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“Cafe Condesa”

  Occasion: Cuisine: Area: Cost: Rating:
  Night Out New American West Village Cheap Eats Good

I’m going to venture a guess here that many of you live in small New York City apartments with tiny kitchens. I am one of those people too. I love my little studio, but it is on the, shall we say, tiny side of small. Anyway, if you have such a small pad, I want you to close your eyes for a moment and imagine turning your cozy little apartment into a restaurant. Imagine cleaning up the raw wood beams, polishing the floors a deep walnut, hanging spare art on the exposed brick walls, and bare amber bulbs from long lean wires. In your reverie, set up about six tables and scan some of your favorite recipe books for some simple dishes from your repertoire to serve for breakfast (croissants, eggs any style), lunch (croque monsieur, a cemita (a big fat sandwich) stuffed with pork, ham, cheese, avocado, tomatoes, and chipotle pepper mayo), and dinner (roasted halibut with asparagus and fingerling potatoes, poached chicken breast with wild rice, chicken confit and brussel sprouts). You imagine you’ll charge reasonable prices for simple plates that are easy to put up, but make a mark with bold clean flavors, and you invite some friends in to help you run the place.

Okay, you can open your eyes now. You’ve just imagined Café Condesa, a snug little café in the West Village that resembles that dream sequence in every detail but the fact that it’s not in your apartment. It’s in a former cell-phone shop the size of an itty bitty studio with a makeshift kitchen fueled not by gas, but by induction heat. And it’s run by a real chef, Luis Arce Mota (sous chef at Jefferson, and formerly of Bouley and Union Square Café) and two of his friends Emir Dupeyron and Enrique Jardines, pals from Mexico City whom he met while working at French Roast. Together, they’ve created a warm and generous neighborhood joint serving a daily dose of wonderful coffee alongside a reasonably priced menu of crowd-pleasing eats.

Harvey, Debbie and I were in last week for dinner and found the place nicely crowded. A few pretty women in summer frocks and flip flops were dining at the long lean food bar, and tables were crowded with friends in overly worn denim and tees drinking wine and beer over dinner. We sat down at a table by the window and ordered a round of beers. When they arrived, I was sad to learn there were no limes in the house to add a tart squeeze. You would think the kitchen might have one lying around fo ... [more, click below]

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Other restaurants in West Village :
+ Jefferson-- Closed   + La Palapa Rockola   + Sumile   + Babbo   + Tasca   + AOC Bedford   + Home   + The Spotted Pig   + Barbuto   + Numero 26   + Mas   + August   + Alta   + Cru   + Blue Mill Tavern-- Closed   + Employees Only   + Lassi   + Metropol--Closed   + Turks and Frogs   + Bellavitae   + Yumcha-- CLOSED   + Gusto: SEE EARLIER REVIEW; THIS CHEF HAS LEFT GUSTO   + Perry Street   + Home   + Ditch Plains   + The Little Owl   + Cafe Condesa   + Cafe Cluny   + Gusto   + The Waverly Inn   + Morandi   + P*ONG   + Perilla   + Soto   + Market Table   + Centro Vinoteca   + Barfry   + Dell'Anima   + Bar Blanc   + Smith's   + Commerce   + Elettaria   + Bar Q   + Cabrito   + 10 Downing   + Minetta Tavern   + Braeburn   + Scuderia, by guest reviewer Kathleen Squires   + Bar Blanc Bistro by Guest Reviewer Kathleen Squires   + Joseph Leonard   + Bar Henry, by Guest Reviewer Kathleen Squires   + Kin Shop   + Monument Lane   + Wong   + Bin on Bleecker, by Dara Pollak   + Ristorante Rafele   + Cole's Greenwich Village by Guest Reviewer Claire Jaffe   

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