restaurants
Cafe Cluny
284 West 12th Street
212 255 6900

Cafe Cluny is the most fantastic brunch we've had in years. In a town where politeness and service can sometimes be indirectly proportional to buzz, this spot sets the standard for good customer service. Starting with the affable Matt who greeted us and made sure our latte stayed warm (and yes, they are this nice to everyone, no they didn't know they were under a microscope) to the genial wait staff who know just the moment drinks need refreshing, the artful skill of how to time food to arrive when you want it, and how to make menu adjustments to match your needs; this spot is flawless. You could linger all day in the two sunny, blonde- wood rooms reading your newspaper (as rugby players, journalists, and luxury execs were all doing when we were there.) If you did, you would find that whether at brunch or dinner, the menu items (as with all Lynn Wagenknecht’s restaurants) are uncomplicated, easygoing options (yoghurt with fruit, poached eggs, bellinis and mimosas, french toast at brunch; frisée salad aux lardons and linguini in a parsley white wine sauce at dinner.) Everything with an exacting detail that somehow makes it more. But it isn't just the food, though it turns out the beets are artisanal and the wine deliberately accessible and unintimidating, there's also the ceiling of the simple room, with its giant paper mache bug that almost goes unnoticed; the napkins that are folded when you come back from the bathroom; the handy hooks everywhere for jackets and bags; the pressed ferns under glass; the soft scent of fig in the bathroom. Everything.

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