Tucked away on a little side street off 1st Avenue and East 52nd Street; Ze Cafe could almost be missed with very little signage out front!! That’s what makes it even more interesting and charming. What was once a Flower Shop is now a modern American Bistro utilizing fresh organic products from their own farm. The owners of ZeZe Flower Shop around the corner on 1st Avenue created this little “hidden gem” lined with barn wood, brick walls, rattan furniture and an explosion of fresh flowers and topiary everywhere!!
There is a “sigh” when you enter and a feeling of comfort in the beautiful trappings not to mention the very friendly staff!! The crowd and clientele; very well heeled from the immediate neighborhood and area. After all its on a very special block that is quite unique; an actual cul-de-sac East 52nd Street between 1st Avenue and The East River. Home to the famous RiverHouse as well as the former Greta Garbo!!
The menu delights freshness; simple yet modern well blended ingredients. As shown above, a roasted salmon with fresh snap peas with real organic wild rice and a pumpkin puree!! The rest of the menu is similar with a fantastic Monk Fish variation, a simple Filet Mignon, Halibut and classic Canard A L’Orange!! The first course consists of the freshest organic vegetables, beet root salad, white salad with fresh hearts of palm, among other starts. Wines are very carefully selected and they honestly have some real finds here!! Not part of their usual list but excellent last night was the most wonderful Cabernet Franc from Domaine de la Butte up the river in Montlouis (Bourgeuil). Excellent!!
Their Pastry Chef is famous for her American Classic Pies: There are usually at least 5-6 to chose from in a tiered Pie rack right on top of the little bar area. Customers in the know actually stop by to the purchase the pies which also can be ordered and reserved in advance. Classic Apple Crumble, Strawberry Rhubarb, Blueberry, etc. are all fresh off the farm and tasting like they just came out of the Ovens!! Absolutely delicious!!!
I highly recommend this little gem tucked away at 398 East 52nd Street between 1st and The East River. Ze Cafe is actually open daily for Breakfast, Lunch/Brunch, Afternoon Tea and Dinner. Telephone: (212) 758-1944