With the notable exception of Shake Shack (which is basically its own animal, anyway), Danny Meyer’s standalone restaurants are hardly the fast-casual sort. Think Gramercy Tavern, Untitled, North End Grill, The Modern, Maialino, Marta and the flagship, Union Square Café, which underwent a suitably spiffy revamp just this past month. But while it’s doubtless lured its longtime cast of buttoned-up regulars to its new, commuter-thronged location, Meyer’s taken the opportunity to appeal to a younger, thriftier, on-the-go crowd as well.
Enter Daily Provisions, an early-rising bakery and coffee shop, operating as a side piece to the titular, tony Café. Open from 7am-6pm, service starts with a selection of java (such as Baroida Estate Espresso and El Paraiso Drip, from Joe Coffee Roasters in the West Village), along with eats that far exceed your standard bodega BEC. With a kitchen team comprised of chef Carmen Quagliata, pastry chef Daniel Alvarez, and baker Justin Rosengarten, it goes without saying that everything is made in house, from vanilla and orange-scented Kouign-Amann, to Everything Croissants with cream cheese, and even bowls of Whole-Grain Krispies Cereal, speckled with pecans, pumpkin seeds and dried fruit. Especially charming are a duo of bite-sized Breakfast Gougeres; tender-bellied cheese puffs packed with scrambled eggs, pepperjack and ham.
Afternoon is when the sandwiches roll out, including a Roast Beef with fried onions and beets and a Broccoli Melt cemented with chili and lemon-slicked manchego, potentially accompanied by Minestra Soup stocked with winter vegetables and malfatti, or shaved Brussel Sprouts Salad, tossed with guanciale, pecorino and mint. And while the shop winds down, just as dinner at Union Square Café gets started, the “provisions” part of the concept allows for an impromptu supper at home. Whole rotisserie chickens are available beginning at 3pm, and glorious breads are sold by the loaf throughout the day; look for spindly Baguettes, earthy Salted Caraway Rye, and crackle-crusted Sprezzatura — the heritage miche that generally kicks off a meal at USC.
Granted, at Daily Provisions it costs $12, but think how much you’ll save on a multi-course, gratuity-included check, cushioned by a dearly-priced bottle of wine.
103 E 19th St