Chelsea came home this week after spending a month studying in Paris. She had a few days before going back to school so I wanted to plan some special outings with her. It’s
kind of hard completely impossible to top Paris, but I knew she’d enjoy spending time in the city. So I got out “the list”.
Have I told you about the list? It’s a running list that I keep of things to do/eat/see in and around New York. A quick glance and I knew just how we’d spend her first day back. I chose two spots in the West Village – one of our favorite neighborhoods. They had been on the list for close to a year but we somehow never got around to them before she returned to school in the fall. The fact that they both had a decidedly European feel sealed the deal.
Our first stop was to Sockerbit – a completely charming little shop run by the nicest young couple. Sockerbit (meaning, literally “sugar cube”) is all things sweet and Scandinavian.
The decor is all-white, clean and minimalist, designed to provide the perfect background to the bins of colorful candy. And, oh, the candy! I’ve written before about my “sweet tooth“, and this was a little bit of heaven for me. Chelsea and I quickly got to work, filling our bags with a delicious assortment of the most adorable gummies, marshmallows and licorice.
We chatted with one of the owners who took pride in telling us that all of the candies are made without trans fats, artificial colors or corn syrup. And while I wouldn’t call it health food, it was certainly a step up in quality from the gummies and belts that I usually eat.
And they have a sense of humor too.
Sockerbit, you’ve spoiled me forever (can you tell I’m totally smitten with this place??)…………..
Next, we visited Buvette – possibly the most perfect little French eatery you could ever imagine. The literal translation of buvette is “refreshment stall”, but I much prefer chef Jody Williams’ vision for her restaurant. She calls it a “gastroteque,” a place for “your early-morning coffee, your luncheonette, your stand-up, sit-down dinner.”
Having read about Buvette for many months now, I knew that it would likely be crowded on a weekend evening. But I had a feeling that during a late-morning, mid-week, we’d have the place (somewhat) to ourselves. And I was right. Which was doubly great because the lack of crowds made it easier to take in all of the lovely little details.
Buvette is small – tiny – and Chelsea and I loved how it made you feel cozy and warm as you sat, munching on delicious bread while you waited for your meal. We each had a salad and I have not stopped thinking about mine (or how I hope to duplicate it) since. It was a simple salad composed of three ingredients – shredded Brussels sprouts, grated Asiago cheese and walnuts – in a light vinaigrette. I practically licked the bowl. (I made it! I made it! Here’s the recipe!)
It once again confirmed my belief that the very best food is hardly ever the fanciest, or fussiest, or most complex. But rather a simple plate – beautifully arranged and using the very best ingredients – can be the most satisfying there is.
We finished our day at Chelsea’s beloved trio of Marc Jacobs stores – my favorite of the three is Bookmarc, where I’m always so impressed with the outstanding selection of books on display.
Okay, so it wasn’t Paris.
But it was très bon indeed.