“American Bistro” is a term that instills fear in a vegetarian only slightly less than the words, “French Bistro.” So when my friends and I settled on Cookshop for brunch, I definitely felt a wave of panic wash over me. I mean, when the website proclaims that the butcher was the original chef, one can’t help but be worried. But being one to face a culinary challenge head-on, I made my way over to check it out. Outdoor seating helped to assuage my anxiety by occupying my attention as a fashionable and rather good-looking crowd walked by or joined the wait to be seated. When I could finally turn my attention to the menu, I was pleasantly surprised at my options. On the sweet side, there were the usual choices of French toast and pancakes, however, there were also more interesting treats such as sticky buns, beignets with pineapple compote, and a stuffed croissant with banana and chocolate that is out-of-this-world.

To my amazement and pleasure, almost all of the egg options were also easily converted to vegetarian-friendly fare. Though the scramble with caramelized onions, crème fraiche and chives looked interesting, I opted for the poached eggs with white cheddar grits (minus the sausage). I loved the creaminess of the grits paired with the salty bite of the cheddar. And adding the mild flavor of two perfectly poached eggs was a stroke of genius. The only thing I felt missing was something with a bit more crunch – maybe next time I’ll get a side of crispy toast. Other items included huevos rancheros, a frittata, skillet eggs, a hearty-looking salad, porridge and a plethora of breakfast sides (biscuits, fruit, granola, etc). If you are in Chelsea and would like to enjoy your breakfast along with a glamorous crowd without the pretention of some of the joints a few blocks south, then Cookshop is definitely worth a visit.

156 10th Ave (near 20th St.)


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