One of the best things about New York is the constant flow of new restaurant openings. It's a city where you'd never have to eat the same thing twice (if you wished to do so). De Maria is one of New York's latest additions to the all-day-café-scene, and I think I'm already in love. Everything is aesthetically pleasing, down to the very last detail, which is exactly the kind of place I like.
We headed to De Maria on Friday morning for a long and calm brunch in the sun.
I had set my eye on one of the tables in the sun, so we waited for 5 minutes for some people to leave. Most restaurants in New York have cleverly designed windows which can open all the way on warm days. This way you can pretty much sit outside without having to sit right on the street. De Maria's "terrace" has full-on sun between 10 and 12.30 as far as I know.
The interior is calm with earthy colors, leather, and wooden details. It reminds me a lot of Yotam Ottolenghi's restaurant in London, Nopi, one of my favorites.
From 8 AM they serve breakfast, and from 10.30 onwards they serve their lunch menu as well. Although there's not much choice I had a hard time choosing because everything sounded so interesting and different from the usual breakfast offerings.
In the end, we all went for savory options. I ordered the Fire Dragon Bowl, a bowl filled with heirloom beans, grains, salad, carrot and watermelon radish, avocado, a turmeric poached egg and tarragon tahini dressing.
Although I'm usually not a big fan of tarragon, this dressing was absolutely delicious, a real flavor bomb. Everything in this bowl is so tasty, fresh and full of flavor. They add subtle herbs and spices which make it so much more special than just a plain salad. I don't really eat eggs anymore so the poached egg wasn't necessary for me but they wouldn't let me substitute it for anything which was too bad.
My friend took the toast with avocado, smoked salmon, watermelon radish and egg. This is by far the most beautiful avocado toast I've ever seen. Apparently also delicious!
Inside there's a little counter with more treats like lemon focaccia (I must try this next time!), cheese biscuits and banana bread. This, again, reminded me a lot of Ottolenghi's delis in London.
Don't you just want to take this whole pile of banana bread home? I know I do!
After our nutritious brekkies, we shared a piece of (gluten-free) banana bread. I'm usually a little skeptical about the banana bread at most places but this one was something different.. Perfectly moist but not too moist, a pretty strong banana flavor and a hint of coconut and toasted sesame seeds. And a little nuttiness from the hemp seeds. By far one of the best pieces of banana bread I've ever tried.
After lunch we lounged in the sun for a good hour, not yet ready to leave this little oasis of tranquility and good food. The upside of this place being pretty new is that there are no queues (at least not on weekdays) so no rush to leave the table once you've finished your meal.
Chef Camille Becerra's new restaurant ticks all the boxes: aesthetically pleasing to the eye, a well-designed and tasteful interior and flavorful food. The prices are a little higher than some other all-day-cafés but I feel like they make a lot more effort here so it's worth it. I will definitely be back soon once they start serving dinner!
>> 19 Kenmare St | BREAKFAST: 8:30am — 4pm | LUNCH: 10:30am — 4pm | PRE-DINNER: 5pm – 8pm