It’s been excruciatingly hot in NYC recently and having to take the crowded subways couldn’t have been any worse in the insane humidity level. Despite roasting in the heat, I had the chance to meet and catch up with a good friend of mine, Kaila, as we went to grab a bite to eat at Corner Shop Café. A small, trendy restaurant located on the corner of Broadway and Bleeker near Soho, the Corner Shop Café was a delightful surprise to both of us.
Painted a deep gray and featuring red brick walls, the Corner Shop Café gives off the kind of rustic, vintage air that is popular with today’s hipsters. Kaila and I benefitted from the recommendations of Jen, our friendly waitress who covered the menu and daily specials for us. As she suggested, we started off with a salmon tartare to share, plated with strips of crispy yucca chips and pesto sauce. The salmon tartare was a beautiful escape from the steaming streets; the freshness of the salmon and avocado mixed with the smoky taste of cilantro, chipotle, and capers gave the perfect blend of creamy and clean that I look for in an appetizer.
Moving on to our individual entrées, Kaila went with the Corner Shop Café favorite, truffle mac & cheese, and I decided on the pancetta-wrapped pork loin with Waldorf apple slaw and orzo. The pork loin was cooked to absolute perfection, the moist and succulent meat wrapped in salty pancetta with the sweet apple slaw and creamy orzo balancing the usually heavy meal. Pancetta wrapped pork loins can easily be a disaster if the seasoning is off. However, the Corner Shop Café’s take on this dish presented a fantastic balance among multiple flavors. Despite not being my own dish, I couldn’t help stealing bites of Kaila’s truffle mac & cheese throughout the meal. With the creamy taste of three different types of cheese and the nutty taste of shiitake mushrooms and truffle, I couldn’t stop commenting on how delicious it was. We also added prosciutto to the mac & cheese, lending a heartier flavoring to the depth of the cheese.
As we were finishing up our meal, Mark, the manager of Corner Shop Café, gave us two magnificently colored cocktails crafted by their bartender. I had the chance to speak to the creator of our drinks, who said that all of the cocktails at the Corner Shop Café are his original recipes and tweaks on some of his favorite drinks. I had the pleasure of tasting the Berry Peculiar Margarita, which contains Sailor Jerry Rum, iced tea, raspberry puree, mint, and lemon juice, and also the Angry Peach, which contains Bombay Sapphire, lime juice, peach schnapps, and prosecco. Both drinks had a distinct tartness mixed with a sweet, bubbly taste, refreshing enough to beat off the grueling heat. The bartender also described the drinks as having the “mellowness of the berries and the tartness of the gin.” Though these unique cocktails came at the end of our delicious meal, they were definitely the highlight of the evening.
Corner Shop Café prides itself on serving only quality organic food prepared immediately before each meal (brunch, lunch, and dinner). All of the meats used are free-range and grass-fed – only the best types for the best quality. Our waitress, Jen, also recommended that on our next visit we try the truffle poached eggs and the tuna burger for brunch, indicating that brunch at Corner Shop Café is always a fantastic experience for people of all tastes. With the woody décor and lively atmosphere, Corner Shop Café is perfect for a casual date night, a hangout with your friends, or even for a quick meal alone after having roamed around the city. Kaila and I left extremely satisfied with our experience at the Corner Shop Café and there is absolutely no doubt that I will be paying them another visit soon.
Corner Shop Café’s website: http://cornershopcafe.com/
Use this coupon from the Campus Clipper to enjoy a fantastic meal at Corner Shop Cafe!
Becky Kim, Queens College, Read my blog and follow me on Twitter
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