Are you into scrambled eggs with parmesan and prosciutto? Who’s not!
Or maybe Belgium waffles topped with berries is more your thing? Waffles with fried eggs and bacon is mine!
Maybe you’re one of those people (my sister) who prefers to have a warm, freshly baked croissant served with cream, jam and butter before all meals?
Well, you can have all of the above and more at Buvette, which is why I’m going straight there when I land at JFK in exactly 21 days.
Buvette is the place I’ve been raving about since I was there last. The place that is so simple and oh so goddam special at the same time. The place with the dreamiest courtyard, delicious coffee and friendly staff. The place that offers small plates because you don’t need much of their food to feel completely satisfied. It’s a place that oozes romance; like you can dream up anything in the entire world and accomplish it.
It makes your feel like you could maybe, one day, write a novel as seductive as Sweetbitter.
And don’t even get me started on their branding. The box of matches I took during my last visit now have a permanent spot on my desk. It is not to be touched or used by anyone. EVER.
I will be back soon, Buvette, and this time I’m coming for your dinner and your wine.
42 Grove Street, NYC (West Village)
I’ve eaten at Feast of Merit before. It’s a beautiful cafe in Richmond that serves delicious food with a Middle Eastern twist. I always knew it maintained a farm to table philosophy; I was aware it was an initiative by YGAP (Y-Generation Against Poverty), an incredible charity that supports youth education and leadership projects in Malawi, Ghana, Rwanda, Bangladesh, Cambodia and Australia; I knew that the staff was friendly and the front windows open wide on Summary days for a killer dining scene.
What I didn’t know was that the name “Feast of Merit” comes from an incredible tradition out of Nagaland, a region in North-eastern India. In Naga culture, when someone in the community comes into a position of wealth they can choose to hold a festival called Feast of Merit. The festival brings the community together – rich and poor – to share and enjoy food for days on end.
It’s no wonder why a visit to FOM always feels like a special event.
Recently, I got to taste Feast of Merit’s new Spring menu and hear the chef speak. With a glint in his eye he told us how no other place he’s ever worked has felt like home. And he explained how incredibly grateful he is for the position. There is a place within the walls of Feast of Merit where he can be creative and play with concepts, flavours and textures. He is inspired by his work place, just as his food is. Ultimately, he wanted us to know how much he loves the intricate process behind preparing a meal for Feast of Merit.
I swear I could taste the love in my crumpets. I could also taste the mandarin curd, vanilla and cinnamon labneh and the maple honeycomb!
My parents came and went to visit me in the blink of an eye. They arrived last Friday and left Monday. It was too short, went too fast, and too much fun.
One of the things I love most about my parents visiting, aside from physically hugging them, is that they come prepared with their own lists of cafes and restaurants to try! There’s one place they brought to the table this time around that I am actually upset I didn’t tell them about. My mom was reading the Quantas magazine sometime during her 24-hour plane ride to Melbourne. In one of the articles Neil Perry shares his three favorite breakfast places in all of Melbourne. At the top of list was Alimentari.
I was upset with my parent’s blind recommendation at first because it is approximately 4 minutes walking from my house. I should have been the one taking my parents there! I would have been a hero. I take the tram past it every day, I get my flowers next door every weekend, I’ve window shopped at Wilkinsons and Kent nearby a ballion times, I’ve even shopped at their very own grocery store! I’ve just always thought that big, dark building on the corner of Brunswick St and Greeves St. was a deli called Delicatessen, what with the deli style counter at the front featuring everything from delicious sweet treats, to an abundance salami, take away lasagna, to bottles of anchovies. You wouldn’t know there was an entire room at the back unless you went in.
Anyway, in we went. And, oh, how authentically delicious it truly was. Jack and I got the poached eggs with hollandaise sauce with bacon and spinach, cooked perfectly. My mom ordered the french toast, which she immediately deemed the best french toast in all of Melbourne and vowed to never order them anywhere else again. My dad got the poached eggs with salami, tomato and sausage, and I was slowly dying with jealousy.
I guess at the end of the day, it really doesn’t matter who finds out about a place like Alimentari. I guess it just matters that we did find it and got to enjoy it. But I’m only guessing.
I try to trick Jack into taking me for breakfast at least once every weekend. I don’t know why I love it so much, I just do. Most of the time we end up either walking or driving down Smith Street in Collingwood to get to our destination. That’s usually when I get a really good look into Gorski and Jones. It’s beautiful. The entior is cool and hip, yet classy and elegant, same with the menu. I love how I can picture smack dab in the middle of NYC, acting as my very chic apartment.
It’s been months since I’ve been trying to get Jack there so I though I’d try a new strategy and invite Jill, Meg and Lu instead. We had a girls breakfast, and I’m so happy I waited our for them because even with his Urban Spoon approval Jack would have probably not appreciated it like the girls did!
I asked the waitress if we could be seated in the patio just because I wanted to walk through the gorgeous top to floor wall of windows and sit against the exposed brick. It was a special day as Lucinda tried her first ever (how un Australian of her) and loved it! She’s now made the switch from a latte to a flat white. There was a lot of congratulations and smiling involved. So much smiling in fact we realized both our boyfriends tell us our smiles are out of control. This, of course, made us smile harder.
Everyone at the table ordered something different! There was a pancake (yes, literally one pancake), poached eggs with hollandase sauce on top of round hash browns with very thick bacon on the side (which I keep eyeing), crushed avocado tomato, and persion fetta on toast (fetta = jill) and finally, my plate, the italian workers: proscuitto, pecorino, hard boiled egg, fresh tomato, Sicilian olives. I loved my plate because it felt like a second breakfast my dad might catch me eating in their kitchen, high five me and then steal it all.
I would only do two things differently next time I’m there: get the orange juice as well as the coffee and rent out the back patio area and invite everyone I know! There’s no party like a BRUNCH PARTY! Right?