86 East 7th St. (East Village)
O.K. this coffee bar is a good place to get an above-standard cup of coffee, but the real reason to go there is the cured olive cookie. The cured olive cookie is a delicious and wonderfully executed antidote for those gnawing urges for something salty, immediately followed by something sweet, or the other way around.
Not only is this a high quality all-in-one gourmet fix, it’s pricetag also hearkens back to less jaded, pre-coffee chain times…what can I say all seems sweeter through the rose-tinted lenses of nostalgia.
The cookie is a satisfying egg-white shortbread rectangle and it’s chock full of meaty cured black olives. This ingenious little snack strikes the perfect balance between sweet and savory and scores very high for ratio, textures, flavors and thickness. It’s an unabashed gourmet treat.
Abraco also makes a pretty good cappuccino. They earn immediate kudos for using high quality, direct-trade Counter Culture coffee. It’s strong with lots of body but only mildly bitter.
The barista froths the milk – no skim or low fat varieties – to a perfect velvety foam and tops it with an elegant espresso design. A small cup is priced at a reasonable price of $3.00. The only down-side with my cup was that the milk temperature was a few degrees shy of lukewarm.
For coffee nurser’s, Abraco’s not exactly the place that’s conducive to nursing: the pantry-sized shop is only equipped with a narrow counter space for standing. But the upright drinking coffee experience and the high quality java are not the only things evocative of the Italian coffee bar. Abraco also carries other delightful and scarcely found Italian soft drinks including the natural citrus soda, Chinotto and my personal favorite San Bitter, which can best be described as a sweeter, non-alcoholic carbonated Campari.
All in all this place is more than a solid cup of coffee and totally worth checking out.