Charming Cafe Chelsea…NYC Restaurant Review

About a year ago the Hotel Chelsea was resuscitated.

In 2023, Café Chelsea, an extension of the hotel, opened across the lobby and now brings a new excitement and raffish style to the somewhat dreary neighborhood.

In fact, I usually try to avoid West 23rd Street. Now there is a ray of sunshine on the normally bleak urban landscape.

Cafe Chelsea is the hotel’s first new restaurant since the opening of El Quijote in 1930.

It’s hard to believe the space was once a fishing and tackle shop.

The art deco brasserie is a scene since its debut.

We booked for last Monday as it was a holiday and we were looking for a distraction from the artic weather.

The place was packed at 1:45pm.

We sat in the bar area which tries hard to be a Paris version of Cafe Lipp, Les Deux Magots or L’Avenue.

We waited at least 10 minutes for a hello or glass of water. Once attended to things moved along smoothly.

I shared The Chelsea Burger made with dry-aged beef and presented with a mornay sauce, raw onion, dijon and frites on a toasted seeded bun. It was tasty and the pommes frites were delicious accompanied by an appealing aioli ($32).

We also shared a very good Endive Salad with sliced apple, walnuts and a creamy roquefort with a shallot vinaigrette ($19).

I ordered  a lovely glass of Morgon Gamay ($19).

My husband selected the Facon Niçoise comprised of seared tuna, butter beans, niçoise olives and a soft egg ($28).

The prices are high which is now the norm. The food is well prepared classic French bistro fare and it is a very pleasant way to while away an afternoon.

Sadly, the dessert choices are not very enticing.

The attractive hotel renovation is well worth a drive by.

I have not crossed the Chelsea Hotel threshold since I spent an evening at the Chelsea surrounded by The Sex Pistols and The Babys…”Isn’t It Time” to pronounce that an eclectic combination.

If you enjoy French bistro cuisine with a dollop of American swagger then book at the Cafe Chelsea.

Cafe Chelsea 218 West 23rd Street New York City. Breakfast  Daily 7:00-11AM, Lunch  Weekdays/Brunch Weekends 11:00-3:30, Dinner Sunday-Wednesday  5:00-11:00 PM and Thursday-Saturday 5:00-12:00am.

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