a_and_w, catching up with an old haunt, dropped in the other day at Azuri Café. It didn’t disappoint. “The food was as spectacular as ever,” he marvels, highlighted by best-in-class hummus, so tasty on its own that bread and condiments would have been unwelcome distractions. Falafel were light and crispy, “with delicious and colorful salads arranged like dabs of paint on an artist’s palette,” and Ezra, the often-irascible proprietor, actually seemed mellow.

Dessert, after a one-block stroll, was at the fancy cookie café Ruby et Violette, a much brighter spot since its recent renovation. Alongside old favorites like lemon–white chocolate and champagne-strawberry are new creations including the Root Beer Float, made by distilling root beer syrup to its essence, then mixing in white chocolate chips—“a kind of molecular gastronomist’s cookie,” a_and_w observes. “It looks vile but tastes out of this world.”

“All in all,” he concludes, “it was a perfect lunch.”

Azuri Café [Hell’s Kitchen]
465 W. 51st Street (near 10th Avenue), Manhattan

Ruby et Violette [Hell’s Kitchen]
457 W. 50th Street (between Ninth and 10th avenues), Manhattan

Board Link: A Perfect Lunch…

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