Le Pain Quotidien
70 W 40th St
City: New York, NY
Phone: (212) 354-5224
Site: Visit the restaurant site
Cuisine: Coffee Shops
2nd Cuisine: Cafe
Area: West 40s
Maybe it's me but I find sharing tables a bit intimidating. I have no problem when it's in the middle of Chinatown where no one is speaking English, but plop me down in a table full of hipsters and that's another story. Maybe that's why I never fully experienced Le Pain Quotidien except for maybe a cup of coffee on the run. That all ended when I squeezed into a center seat in a long sharing table at a location across from Bryant Park on 40th Street, and I'm glad I did.
The staff is super friendly, the food fantastic and the laid back scene not nearly as scary as feared. In fact, for a solo diner it offers a welcome respite.
For lunch I ordered a spinach fritata with a large side salad. Pieces of fritata + yogurt dip = pure bliss. The salad is no slouch either with its vibrant greens and a tangy dressing. Paper thin slices of raw sweet potatoes provided an unxpected surprise. My cappuccino was also the real deal with a thick foamy head, something I had forgotten even existed after several disappointing stops at Starbucks. The meal cost $18, but well worth it especially when you slather some of their homemade jams on slices of freshly baked breads.
The restaurant offers a number of other options including a nice selection of baked goods. By now I'm sure fans are saying, where the hell have you been. My answer is better late than never!
Review By: Thomas Rafael