Sunday, November 15, 2009

Cafe Champignon

I have a group of six friends, we get together every 3 months to cook a six course meal. Each person makes a dish and the only thing we coordinate is the date, time and place.  Some how it all seems to work out.  I usually make dessert, being a pastry chef though I enjoy cooking just as much. On this occasion  we had scheduling issues so one friend suggested we meet at a restaurant.

Several restaurants were mentioned but no one wanted to venture into Brooklyn for my suggestion of Diner in Williamsburg or Vinegar Hill House.  I think A suggested Cafe Champignon in Chelesa (their website is terrible & apparently they also cater) and everyone agreed.  I must say I was far from excited.  I even thought I might bow out and see them all at our next formal gathering but I decided to take a chance.

It was all arranged A made the reservation.  I arrived first being 3 minutes early (I hate to be late).  Cafe Champignon has a very European feel and looked more like a place for coffee & a pastry not a full meal.  I noticed most of the tables were full and people seemed to be enjoying themselves but my expectations were still low.  I was a little concerned when the waitress/hostess didn't know about or have a reservation for a party of 6 at noon.  But she quickly pulled 6 seats together and brought over another table, so I sat down bundled in my jacket with a menu to wait.

As my friends arrived we had to insist they close the door as it was a nippy day. Personally I didn't find the menu inspiring but we ordered.  I had the Eggs Florentine as did one other, the rest ordered the Soup and Quiche, Steak, and an Omelet..  I must say considering I had such low expectations I wasn't terribly disappointed.  The portions were a very good size and the prices were very reasonable.  Even though my eggs were luke warm (the other dishes were hot) the Eggs Florentine were tasty and believe it or not I'd go back again. Maybe the clincher was the tasty hot chocolate I had after the meal.  Served in a large cup (it was a tad sweeter than I like but I'm picky and like my hot chocolate almost bitter but this was not cloying in any way.  I'd go back for another hot chocolate too!

I should know by now to always carry my camera but it never occurred to me that I'd even consider mentioning this place so I didn't bother- my bad.  It's not the meal of the century or anything like that and your expectations need to be kept in check, but if you're in Chelsea and happen to need a descent meal at a reasonable price this neighborhood place is worth going to.

Cafe Champignon
200 7th Ave
between 21st & 22nd Street

Mon-Sat: 8am-11pm
Sun: 8am-6pm
Breakfast, Lunch, Brunch &  Dinner
Be wary of reservations!
Credit Cards accepted

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