When it comes to brunch, I’m usually willing to hunker down with a wait for a buzzy restaurant. Bagel towers or wallet-friendly bottomless mimosas can be definitely worth the wait. But sometimes, particularly on those ambitious mornings where you squeeze in a workout and errands, you just want something relatively quick and healthy.
Enter Coco & Cru, the newest Australian-style café on the block, which recently opened in NoHo. It had been on my radar as a weekday brunch option to try when I wasn’t feeling Two Hands (read our full brunch review of Two Hands here) or Dimes (read our full brunch review of Dimes here), so I was thrilled when we were invited in to try the breakfast fare.
After a grueling boxing session at Work Train Fight across the street, my boyfriend Robert and I had worked up quite the appetite. We were pleased to see that Coco & Cru’s menu has plenty of menu options that wouldn’t undo our exercise such as avocado toast, coconut bircher, and grain bowls. Although, there is your fair share of Balthazar pastries and buckwheat hotcakes if you want to treat yo’self.
As we surveyed the menu, I also took a moment to soak in the charming, welcoming ambiance. Expansive windows flood the restaurant with light, which is outfitted with lush greenery, rustic wood accents, and pops of cheery yellow accessories. Complete with a white picket fence, Coco & Cru is somewhere where you want to stay awhile. And some fellow diners did just that; by the end of our meal, the bar alongside the windows was full of freelancers enjoying their coffees and morning papers, while plugging away at their laptops.
But first, coffee. After living in Portland for eight years, Robert was excited to see Stumptown cold brew on the menu, on draft at that. I started with a signature latte, which is created in a cocktail shaker, a unique touch to the classic espresso bevvy. The beverage came out beautifully, with well-defined layers between the milk and coffee.
We also both tried fresh pressed juices, which are crafted daily. I went for the green juice, which contains kale, apple, cucumber, and celery. It was refreshing and the sweet apple cut out the leafy green bitterness found in many other green juices. Robert had the yellow juice with pineapple, OJ, and apple. He’s a big orange juice in the morning type of guy and found that this was a delicious alternative to his typical Tropicana. Coco & Cru also provides liquor suggestions to add to your juice like mescal or pisco should you want to get the party started in the morning.
It was hard to narrow down the menu, but with our friend server’s help we whittled it down to split three items. We started with the avocado toast, which put most of the avocado toasts I’ve sampled previously to shame. This isn’t your basic Bitch toast with just avocado and a dash of citrus, this was avocado toast on steroids with the inclusion of smoked mozzarella cheese, pumpkin seeds, pickled veggies, and lettuce on a thick slice of sourdough.
The cheese was the standout element of the dish and provided enough sustenance to fuel one’s day. This impressive stack of veggies was impossible to fit all in one bite, resulting in a very messy plate.
I was really excited to try the Green Bowl, which was filled to the brim with some of my favorite ingredients such as avocado, broccoli, spinach, kale pesto, and a poached egg. The presentation was quite green indeed! All of the elements were well cooked –the egg soft, the kale crispy, and the quinoa fluffy. My one qualm was the pesto was a tad too salty. Robert also thought that this savory dish leaned far more towards a lunch item rather than a breakfast dish, even despite the inclusion of an egg.
To get a holistic take on the menu, our server recommended the Captain Smolders toast. It came as a surprise when the smoked salmon was cooked; we expected more of a lox preparation in true brunch fashion. The flaky salmon was still tasty, but similarly to the Green Bowl, it made this sandwich err towards a traditional lunch item. We enjoyed the runny yolk mixed with the fish and crispy bread and found this entree extremely filling. We completely ignored the side salad however, since we had much more exciting greens on the table.
The Bitches say: A-. This brunch newcomer is a welcome addition to the healthy cafe scene. Great for a breakfast meeting or a quick weekday brunch.
Coco & Cru serves brunch every day beginning at 8 a.m. (212) 614-3170