Last winter, while vacationing in Naples, Florida, on an impulse buy at a local Williams-Sonoma (winter sale!), I purchased a Nespresso VertuoLine machine. Having been seduced by the commercials showing a content Penelope Cruz sipping out of an espresso cup and a debonair George Clooney touting the richness and sophisticated of the coffee, (and being a bonafide coffee snob), I thought it was time.
It was a purchase I have never regretted (this really is amazing coffee, in an instant!), and when I discovered there was a freestanding Nespresso store AND cafe on Madison Avenue, I knew I had to investigate. It was easy to convince my colleague to join me (also a Nespresso owner) for lunch on a late summer Monday afternoon: one short cab ride up Madison Avenue and we were there.
The shop itself is sleek, spotless, and gleaming: The gorgeously-hued nespresso pods form an eye-catching design on the wall behind the coffee bar in the front room, where one can purchase any type of Nespresso coffee and enjoy their drink in plush padded bar chairs; also in the front is the sit-down café where one can order breakfast, lunch, a coffee (of course), or even a glass of wine (raspberry bellinis and mimosas are on the cocktail menu). In the back room is the retail center and tasting bar for newbie espresso drinkers, or those simply wanting to try a new flavor.
We settled into a table in the front, to get orchestra seats to Madison Avenue people-watching. Dan and I ordered a bowl of chicken soup, then I a spa tuna wrap, and he, a kale and berry salad. Lunch turned out to be a leisurely one, which worked well for us: Those chairs were so comfortable, I could have taken a siesta. The soup came in large, white bowls, with toasted baguette slices and was clearly housemade, dotted with fat egg noodles and strips of white meat chicken. My tuna sandwich was fresh and flavorful, very light, and partnered with hand-cut potato chips. Dan thought his kale and berry salad perfected balanced, accessorizsed with toasted almonds, parmesean cheese and a well-spiked lemon dressing.
Afterwards, of course, we moved to the back room to purchase a few "sleeves" (Nespresso parlance) of coffee for our home machines.
So nice to know that fantastic coffee in this town can come with a side of great meal. I'll be back!
» Nespresso Madison Boutique & Cafe, 761 Madison Ave., 800.562.1465