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Agi's Counter

  • Restaurants
  • Crown Heights
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Recommended
  1. Agi's Corner
    Photograph: Courtesy of Agi's Corner
  2. Agi's Corner
    Photograph: Amber Sutherland-Namako
  3. Agi's Corner
    Photograph: Courtesy of Agi's Corner
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Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

A Jewish and Eastern European-influenced breakfast and lunch spot with incredible pastries in a charming space.

If Agi’s Counter were in your neighborhood, you might just be there every day. It’s like a cafe in a Netflix original series where the whimsical main character spends long afternoons scribbling improbably artistic annotated sketches in a Moleskine notebook. Still, Agi’s stops short of veering into twee by virtue of its own genuinely darling character. 

Agi’s glass door opens to the shorter side of its L-shaped counter. Beautiful pastries are arranged on the corner, while the kitchen where they’re made is just beyond. The counter’s longer side leads to a pale wooden banquette that’s backed by slyly stylish floral wallpaper in muted hues. The Jewish and Eastern European-influenced restaurant is named for former teen food blogger chef Jeremy Salamon’s grandmother, and its design also evokes cool matriarchs.

The menu is brief but already buzzy a couple of months and alterations after Salamon (Buvette, The Eddy) opened his first solo spot. The leberkäse ($15) seems to be the most frequently recommended: A breakfast sandwich worthy of NYC canon that places a thick slice of pork pâté, pear mostarda and a fried egg between two hearty hearty slices of toast that ably stand up to the substantial fillings. It's a giddily rich way to start the day and large enough to share. 

Lunch includes a nosh plate ($17) with the aesthetic appeal that you’d expect at any august NYC restaurant. Thin, palm-sized spelt crackers are suspended in a generous portion of pâté alongside a dense, piquant Hungarian pimento spread, pickled cauliflower and cucumber and deviled eggs topped with a sunny dollop of egg mousse and a pop of dill. The plate is poised on a silver stand, literally elevating the very notion of a snack plate. 

Agi’s Counter is only open until 3pm (dinner service is in the works) with sharp lines between its breakfast (open-11:30pm) and lunch (12pm-close) menus, but executive pastry chef Renee Hudson’s sensational baked goods are available until they run out. After I started unwinding a Ferdinand bun’s ($6) lovely swirls on a recent morning, for example, I heard someone else nab the last one a few minutes later. The Hungarian dessert is sweetly buttery with a near-creamy interior and flaky, tacky surface. 

The also terrific Gerbeaud cake squares ($4.00), with cookie, walnut and apricot layers, a chocolate ganache top and sprinkle of salt cut like petite emerald pendants seemed to last a little longer, along with the newly-introduced, two-bite vanilla vollmond (“full moon” in German) cookies ($3.50). They, and each of the exceptional confectionaries also travel well to bring a little bit of Agi’s cinematic magic and excellent menu items wherever you’re going. 

Vitals

The Vibe: Bright with flattering light and telegenically chic with comfortable counter seats, a banquette in the back and a jazz soundtrack lightly filling the charming space. 

The Food: Jewish and Eastern European-influenced menus with standouts like the leberkäse breakfast sandwich and the outstanding Ferdinand bun for dessert or whenever. 

The Drinks: Coffee and espresso drinks, tea and a few specialties like house-made soda.

Time Out Tip: Agi’s Counter only serves breakfast and lunch for now, but you can catch occasional pop-up dinners in advance of its official evening launch, including one planned for Valentine’s Day.

Agi’s Counter is located at 818 Franklin Avenue and is open Monday and Wednesday-Friday from 8am-3pm and Saturday-Sunday from 9am-3pm. 



Amber Sutherland-Namako
Written by
Amber Sutherland-Namako

Details

Address:
818 Franklin Avenue
NYC
11225
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