A beautiful little cafe tucked away on a small, charming street in the West Village that promises a perfectly romantic neighborhood brunch every weekend.
The endearing red awnings and sunny sidewalk seating that adorn the front of Cornelia Street Cafe immediately set the stage for one of the most pleasant meals in the neighborhood. While the understated and unpretentious local atmosphere would win anyone over immediately, the comfortable and within-range brunch menu makes everyone want to become a regular.
I love the option of doing the Prix Fixe brunch for only $22, which comes with a little baked appetizer (the Home Baked Chocolate Croissant is flaky with a very subtle bittersweetness), any of the main brunch entrees, a choice of juice, a bellini, or other breakfast drinks, and a choice of coffee, tea, or soda. The Buttermilk Pancakes and Challah French Toast are my favorites here, both served with seasonal fresh fruit and 100% pure maple syrup, consistent with their menu of pleasant American bistro classics.
The Eggs Benedict, served on an english muffin with the traditional fixings of country baked ham and hollandaise sauce, is representative of much of the food here. It is food that is not going to change the way you think about brunch (you might even whisper to yourself, "I think I could have made this at home"), but nonetheless, most people tend not to ask much more of Cornelia Street Cafe. The charm of the space and its cultural appreciation has made it a clear favorite in the area for those who want down-to-earth comfort and ambiance instead of culinary inspiration.