Your First Look at the Now Open Bon Appetit Cafe (aka Is It Worth the Trek to Lincoln Center?)

Bon Appetit at Lincoln Center

The Bon Appetit Pop Up Cafe and Supper Club was fast becoming an “Autumn in Midtown” tradition, until they decided to move it to this year’s new center of the fashion week action in Lincoln Center. So not only will we not be able to score the random giveaways that used to happen in front of the Bryant Park Tents, they’ve also taken away our fancy prepared by famous chefs but only cost$10 lunches! Yesterday was opening day, so Brownie and I stopped by to see if the new location is worth trekking a few blocks out of bounds for.

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The Cafe is staying true to tradition with affordable items created by celebrity chefs leading to a menu containing some small salads and reasonably sized sandwiches.

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Of the entire menu only one item, the $13.50 lobster roll by Laurent Tournodel, is over ML’s price limit. We tried three of the sandwiches:

Michael White's Open Faced Tuna Sandwich

Michael White’s Open-Faced Tuna

Telepan's Vegetarian Cubano

Telepan’s Vegetarian Cubano (I know, the words Vegetarian and Cubano should never go together, but if they had called it a Vegetarian Panini instead we’d have no complaints about this bad boy.)

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And Missy Robbins’ (?) prosciutto sandwich. All were excellently done: fresh bread, good ingredients, fast turnover.

Dessert Table

Like the previous years, Bon Appetit also got some of New York’s best desserts on one table. This year, Brooklyn’s Baked, Momofuku’s Christina Tosi, and Le Bernardin’s Micheal Laiskonis contributed two delicious desserts each including a taste of Momofuku’s new Cake Truffles. Of course, we got a spread of the sweets with the clear winner being Baked’s Cowboy Cookie with Oatmeal, Pretzels, and Chocolate Chunks.

If you’re one of the many Fashion industry drones who will be running back and forth from Lincoln Center throughout this week, Bon Appetit’s Cafe will surely come in handy for some much needed sustenance. And if you’re someone who’s gone to the Bon Appetit Cafe every year, you should definitely make the short trek outside the ML boundaries. Though they don’t have the reusable totes again, there will be free food and drink samplings every day.

The BA Cafe will be open through Thursday from 9am to 11am for breakfast.  And 11am to 3pm for lunch. A full menu of available items can be found on their website http://www.bacafe.com/

Bon Appetit Cafe at Lincoln Center, Avery Fisher Hall, 64th+Columbus

5 Comments

  • Missy Robbins replaced Andrew Carmellini at A Voce when he left to open Locanda Verde.

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    check this out, the picture of the LT’s lobster roll on the Bon Apetit blog sure seems more substantial than the ones that are actually being served at the BA Cafe:
    http://www.bonappetit.com/blogsandforums/blogs/badaily/2010/09/bon-appetit-cafe-food-meets-fa.html

  • Agreed, “vegetarian cubano” is just WRONG! Use hyphens to improve readability of the adjective phrase, viz., “prepared-by-famous-chefs-but-only-cost-$10″

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    The whoopie pie is tasty, but heavy. Very, very heavy.
    The steak salad was pretty good, lots of steak, which is nice.
    The sandwich area was slow, so I didn’t try anything out there.

  • It is a yearly tradition, so how could I refuse visiting the Bon Appetit Cafe? Too bad I had to hop on the 1 train to try it out this year. However, the setting was beautiful for it, much lovelier than 57 Street.

    I am currently on a lobster-roll-a-thon, so couldn’t resist. It is $13.50, so a few dollars more expensive than the already expensive sandwiches. However, comparable to the going rate for a lobster roll ($15-30), it is a bargain.

    The lobster roll is about the size of the Lobster Pound and Luke’s Lobster rolls, but cheaper. It is not as large as the Lobster House on City Island, which is massive.

    It is delicious. There are whole chunks of lobster meat, with a nice mix of mayo. I didn’t prefer the scallion taste on the sandwich, but it is not overpowering like the Lobster Pound ones. There is more bread than lobster..they could have filled it up a tad more. The bread is better than most lobster rolls I have had.
    The lobster meat is chunky, sweet and tasty.

    Like everything else in this cafe, it is overpriced for what it is, IMHO. But yummy.

    I also tried the watermelon mint water. Very refreshing, very tasty.

    I also bought the pumpkin whoopee pie, but haven’t tried it yet. :-)

    All together, lunch cost a little under $20. Really?

    The setting is lovely, of course. You can take your lunch and eat at the silver table and chairs right outside and watch the Fashion Week wannabees. You can also enjoy your gourmet selections by the beautiful fountain, or by the infinity pool next to the grass roof by Julliard.

    Inside, it is boring. I thought previous years were more impressive, decor-wise.

    Experience-wise, previous years were a lot more fun. Last year, for example, I watched cooking demos, saw Giada signing books, tasted wines, walked around and chatted with other foodies, got free samples all over…it was an event! It had good flow, was very well organized, and interesting. They gave us good quality, attractive cloth bags with every purchase that I still use to this day.

    This year, they had 2 types of chocolate to taste. WOW! How exciting. It was also empty- noone there. Only one sample (a bag of jasmine rice). Boring!
    I was also less than impressed by some of the “famous chefs” offering up their fare. Also, many of the options didn’t really look all that great.

    I am glad I tried it, but left underwhelmed.

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