It’s very rare that I’d use the word refreshing to describe a New York City restaurant– maybe a spa, but Gardënia in the West Village was just that. As my boyfriend and I popped into this hidden oasis on quaint Downing Street, we were immediately tranquilized among the spacious layout and sporadic greenery.
Gardënia’s cuisine is one of a kind, at least to my knowledge, focusing on dynamic Latin and Mediterranean flavors with European influence.
As for brunch, they’ve got a bottomless deal like several in spots in the area. Twenty-five bucks will get you 90 minutes of unlimited cocktails although the quiet atmosphere didn’t spark me as appropriate for a rowdy crew.
The beau and I aren’t heavy drinkers and instead opted for a cocktail each, a Bloody Mary for him and a lavender margarita for muah. His Bloody was solid with a unique sweet spicy component we couldn’t quite put our finger on. My marg matched my mood at the moment, airy and light with a hint of exhilaration. I felt as though I was drinking it in a breezy cafe while on an island escape.
At the recommendation of our kind waitress, we started with a bowl of their guacamole. The much preferred chunky take on the dish was topped with a sprinkling of fresh pomegranate seeds and came with warm, house-made corn tortilla chips perfect for scooping. I have to admit I was a bit bummed I recently got my boyfriend hooked on avocado because I would’ve enjoyed this entire scrumptious serving to myself.
Craving something hearty, I selected the Spanish baked eggs. I love the way baked eggs come drenched in cheese and tomato sauce in a cute skillet. Gardënia’s version was no different other than the addition of chorizo instead of Italian sausage and pita on the side instead of well-toasted baguette.
My partner in crime’s palette was at the opposite side of the spectrum that afternoon. He ordered the eggs benedict selecting the crabmeat option over the traditional canadian bacon. Also unique to their version was a slap of creamed kale and tarragon seasoning on each toasted muffin. The dish was a light and tasty take on the classic. The star of the show for him was the shoestring style potatoes on the side. They were perfectly crispy, seasoned well, and nothing like he’d had before (he’s never been to Steak n’ Shake clearly).
Gardënia is the kind of restaurant I could sit in and catch up with my mom or girlfriends at all day. A tea here, a yogurt parfait there, the European influence is obvious in the restaurants overall vibe.
The Bitches say: A. Gardënia is a breath of fresh air. This hidden gem in the West Village is dishing up delicious Latin-Mediterranean fare in a welcoming, relaxed environment.
64 Downing Street
New York, NY 10014
Gardënia serves brunch on Saturdays and Sundays starting at 11 a.m.