Food For Thought — September 23, 2014 at 3:15 pm

An Easy, Breezy Night Out at Spiegel



Conveniently located in the heart of the East Village, recently opened Spiegel is a casual cafe that does more than you’d expect. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the modern dining room feels spacious with plenty of windows, custom-made white oak tables and banquettes and a high ceiling. Owner Shmulik Avital brought in executive chef Dario Tapia, formerly of Westville, to create their eclectic international menu.

Mornings will find customers coming in for breakfast foods, such as delicious house-made pastries and coffee from popular California brand Verve Coffee Roasters. Evenings bring customers an impressive happy hour lasting from 4-8pm and features $7 wines by the glass and $3-$4 for imported beers. In fact, Spiegel has a full-service sit down U-shaped bar that offers a selection of imported beers (including one kosher beer) and international wines, all available by both the bottle and glass. The list is not huge, but there is a good variety and impressive selection.

Dinner at Spiegel isn’t confined to one specific cuisine, but instead has Mediterranean, Israeli and Moroccan influences. On the menu you can find anything from couscous to burgers, schnitzel and fish tacos. We recently enjoyed an evening at Spiegel where we sampled a large portion of their dinner menu. Standouts for us included the Kale Salad (Tuscan kale, radicchio, alfalfa sprouts, hard-boiled egg, avocado, roasted sunflower and pumpkin seeds, golden raisins, pomegranate vinaigrette) and the Zucchini Fritters (feta and dill, arugula salad and tzatziki) to start. The salad was refreshing and tangy with its unique vinaigrette dressing, while the fritters were hearty and satisfying.

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All of the entrees were also tasty, but the Couscous (chickpeas, zucchini cauliflower, squash, carrots, fennel, celery, vegetable broth, herb salad) and Schnitzel Plate (jasmine rice, tahini, choice of side) took the cake for us. The couscous was flavorful with plenty of broth, and the schnitzel was mouthwatering. Spiegel has no shortage of side dishes to choose from, but their french fries are out of this world. In fact, they may be some of the best we’ve ever had!

To top it off, dessert consisted of three well-executed options — flan, chocolate mousse, and a mini apple pie, all of which were devoured despite already being full.

The jovial atmosphere and staff make customers feel welcome and the casual surroundings make for a pleasant and easy night out.

Twisted Talk: Which of these dishes do you want to try? Have you dined at Spiegel? Share your experience!

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