Biking To Baz Bagel…

 

Matthew and Bari
Manager Matthew, Owner Bari Musacchio

Sunday was an absolutely perfect day in New York City.

Hudson River Bike Path
Hudson River Bike Path

We shook off our jet lag, pumped up the bike tires and hit the Hudson River bike path. The journey was stunning.

We started out early to avoid the insanity. Everything was in bloom and the sky was painted azure, comfortable temperatures further elevated the mood and a breeze off the Hudson River only enhanced the beauty of a perfect Sunday morning in June.

We absorbed the glory of the completed Freedom Tower and gazed at the elegance of the Statue of Liberty, keeping guard at the entrance to our fair city.

After digesting the majesty of the moment, we got serious…we were hungry.

Baz Bagel Restaurant
Baz Bagel & Restaurant

I had read about a place that reminded me of the beloved upper west side institution, Barney Greengrass.

We hopped back on our bikes and headed for the trending Grand Street area which only recently was comprised of dilapidated stores and uneven pavement.

Today, Opening Ceremony graces the area along with Ted Baker, Acne Studios at the corner of Grand and Greene and many up and coming designers as well as the picturesque Mondrian Soho at the intersection of Crosby and Grand.

A small restaurant has sprouted in between the glamour and I do believe Baz Bagel and Restaurant is going to set a lot of tongues waggin’ and appease many hungry New Yorkers.

Baz Bagels has given rise to great homemade bagels, amazing Acme smoked fish (a family tradition since 1905) and a caring atmosphere.

Bari
Bari Musacchio

The owner, a young, smart entrepreneur named, Bari Musacchio (nickname Baz), has invested soul, love and good eats to the small, but mighty 3 week old establishment.

Bari, Rubirosa Ristorante’s longtime general manager, is the owner of the new Grand Street project with Barney Greengrass veteran, David Heffernan.

Baz Bagel is a 35-seat full service restaurant serving bagels and appetizing fare, as well as home-style dishes like latkes, blintzes ($11), French toast ($10), matzoh brei ($9), egg dishes, sweets and matzoh ball soup ($6). Ms. Musacchio told me that she longed for a downtown version of Barney Greengrass.

Featured on the menu are bagel sandwiches which are accompanied by cream cheese, cole slaw and pickles. The menu includes a Nova sandwich ($10), scottish salmon ($12), house-cured gravlax ($10) and  sable ($15).  A naked bagel is $1.25.

She has surrounded herself with a caring staff and a devoted, adorable blue-eyed manager, Matthew, who has infused his effervescent personality into the place. The pair met at Rubirosa, a terrific little Soho restaurant on foodie centric Mulberry Street.

I observed Matthew spending 5 intense minutes, lovingly and expertly whipping up a chocolate NY egg cream ($6) for a young, enthusiastic customer…total bliss on both ends.

baz platter
Appetizing Tasting Plate of Nova and Sable

We ordered the appetizing tasting plate of Nova and Sable ($18 and big enough to share). The plate comes with a mild and delectable smoked salmon (Nova) and the richest, smoothest sable (I love sable).

The bagels are crisp and not doughy…the crunch speaks to you as does any great bagel which by the way is getting more difficult to find. The sesame was perfection and the hand-rolled pumpernickel – everything bagel was splendid.

The cream cream is just the right texture matched up with sliced tomatoes, onions, 2 types of pickles and we splurged and ordered a side of capers for .75.

Black & White Cookie
Black & White Cookie

As a sweet treat, we were graciously served their homemade black and white cookies…this is another dying art. The frosting was thick and you could definitely taste the difference between the chocolate and vanilla.

Every true New Yorker knows to eat each side separately. (I was hoping for Ebony and Ivory to be playing while I savored this gem of a cookie). The cake part was moist and delicious. (The NY Times just honored this iconic cookie).

Baz is open Monday through Thursday from 7 to 4pm, Friday and Saturday 7am-8pm. They are also available for rental at night to fulfill any legitimate fantasies such as industry events, bingo parties, birthday celebrations.

It is a little bit of Disneyland…a happy place with much better food. How can you go wrong with a cute, intimate space, amazing, authentic food, decorated with palm tree wallpaper and a huge portrait of Barbra Streisand.

Baz Bagels 181 Grand Street New York City. Walk or ride your bike…parking ain’t happening. www.bazbagel.com

Service With A Smile
Service With A Smile

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