Buvette is a true Parisian cafe locating in the West Village of New York City. As I was doing research for my first New York trip back in March 2015 (the time I went alone), Mayssam from Will Travel for Food recommended Buvette and Locanda Verde for brunch. Since I knew I was going to New York again when my family visits, I saved Buvette for my family.
Due to its small accommodations, Buvette does not take reservations for brunch. Therefore, we arrived quite early (around 8:30 am) in the morning, yet it was almost full house! Luckily, we were got a table right away (my dad hates to wait).
In this small, yet charming place, the tables/seats are designed quite close together. There is a long bar, and about 10 tables. The servers all dressed in button-up shirts, and some of them in waistcoats. The decor creates an ambiance of rustic, chic feeling. It makes you feel like you are in a French bistro as soon as you walk in the door. The menu were mainly in French, with English translations below it. What surprised me was that most of the servers were communicated with French, which makes it even more Paris-like.
Of course, morning starts off with coffee, especially with my parents. I was surprised to find “flat white” in a French cafe, since it’s an Australian thing. I loved their coffee. It was rich, and smooth.
My mom doesn’t have a big appetite in the morning, hence she opted for the walnut cranberry bread with honey-butter and bee pollen. The bread was a bit too sweet, but it was moist and fluffy. Great starter to share if you are in mood for something sweets, but not too much.
My dad, my brother, and I are all egg-person in the morning. We all believe that a good breakfast should have eggs! I ordered this for my dad. It was the special of the day, steamed eggs with caviar and creme fraiche. It was my first time seeing “steamed egg” (wondering if it’s a healthier version of scrambled eggs?). Doesn’t matter if it’s scrambled or steamed, Buvette does know how to cook eggs! It was so fluffy, and moist, yet not too buttery in taste.
I was debating between chèvre (steamed eggs with goat cheese and sun-dried cherry tomatoes) or steamed eggs with smoked salmon. I settled for chèvre, and my brother had smoked salmon. It’s pretty much the same as what my dad had, except different toppings. The consistency of their eggs are the same for all three plates, which is rare to see. Only chefs with great techniques can have such consistency in cooking eggs.
The menu is just like the restaurant: artfully curated, petite/simple, and precise. There are also a lot of cute, cozy restaurants in the neighborhood, but I know that Buvette would be a regular spot if I were living in NYC. However, the portions are small comparing to typical American brunches. Sometimes, a simple eggs on toast is enough to power through the morning!
42 Grove Street (between Bedford St. and Bleecker St.)
Tel: +1 (212)255-3590