There’s so much to poke fun of at this chichi coffee shop. Take the Pepto-pink room that could double as a Wes Anderson set or its preening “every coffee has a story” motto or the tableside rose-water spritzes. But damn if our cynical hearts weren’t melted when the barista, unbidden, offered a one-on-one demonstration of how to make the $14.50 (ha!) Hickory-Smoked S’mores Latte. “Just tell me if you need me to pause for pictures at any point,” he offered this clumsy iPhone photographer. Yes, he’s done this before.
And during this adorably overwrought prep, a lot of things happen. First, he offers you a shot of the addictive graham-cracker–infused steamed milk—which would make a fantastic stand-alone slurp—before mixing it with espresso in a chocolate-rimmed coupe. Then, he covers the drink with a glass cloche, infusing it with hickory smoke, thereby cocooning it—and you—in a woodsy aroma. Finally, he adds the finishing touch: a caramelized marshmallow that he torches until it’s golden brown. Midway through drinking your velvety, campfire-kissed treat, he’ll drop off warm hand towels to aid in the gooey, chocolately mess dripping down the stem.
But in case the S’mores Latte is sold out (sometimes by 10am—the shop opens at 7am during the week, 8am on weekends), another new-age java is the Deconstructed Espresso Tonic, which comes in a Bordeaux wineglass filled with tonic water, non-alcoholic Campari reduction and lemon-basil leaves. The server mentions that you should first swirl and sip from the glass before you pour in the accompanying shot of espresso. What you get is a concoction that retains the bitterness of the espresso balanced by the citrus of Campari for a complex drink that evokes a cocktail more than a coffee.
But such is the case at Felix, which deserves much more of a toast than a roast.