Although June was a bit of a short month for me in NYC, as I was traveling everywhere from the Hudson Valley to Bordeaux, I nevertheless snuck in a few notable meals and sips last month. The highlight for me was Te Company, which I’ll go into detail on below. This new-ish teahouse in the West Village is the kind of place I know I will head back to again and again, whether for a pot of tea, lunch, to read, get some work done… or all of the above. There are a few re-reviews in there too, as I headed back to spots that I have previously ventured to in years past. Read on for the culinary highlights of June ‘19!
Te Company – This little townhouse in the West Village should have “zen vibes only” posted outside of its picturesque entry. Whether you’re going to have a quiet moment to yourself, to get some work done in a tranquil space, or to meet a loved one, there is something truly special about this place. The list of tea is expansive and detailed – you’ll come away having learned something about tea as an art form, for sure. They also have a tightly edited and delicious food menu, including rotating seasonal veggies, a pork belly rice bowl that’s to die for, and a pineapple linzer cookie that you simply don’t want to miss.
Lighthouse Outpost – Once a favorite, always a favorite. I revisited this tiny NoLiTa daytime space for a long lunch during the week, and their dishes were as fresh and cleverly flavorful as ever. My pick is normally the whole roasted eggplant with tahini and chili oil, but their shrimp salad bowl and ahi tuna are both winners as well. And don’t miss the “big salad.” It is legitimately bursting with flavor.
PPL – Coffee and plants? All the yes. This tiny Williamsburg cafe is attached to a home and decor shop, so you can grab an oat milk cortado and browse at will. Or, you can do what I did and just sit amongst the plant-filled PPL space and drink your coffee surrounded by greenery.
The Little Beet – I hadn’t visited this fast casual spot in quite a few years, and forgot how much I enjoy it as a great alternative to Dig Inn when I want something quick healthy, and a little bit more plused-up than a salad. My absolutely favorite things here are the seed-crusted avocado, and the turmeric-y seed mix, on top of a bed of house greens and whatever veggies look freshest to me that day.
Mermaid Inn East Village – I never seem to tire of the Mermaid Inn during the summer, especially when it’s prime oyster happy hour season. I also sheepishly admit that I had not yet visited the East Village location, and so promptly changed that. It feels more spacious and open than the Greenwich Village and Upper West Side locations, and the oysters are as addictive as ever (we ordered 36, to be exact).
Frank – You’ve probably heard of Frank because it’s part of the larger empire that includes Lil Frankie’s and Supper. This little East Village spot has a cozy vibe all its own though. I particularly like the bar here, and if you come on a weekend afternoon, you can snag a spot in the sunshine for an aperitivo before going next door to Mermaid Inn for oyster happy hour. Note that it’s cash-only.
Pier A Harbor House – Ah, the waterfront behemoth at the most southern tip of Manhattan. It goes without saying that any waterfront bar is going to have it’s fair share of crowds and tourists during the southern months, but if you can get here on the earlier side and find a nook, the views simply cannot be beat. Skip the food, and grab a glass of wine or a cocktail and hang out outside to watch the sunset over the city skyline.
Grace Street Cafe – I was excited to check out this Koreatown coffee and tea shop, if only because everything that they put out just looked so darn pretty on Instagram. Sadly, visiting on a Sunday afternoon was an absolute zoo, and my lavender latte was anything but desirably drinkable. I’ll stick to Oatly flat whites at my local coffee shop next time.