NYC: Breakfast at Buvette Gastrotheque
Some people skip it, other people eat it just because but I don't fall into either category. I love breakfast. I'm cranky when I miss it and I feel like I haven't started my day off right if I don't eat enough. Remember when your mom told you that breakfast is the most important meal of the day? I believe her. So needless to say, I'm always looking for a good breakfast spot, which is why Buvette Gastrothèque was high on my list of restaurants to check out in NYC.
I recently read an article about Jody Williams's Paris edition in Bon Appétit's May 2014 Travel Issue and fell in love with the idea of Buvette. (If you haven't read the article yet, I highly recommend reading it.) I mean the fact that Williams created the word gastrothèque to describe it says a lot. Buvette is part restaurant, part bar and part cafe, hence gatrothèque. And Williams's West Village location is just that. The decor is interesting and inviting. It's charming and beautiful and trés chic all at the same time. And it is tiny without feeling cramped. Basically it's everything you could ever want from a restaurant in terms of atmosphere. But the food. Ohmygoodness the food.
It is so good. I don't even know where to begin but I guess I have to start somewhere, so I'll start at the beginning. Moses and I arrived at the restaurant around 9:30 am on a Friday and were thrilled to be able to walk right in and get seated because I had done my research and knew to expect a line at a restaurant that doesn't accept reservations for breakfast, lunch nor dinner. BUTTTT, we walked right in and were immediately seated at a table between two other tiny tables. After about two minutes we decided we absolutely needed to move. Not because the tables were too small, nor because they were too close together but simply because the conversations happening around us were too loud and too lively for 9:30 am on a Friday.
We were in luck again because there were two free seats at the bar and we were able to move immediately. That staff was super accommodating and moved us right away. And those two seats ended up being the best seats in the house, and that's not just because the super charming guy behind the bar said so!! They really were and here's why. Buvette is nothing short of magical. I've never been to another restaurant quite like it for a couple reasons. One, not only is the bar, a, well, bar, but it is also the spot where toast is being toasted, espresso shots are being pulled and eggs are being steamed. Yes. I know, shut up, right? But I swear!! They steam their eggs with an espresso machine's steam wand, real talk. It is an amazing concept and the results are out of this world good. The eggs come out soft and fluffy and it's just really fun to watch your waiter steaming eggs in what almost looks like a metal water carafe while quoting Ariel from The Little Mermaid and recanting stories about growing up with many sisters.
So what'd we order? I had the steamed eggs with prosciutto. They come served over toasts and drizzled with amazing olive oil, sprinkled with parmesan and delivered with a smile (no joke on the smile). Moses ordered the croque madame, which was served with prosciutto, sliced right there in front of you (!!!) and an over-easy egg that oozes on impact onto perfectly browned and cheesy bread. Also topped with a healthy dose of parmesan cheese, the real stars of this dish are the layers of bechamel and gruyere. To say we were pleased with our meal, is a gross understatement. It's safe to say that I'd be lining up every Saturday if and when Williams decides to open up in the Bay Area.
P.S. Do you Instagram? If you do, tag @buvettenyc when you visit. Our charming waiter jokingly told me to tag them if I Instagrammed and promised to like my photo when I did. And low and behold, just like with everything else they do, Buvette delivered.
P.S.S. How are eggs so photogenic? Am I right or am I right?