Brooklyn, NY 11221
Neighborhoods: Bushwick, Brooklyn
Bushwick, a neighborhood bustling with so many food shops, cafes, restaurants, stores etc. While walking through the neighborhood, I came upon a small petite looking café. From the outside, it had one window, a small door and huge air conditioner positioned on top of it. Strikingly painted red and white, I was hesitant at first to step in. But, rather reluctantly, I decided to go in, thinking there’s no loss in just going in to merely look. But I am glad I did.
From the outside it may look like a small café, nothing much to it, but upon entering, you’re immediately overwhelmed by the smell of bread baking in the air and the sweet smell of chocolate wafting into your nose. Looking around I saw that from the outside you can’t tell how big the café actually is. It was adequately sized and very cute. It had small tables set around and had a few comfy couches scattered about as well. Everything looked so comfy and all I did was look around.
While there, I learned the café was fairly new. It opened in the summer of 2009 but even with a short span of existing, it has developed quite a high status in its neighborhood. The owner, Jerome Douay, was born and raised in Paris. He moved to New York City when his wife landed a job here. Since he was young, he had the dream to always open his own restaurant, following his father’s footsteps, who was a restaurateur himself. The Athom Café was born after Jerome renovated the place. It was originally an appliance store. To think that such a cute, petite looking café would come from a cold, appliance store is beyond me. Nonetheless, his efforts proved quite successful. After almost 2 years of running it, it had acquired a great following of customers.
In New York City, in general it is hard to find an authentic café or restaurant that stays true to its root. Many food stores nowadays, despite keeping some dishes unique, assimilate their palette to be more fitting to the American taste. But Athom Café is different; it’s unique. Actually Jerome hand picks all the fruits and vegetables for his cafe, making sure all the ingredients are fresh. In a society where big name companies deliver fruits and vegetables, this was a change from the norm. Because of this change and the ‘freshness’ that this café delivers, I can see why so many people choose to come to this café. Freshness, authenticity, these are aspects sometimes lost in many food stops. Athom Café delivers that for the neighborhood. It helps the community gain back all that they’ve otherwise lost.
Before leaving I decided to try a dish. One of the waiters recommended the crowd-favorite dish, the nutella and pear croissant. And let me tell you. This dish did not fail. I can happily add myself to that crowd who chooses this as their favorite dish. Just from one bite I was able to taste the freshness of the croissant, the juiciness of the pear all tied together with my favorite chocolate. From a few reviews I took from customers and the waiters alike, they claimed how being in this café showed a bit reminiscent of Paris. It was like having a bit of Paris in the small four corners of the café. Though I’ve never been there, and I can’t vouch whether this is true or not, but I would say, wholeheartedly, that I recommend anyone and everyone to go here. If you’re looking for that homely feel in a café while eating authentic and fresh food, then this café is a must go. I want to go back myself. I want to try everything on its menu!