Bocado Cafe

1293 Lexington Ave (between 88th St & 87th St), New York, NY 10128 (212) 289-9004

Before our movie today, we stopped into this cafe close to the Lexington Avenue subway line, right in our Upper East Side neighborhood. This was my second visit, the first having been on a lovely day off for Christmas shopping I took before the holidays. I thought it was worth a quick write up about.

Firstly, it has a very inviting location. It is on a corner and has two sides full of windows, so you can see all the diners inside all talking and smiling and eating. It is quite lovely in that sense, and the restaurant helps to beautify the neighborhood. You walk in and are greeted by a case full of appealing baked goods and the smell of quality coffee. There is a somewhat separate bakery area, where you can purchase the pastries and stuff and get a cup of coffee.

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The dining area is partitioned off and you must be seated by a hostess. Both times that I have been, there was a wait, but pretty quick, because there are so many tables that there is frequent turn over. The ambience in the dining area is that of a French or European cafe. Rectangular tables with white tablecloths and black cafe chairs. The tables are placed quite close together, so hopefully you and your neighbors will have both showered that day!!

The first time I went, it was around 4:30pm so I just ate something from the “Small bites” menu. Specifically, I had the Seared Diver Sea Scallops with sauteed spinach and mushroom truffle cream sauce and a glass of white wine. The pairing was simply delicious. I enjoyed the food very much and I had a great seat at the window where I happily people watched and twittered away. Interestingly, I could tell there were several people on first dates around me so I think it is a popular date spot. The service was good that day, I was neither neglected nor bothered/hurried.

Today, we were in a bit of a hurry and the experience was somewhat different. We got seated fairly quickly. Our waiter was a professional and always had a bright smile. He quickly got our order and seemed to have full knowledge of the menu.

The first small problem arose when we were told that they were out of the capellini I ordered and linguini had to be substituted. I also ordered a Bellini, since it was included with the brunch menu, and they were out of that too. From other reviews I have read, it seems like this may be a somewhat recurring problem, so perhaps the management should have a chat with whomever is in charge of procurement! The plate was served with an oil and garlic sauce and it was supposed to have both tomatoes and zucchini on top but only the tomatoes showed up with the pasta. Did they run out of zucchini too? Who knows… Then the busboy accidentally poured water in my Pellegrino, but it was quickly replaced. Roberto’s bolognese sauce on fresh pasta was also very tasty. He had the Intelligentsia coffee, which was decent.

Unfortunately, we had to rush out, or we would have indulged in a sweet treat from the bakery. Alas an excuse to return!

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Images are courtesy of YELP!