Hey, guys. It’s Max Weiss guest blogging for Suzanne. Last night I went to a press dinner at the newly renovated City Cafe in Mt. Vernon, hosted by my dear friend (and PR maven extraordinaire) Edie Brown.
Other media types in attendance: WJZ’s Tanya Black and Pete Amorgeanos, social columnist Anne Boone-Simanski, CityPeek’s Patti Neumann, and Girl’s Life’s Karen Bokram. Suzanne doesn’t generally attend these types of events, as she needs to remain as under-the-radar as possible. But I’ll give you my first impressions.
I used to live in Mt. Vernon and City Cafe was a regular stomping ground, so it was almost jarring to see all the changes. But once I got over the fact that my beloved black-and-white-checkered floor was gone (well, paved over, at least), I had to admit that the place looks quite spiffy.
Affable co-owner Bruce Bodie has decided to open up the space, making the coffeehouse portion of the cafe more integrated with the restaurant. He put in a chic, steel-gray floor, Danish-style chairs, and got rid of partitions in the coffeehouse and the booths in the bar. The place feels a lot more streamlined now.
They’ve also brought in a new executive chef, a talented and ebullient fellow named Chad Gauss. Chad says that he makes all of his food with love (shades of Carla from Top Chef?) and, corny as that may seem, you feel it. He also grows his own herbs, right in the restaurant’s window.
I had blackened tuna with mashed potatoes, beets, and edamame, and it was delish. Pete, who’d never been a beet guy before, was a convert. Other standouts were a caprese salad with hand-pulled mozzarella and the potentially addictive truffle-parmesan fries that accompanied the steak frites.
Look for a full review in an upcoming issue of the magazine. But things are definitely off to a promising start. Thanks, Edie!