Special Dispatch: The Antique Café, Chelsea, New York
65 West 26th St
by Cathy Latte
A free holiday with the Latte dynasty was always gonna be an interesting undertaking. All those idiosyncracies suddenly brought into sharp focus. Still, Central Park roams, bottles of rosé served up with the family stories you never knew existed, and the kind of silences you can only get away with when with those who you’ve known you all your life, made it all worthwhile. But I can’t lie; it was nice to get a day on my own.
It was a hot Saturday morning and I’d wandered out of the Chelsea flea market (Saturdays and Sundays, just off seventh and 26th) and was lured to this place. Shady canopies in the courtyard, wood panelled booths indoors.
The waiting staff seemed to glide around the tables with the ease of dancers. The women on the tables around me had good hair, great teeth and long lithe limbs - like they’d been stretched and sprayed with Clarins from an early age. I looked a bit scruffy for this place maybe, but no-one seemed to care.
I finally chose from the extensive brunch menu. A wide shouldered young gent floated a pretty perfect looking Eggs Bene in front of me. We exchanged smiles and he slid silently back off indoors. I like that. Not too over-familiar.
My brunch satisfied in every conceivable sense. Piping hot gooey eggs soaked into the warm blini bed. Thick Canadian bacon hit with waves of smokiness. Rich roast potatoes alternated between sweet and savoury punches, and the fresh leafy salad hit a craving for veg I’d not managed to ditch all week. And the latte – damn, New Yorkers know coffee.
A few hours later I got back to the room. My brother was watching telly. “Pass the remote will you sis?” Dutifully I did. We sat and watched trash TV, and didn’t speak for an hour. Some things never change, no matter where you are.