Pavé at 20 West 46th Street in midtown–partially brought to you from the folks at the fabulous and funky Hawaiian eatery Noreetah in the East Village–is causing a sensation by serving high end quick breakfast and lunch options at super reasonable prices (sandwiches are generous in size and run $7 to $12, for instance).
They just opened on 9/21 but the customers have been lining up daily at opening time and piling in for lunch. A strong reason for the quickly acquired popularity of Pavé is that they have artisanal bread baking in the back all day long so you always have that heavenly scent in the background while while you nibble. Chef Jonghun Won graduated at the top of the Class Of 2005 at the Culinary Institute Of America with a degree in Baking & Pastries which is probably the bread is so damn addictive at Pavé! Chef Won also baked at Balthazar and if you recall, guests booked tables there just to be able to take home the free loaf of his fresh bread in the bins on the way out. There was a problem with people just walking in off the streets and taking them as well–I did it a couple of times and I have no shame about it, LOL! Chef Won’s partner in crime is Jin Ahn, operations manager for Noreetah.
Pavé is said to have the best Avocado Toast in midtown and I believe the secret is that they use straight-from-the-farm heirloom cherry tomatoes that are skinned and lightly roasted. This a large and filling portion–the slice of multigrain bread used must be at leave six inches by fives inches and piled high with avocado, radishes and more!
I love their Mozzarella & Tomato Sandwich or what they call the Caprese Sandwich. This packs a load of fresh mozzarella that must be at least a six ounce portion and mainly slices of farm fresh plum tomatoes! The Caprese is made with a killer petit olive ciabatta roll that is spread liberally with pesto! A lot of people cannot finish this sandwich but I had no problem, LOL!
All of the focaccia items are piled high with toppings and the Mushroom Potato Focaccia is a heart stopper. One slice will fill you up for lunch. I have never had potatoes on any sort of pizza-like dish before but this really works, providing extra deep texture. The mushrooms, potato and cheese are lightly salted and browned–and it goes without saying that they are topped with top quality EVOO.
My “rock star” lunch item that I downed with glee and a big glass of Pavé NYC’s wonderful iced cappuccino is the Burrata Salad made with baby arugula–it has a hidden layer of pesto on the bottom! This is no ordinary pesto hidden on the bottom, either–it is made with totally farm fresh basil that has a delightfully refreshing “zing” to it! I have to add that red cherry tomatoes adorn the large chunk of burrata and they are lightly roasted just like the ones on the Avocado Toast–so you get a burst of juice when you bite into them!
Be sure to check out the fabulous freshly baked goods in the glass counter on the way in before taking a seat–including the Green Tea & White Chocolate scones (this is the first time I have ever heard of this flavor combination and other guests inside the cafe at the time of my visit told me that it is their “go to” item. The Maple Carrot Cake has a truly unique taste as well as it is made with whole wheat, carrots, maple syrup, walnuts and raisins.
My favorite baked item here is the amazing and unique the Brioche Passionfruit Filling. This delightful little puff almost looks like a Christmas ornament; it’s so darn cute but it won’t last on your plate long. The cream is fruity and refreshing and the brioche is so fluffy and buttery.
Keep in mind that it is wise to take some bread home from the front counter on the way out. Not only is it freshly made but the prices are super cheap. For instance, a full size baguette is only $4.50 and you can walk out with a toasted petit baguette spread with salted butter for only $3.25. I am hoping that someday I will be walk out with a full sized baguette totally buttered but right now they are only offering the petit size.
Pavé is only open 8 am to 3 pm, and only on weekdays. They do take orders for delivery and rumors abound via management that they hope to eventually work their way to extended hours and even evolve a little into a wine bar! I have to say that the ideal dining situation is to get the table in the very front because Pavé NYC is fully “opened up” (as pictured above) during days of nice weather. It is kind of like being indoors and outdoors at the same time and ideal for midtown people watching! You can learn even more about this adorable Euro cafe/coffeehouse style eatery at pave46.com.