Location: 210 E 3rd St.
People: RB, CK and myself
Feelings: Cafe Cortadito, a Cuban inspired spot off on Avenue B, is certainly not a kid friendly brunch spot. It is, however, a cozy, intimate space with perfectly stylized decor and dim lighting. The staff did not seem too thrilled that we were with a child, but at 11:30am on Avenue B, we could not find anywhere else close to dine. The weather was perfect for their outdoor tables, and CK enjoyed interacting with ladies with big sunglasses and puppies that walked by. The staff was prompt and courteous while maintaining the East Village cool, and it was refreshing to see them not paying any special attention to CK. He behaved quite well perhaps because of that, but their delicious food certainly caught his attention and stuck him to his chair.
There are many traditional Cuban dishes as well as brunch specialties on the menu. $18.95 brunch special includes unlimited sangria and mimosas ($11.95 if you just want one drink). There are tons of meat dishes on the menu, like marinated steak and ham. But I enjoyed my vegetariano sandwich (black bean puree, avocado, roasted peppers, swiss cheese with plantain chips), which was flavorful and well executed. The savory-sweet plantain chips were perfectly crispy and melted in my mouth along with the complimentary warm Cuban flat bread with drizzled butter. RB's huevos rancheros (two eggs over a corn tortilla with black beans and salsa) was light and delicious.
Food here is excellent with simple and clean flavors, and if you don't want to wait in line for Poco next door for brunch, I would highly recommend Cafe Cortadito. From all angles of dining, food, decor, service-- they were really able to achieve the best brunch experience possible. It is certainly a neighborhood favorite, and a spot like this one really signifies East Village: low-key, cool, and intimate.