Gutsy, chic little place opened recently across from a Starbucks, next door to a Jamba Juice. There is hope for NYC yet!
It's an Italian-style standing-room and espresso only bar. Their beans are Danesi from Rome, the same kind found at Babbo and Otto.
Menu includes espresso drinks starting at $2, as well as sodas (including San Bitter, Chinotto, and Coke in glass bottles), humble-looking panini, and a few pastries.
My macchiato came with a shot of lemon ice-water and a tasty mini almond biscotti. The coffee? Probably the smoothest I've ever tasted. This is an espresso to convert non-espresso drinkers.
I'd like to suggest that you sneer across 6th Ave, but that would be redundant.
Zibetto Espresso Bar
1385 6th Ave. at 56th St. (SW corner)