L at Bedford Ave.
This venue is closed.
In recent years—make that decades—it has been enough for most people to bemoan the sorry state of the New York bagel, a puffy, overgrown, and toothless thing bearing little resemblance to the original. But Melissa Weller, former head baker at Per Se and Roberta’s, is not most people. Think of her as the bagel avenger and her East River Bread stand at Smorgasburg as a window to an evanescent hand-rolled, boiled-and-baked past. Is $8 too much to pay for that prototypical New York Sunday brunch, a bagel with cream cheese and lox? Not when the properly modest-size dough balls are this chewy and flavorful, thanks to a sourdough starter and slow fermentation. Weller makes her own silky cultured cream cheese from local milk and cream, cures her own salmon, and garnishes the whole package, as tradition dictates, with red onion and capers. Get yours on the amped-up “everything” bagel, bedecked not only with sesame, poppy, garlic, and caraway, but also fennel and sea salt.