Box Kite: Cool Coffees, Red-Hot Cooking

Even hard-core coffee geeks can't live on coffee alone. So Box Kite, which popped up as a serious coffee bar in Tribeca before settling into a sliver of a space in the East Village last winter, is offering something to eat. And we're not talking biscotti and scones, but an inventive, ever-changing dinner menu from two chefs who cooked at Roberta’s and Acme.

Briny, clean-flavored scallops (pictured), nicely complemented by sweet green tomato marmalade, were one high point of a meal that left CHOW's gabandgobble delighted and impressed. Meaty seared octopus, shrouded by slices of black radish, came atop a jet-black swoosh of squid ink aioli. A juicy flatiron steak was served beneath an overgrowth of agreeably sharp mustard greens. Not the least of the evening's surprises was the cramped, makeshift kitchen where chefs Justin Slojkowski and Dave Gulino craft these dishes, for both à la carte service and tasting dinners that can run to 10 courses. "With enough talent you can make it work under any conditions," gabandgobble writes, "tiny kitchen or otherwise."

As for the coffee program, it's just as thoughtfully conceived as the food. Owners Cora Lambert and Erik Becker are using beans from San Francisco's Ritual for brewed coffee and Michigan's MadCap for espresso, as well as a rotating selection from roasters like Copenhagen's Coffee Collective. As Lambert told the

New York Times, "We try to find those unicorn coffees, the ones that sing."

Box Kite [East Village]
115 St. Marks Place (between First Avenue and Avenue A), Manhattan
212-574-8201

Photo from Gab and Gobble