Ninth Street Espresso

February 27, 2008 | By | COMMENTS

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One of the best things about working at Food Network, which is located in the Chelsea Market, is that the elevators that get you up there are directly across from one of the best coffee bars in the city. That coffee bar is Ninth Street Espresso which many of my barista friends (including those that work at my favorite coffee shop, Joe) speak of with such great reverence there’s often a coffee glow in their cheeks.

Ninth Street Espresso takes its coffee seriously, as evidenced by its menu which does not allow for sticky, gloppy, blended coffee drinks but, instead, sticks to the classics: espresso, cappuccino, latte. They only come in one size, so no “super grande iced mocha latte with a twist of vanilla”–this is coffee as philosophy, as a spiritual exercise. And, correspondingly, patrons of Ninth Street Espresso gather around the bar like worshippers at temple: there’s a calmness in the air, a peacefulness and community cheer that’s unusual in this fast-paced city. It doesn’t hurt that the drinks are outstanding.

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The cappuccino, as shown here, is an artful marriage of frothy milk and deep, dark espresso. Normally, I put a packet of sugar in my cappuccino but the balance is so right-on here that such an act would be criminal. It’s as if a cloud floated down to earth and landed in your cup–if you let go, the whole thing might float away.

Working at Food Network has been a very happy experience thus far, but Ninth Street has made it that much happier. If you plan to judge Iron Chef or guest on 30 Minute Meals any time soon, don’t miss Ninth Street on your way up. It’ll make your day.

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Categories: Chelsea, Manhattan, New York, Restaurant Reviews

  • Sharon

    Good tip, thanks… although the FN kitchen has pretty good coffee, have you tried it? I usually drink tea so I could be wrong.

  • http://richcooks.blogspot.com Rich A

    Don’t forget to pick up a bag of Cenaproc heirloom beans to take home and brew. ($13 for 12 oz.) There’s just something about these undersized, under-roasted-looking beans from Bolivia. Maybe, umami? Coffee as satisfying as a porterhouse. Hard to go back to anything else. And only 9th St has them… usually roasted within the last 48 hours.

  • Hatlady

    Tell me about the design — did you just twirl your twizzler in the cream? Pretty cool!

  • Felix

    That is like… one of the most beautiful presentations of coffee i’ve seen. About your barista friends, in which cheeks do you see a coffee glow?

  • http://manufacturedenvironments.com/2005/media/latte_art_etching_08.jpg zeep

    Hatlady, a barista who knows their stuff will often create designs like that when adding, say hot frothy milk to a latte… it’s all in the wrist, or something.

    http://manufacturedenvironments.com/2005/media/latte_art_etching_08.jpg

  • http://bbluesman.com Mark Forman

    Really loving the blog btw. Found you off of link from Ruhlman.

  • Hatlady

    Thanks, Zeep. Looks too beautiful to drink!

  • http://whiteonricecouple.com White On Rice Couple

    You’re so right, this is a great cappuccino. These barista’s have some mad skills because creating the fern art on the foam is tough, the only way you can achieve it is if the foam is the perfect, velvety consistency. We’re working on our “Velvety Cappuccino” video now and hopefully our crema will turn out right for us to achieve the same picture you have posted here!

  • http://chewonthatblog.com Hillary

    That reminds me of your Latte Art episode!