (which includes an entree, one drink, a bread, and a coffee), we had to ask her about the options, which she should have told us about it when we ordered our meal initially. The food actually came out fairly quickly, but our waitress was hard to track down. It was also very hard to get our small water glasses refilled. The water was warm and no ice was served with it, which wasn’t exactly ideal on a hot summer day.
Bottoms up: Cornelia Street Cafe offers one alcoholic beverage with the $20 prix-fixe brunch special. We chose the mimosa and champagne. The mimosa was so strong! The champagne was bitter and not refreshing. After tasting the champagne, we knew it had to be the same champagne they used in the mimosa. Neither of us finished our drinks. We each got an iced coffee as part of the coffee option of the prix-fixe, and it was very good and satisfying on this hot day. Between the mimosa, champagne, iced coffee, and warm water, I think it’s safe to say that the iced coffee was the clear winner in the drink category.
Chew on this:
Chocolate bread / Challah bread with chocolate morsels. Bread option for prix-fixe
This bread was on the small side, but very tasty. The chocolate morsels were sweet and a little melty. It wasn’t overly chocolatey. We actually were unsure of what kind of bread was used, so we asked the waitress. This bread is great for anyone who has a sweet tooth and is a perfect treat for after your meal.
Croissant / Plain croissant. Bread option for prix-fixe
The croissant was recommended to us by the waitress. Before we even tasted it, we could tell how much butter was in it because our hands were so greasy just from trying to break it apart. It was flaky and you could really taste the butter. It was very good, but the butter overload prevented us from finishing it.
Farmer’s breakfast $20 / Eggs any style on a bed of greens with crumbled bacon, rosemary roast potatoes, and roasted garlic
I opted to get my eggs as scrambled egg whites. I ate the egg whites first, and then ate what was left as a salad. The potatoes were crispy on the outside and a little soft on the inside, but I did not taste or see any rosemary. The greens were dressed lightly in a tasty balsamic vinaigrette. There was plenty of bacon on top of the greens. The bacon was crispy and crumbled nicely, so it was very easy to eat with the greens. The roasted garlic was the perfect complement. I almost felt like I got two meals in this dish — the eggs and the salad. I was very happy with my choice.
Eggs Benedict $20 / Country baked ham on an English muffin, hollandaise sauce, roast garlic rosemary potatoes
My dish was very tasty and I was pleased with the size. The poached eggs were perfectly cooked and it was difficult to control the runny yolk after I poked each egg. Luckily I had a fresh English muffin to soak up the yolk from my plate. In addition, a nice piece of fresh and juicy ham and the slight tangy hollandaise sauce topped off this dish to make it a satisfying meal.
The final bite: Cornelia Street Cafe is a casual restaurant where you can enjoy a delicious and decent-sized meal with a very small group. Although the food was excellent, the drinks, service, and seating arrangement left us with a little bit of a bitter taste in our mouths.
Reviewed by: Jen and Victoria