Living in a neighborhood full of restaurants that just seem to blend in, it’s rare that we find a spot we can’t wait to return to. Sure, we have our pizza place, our thai, our sushi, and even our occasion restaurant, but we’ve long been missing a place to feel connected to. There is something intangible about this type of place; sort of the perfect storm of the dining experience criteria. So you can imagine how thrilled I was (and still am) having found The Bluebell Cafe.
Sunday morning I was on the way to the diner when Bluebell caught my eye. I had walked past this block for almost three years and I had never noticed it. It had to be new. It turns out Bluebell just opened a week ago, but with a really great homestyle brunch menu posted on the window it was an easy decision to forego the diner. The place is warm and welcoming from the wood floors and the decor filled with cottagesque decorations that compliments the country menu perfectly. Although they had run out of the menu listed huevos rancheros (which I’ll have to go back and try) the ommelette was great and the potatoes were perfect. The breakfast plate of scrambled eggs, ham and sausage was also really delicious. Simple but really nicely executed. Plus each dish came with bisquits and fresh fruit, another comforting touch. And you have to know I enjoyed it because the next night I was back for dinner.
The dinner menu is a perfect combination of familiar apps and entrees along with some dishes you wouldn’t necessarily expect to see at a cafe like this one. I had the roasted leg of lamb which was cooked perfectly and packed with flavor. The moules frites were also amazing and the perfect size portion. And portion sizes are tough because we are so used to seeing giant mounds of food. But after the grilled romaine appetizer (a deliciously more refined version of a steakhouse wedge salad with bacon and blue cheese), and our two entrees we were perfectly full, with just enough room for the lemon meringue tartlet. We rarely order dessert but the menu was too enticing. And with great flavor and presentation that fits the homey atmosphere, I’m glad we did.
With great prices and friendly service (although at dinner there seemed to be a few too many employees stepping on eachothers toes) I really can’t wait to go back. It’s taken a few years but I can honestly say, I’m sure glad we finally have our neigherbood restaurant!
The Bluebell Cafe, 293 Third Ave, (646) 649-2389
As an aside…
Sorry for the lack of pictures, but I’m trying my best not to be the pain in the ass with the camera when I go out to eat. And since the restaurant is so new there doesn’t seem to be much in the way of online images….