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Café Select

Restaurants, Swiss Nolita
2 out of 5 stars
 (Jeffrey Gurwin)
Jeffrey Gurwincafeselect3
 (Jeffrey Gurwin)
Jeffrey Gurwincafeselect1
 (Jeffrey Gurwin)
Jeffrey Gurwincafeselect4
 (Jeffrey Gurwin)
Jeffrey Gurwincafeselect5
 (Jeffrey Gurwin)
Jeffrey Gurwincafeselect2

Time Out says

2 out of 5 stars

Friendly warning! We're working hard to be accurate. But these are unusual times, so please check that venues remain open.

Serge Becker could draw a crowd if he served nothing more interesting than baked beans on toast. At Caf Select, the nightlife-impresario-turned-restaurateur (La Esquina, the Box, 205) does virtually that—offering up the sort of working-class Swiss comfort food you might find in a factory cafeteria in the Alps. (Becker, who grew up in Switzerland, was presumably pining for the simple pleasures of home.) The restaurant’s scuffed retro decor features classic creaky bistro tables and chairs, art posters as wallpaper and an oversize clock that might’ve been swiped from the central train station in Basel. Despite its hip clientele (lots of guys wearing wool caps indoors), raucous rock soundtrack and Waverly Inn--style (we’re not really open, wink, wink) “preview” menu, the place is a snooze. A wan mini--cheese tart with a side of vinegary lettuce tastes like it emerged from the microwave. A more promising entre of walleye meunire shows up as three sad, underseasoned fish fingers with (beware) residual bones and simple boiled potatoes. Slivered veal tossed with mushrooms in rich stroganoff gravy provides more earthy satisfaction, but the accompanying spaetzle got all of the salt the walleye was missing. Desserts, including a soggy-crusted apple-almond tart, don’t offer much solace or incentive to stay. If this is what passes for real Swiss cuisine, there’s a very good reason there are so few spots in New York where you’ll find it.



Address: 212 Lafayette St
New York

Cross street: at Kenmare St
Transport: Subway: 6 to Spring St
Price: Average main course: $18. AmEx, MC, V
Opening hours: Mon–Wed, Sun 9am–midnight; Thu–Sat 9am–2am
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