1 at 86th St.; B, C at 86th St.
American Express, MasterCard, Visa
This venue is closed.
This bakery embodies the aphorism that crowds don’t imply quality: The place is packed on weekends with Upper West Siders without better brunch ideas. It’s also busy on weekday nights, when in the expansive, dreary main room, customers inspect glass cases, searching for a pre-cooked dinner. After you order at the counter, you bring your grub back to tables either outside, in the bright but sterile side room, or in view of the displayed wraps and lifeless-looking salads. Even though most dishes are available to scrutinize, finding something acceptable proves difficult. Roasted vegetables don’t look half bad, but are, in fact, wholly bad: Beets soaked in vinegar have become fiercely acidic, roasted potatoes taste old, and carrots are cooked only partly through. Cold salads, such as one of chickpeas, goat cheese, and sun-dried tomatoes, taste as dull as they look. Rotisserie chicken, however, is decent and cheap, served with mesclun greens in cloying vinaigrette. The restaurant bakes it own bread and desserts, which are for the most part adequate. The lemon tart is commendable despite a somewhat soggy crust and the fact that it’s reasonably priced.