Monday, April 15, 2013

The Charm of Zoe

Zoe's enticing take on Middle Eastern shakshuka
Zoe is a ray of sunshine on a tiny, quiet block of Eldridge St. I stumbled upon it a few weekends ago while taking a midday shortcut through the Lower East Side.

I heard it first. Windows open, the place was bustling with chatter, people spilling onto the street. Then I noticed the chalkboard sidewalk sign: fried chicken and blueberry pancakes. Ultimate sweet-salty. My kinda brunch.

Homemade creamy labne with granola and apricots
Readers know I am not a fan of the average boozy, prix fixe brunch - cheap drinks, forgettable eggs. Nothing tastes duller.

Chef-owner Zoe Feigenbaum must agree. Everything on her globally inspired a la carte brunch menu competes for attention. Over a fresh ginger lemonade, I agonized between the Mexican shrimp and eggs ($15), the full Irish breakfast ($16), and aforementioned pancakes and fried chicken (which is not actually listed on the brunch menu but always available). On a whim, I settled for the hearty Moroccan poached eggs ($15), a surprisingly mild shakshuka livened with grilled haloumi, eggplant and merguez.

My friend Barbara gushed over her homemade labne (strained yogurt) with granola and cooked apricots. From the flowers down to the cocktail garnishes lining the bar, everything looks fresh and sunny. Service can be scattered, but on a lazy Sunday, nothing should feel rushed anyway.

345 Eldridge Street
Between E. Houston + Stanton Sts.
646 559 5962



  1. great writeup. can't wait to try it. can this by my welcome-home-to-me-brunch with you?? xx

  2. You had me at Mexican shrimp and eggs.