The Swiss Miss
I’m loyal to La Esquina like Lo to LC. Approx 3 blocks from my apt, it’s conveniently located, relatively inexpensive and delivers with speed. When I’m not there, I’m ordering in, making it my very own sanctuario mexicano. It’s not that I’m drooling over Serge Becker (although I did frequent the Box in it’s prime), but chatty- lively, pretty peopleness draws me in. Plus I’m a sucker for an accent. So when Cafe Select opened diagonal from “the corner” I wanted to try. It took me months make good on my Swiss mission to Cafe Select… holiday parties, travel, a slew of out-of-town guests, or maybe I could feel the disappointment radiating from the glassed front. Then last Friday night, and slightly drunk, I made it there. Here’s what transpired.
My kissy neighbor and I were warmly welcomed and given a table to my liking. (Yes, I’m one of those.) We mutually decided that since I’m basically drunk already, we should have some wine. He browsed the list and ordered a bottle. We waited. We waited. We waited. The pint sized British/Aussie/Tanzani/whatev waitress informed us they did not have that bottle. Hmpf. We ordered another. We waited. We waited. We waited. We could see her perusing the wine list and wandering about. Um wtf? Eventually, she came over to inform us that they do not have that wine. She apologized sincerely, but c’mon really? Like srsly? Then when we finally found a mutually agreeable bottle, she corked it and lazily set it on our table. They don’t even pour your wine (or agua for that matter!). I mean SRSLY?!?! Note: I discussed this practice with the owner of a nearby, equally trendy restuarant, and he agreed that the non-pour is a poser move.
The food: The cauliflower salad thingy we got was really good. The cheese/meat plate was comme ci comme ça – a tad confusing because the cheese was arranged to look like lettuce leaves & that in combo with the wine threw me off. And the chicken schnitzel was fine, if a year late. Plus the neighbor boy said it was strikingly similar to his mom’s chicken cutlets…and she was a lousy cook. So there ya have it folks.
Word of advice to you Touch of Class/ La Esquina/Nolita groupies: We’re in a recession. Save dien flocken! I spent time in Switzerland, and I’m not jumping for joy over Swiss cuisine. They do have a gimicky/cute Sunday night fondue party. And a plus for the appropriate number of of int’l hipsters milling about. But a minus because I only spotted like two hot ones. Soon they’re expected to reveal a secret, exclusivesque bar in the boiler room, which rumor has it is teeny weeny with a mini bar and space for max 50 ultra cool guests. The secret bar thing is teetering on played out, so unless Jordan Catalano (sigh) shows up, I’ll stick to mi esquina. Gracias.
Cafe Select 212 Lafayette Street, between Spring & Kenmare 212-925-9322
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