Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Black Seed in De Robertis

Since the heartbreaking closure of De Robertis' Pasticceria, we've wondered what would take its celebrated space.

Today Florence Fabricant at the Times quietly notes:

"BLACK SEED BAGELS Noah Bernamoff and Matt Kliegman will open a full-service cafe and bakery with a wood-fired oven in the former De Robertis Pasticceria space in late spring. The new owners plan to increase their baking capacity and sell their bagels wholesale. Much of the venerable pastry shop’s tile work will be preserved: 176 First Avenue (11th Street)."

Here's a description of Black Seed from Grub Street:

"There are many things that Black Seed has that your neighborhood bagel shop most likely doesn’t: There’s the wood-fired oven, the last step in a process that begins with hand-rolling and poaching. There’s the design by hOmE, the Brooklyn firm that built Tørst and Paulie Gee’s, and here uses reclaimed sycamore, beveled walnut, and Carrara marble. There’s the Stumptown coffee. And then there’s the shop’s ambition..."

What is there to say? I just hope they don't fuck up DeRobertis' gorgeous century-old interior with all that design and ambition.

UPDATE: Good news, reports Gothamist: The owners of Black Seed are "working with the De Robertis family to honor and preserve original design elements of the bakery including the ornately tiled floor, handcut tile walls, and pressed tin ceiling."


Anonymous said...

A very good bagel. But smaller (Montreal-style) than most NY'ers are used to.
They're a decent bagel.
But they aint no Ess-A-Bagel.....

Anonymous said...

Black Seed is a local enterprise, and I enjoy their food.

Their current storefront does seem to be sustained by young-and-trendy types who don't seem to blanch at spending $10 and up for a fancy bagel sandwich for lunch, but the a-la-carte bagels are not so nearly extortionately priced ($1.50 each, albeit for bagels that are a bit on the small side by NYC standards. Or the price goes down a bit if you buy by the half-dozen or dozen), and they are quite good. I'd put them up against any of the established neighborhood bagel places (Absolute, Bagel Hole, etc.) here in NYC, or indeed the classic Montreal bagelrys that their recipe is most comparable to.

De Robertis, well, they had the atmosphere going for them, but they'd just sorta been phoning it in for years. You need to be more energetic to maintain and expand your customer base in this day and age; I just have trouble mourning their loss so completely.

BagelGuy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Glad they're preserving the interior, but from the description it doesn't exactly sound like your neighborhoody type of bagel place.

Anonymous said...

No different than what Varvatos did to CBGB...

Space Pope said...

I'm glad, from the update, that these guys are working with the DeRobertis fanily on the interior. I love that interior! Just for that, I'll give 'em a game go. Otherwise I'd have to do some Bagel WooWoo on the kiesters.

Anonymous said...

To Anon at 11:06.....I think it's a bit different than what Varvatos did.
Local restaurateurs are not fashion and luxury moguls.
I know that "hipster grub" is annoying and the "artisanal" restaurants and such are easy to roll the eyes at.
However, I dont think bashing restaurants is a good move. These guys have skin in the game, and very much want to become -- like DeRobertis was -- a long standing member of the community.
We've seen it happen to other places in the EV and around town -- if you last, and you serve a good meal you will be revered. And when you have to leave, people mourn. Remeber Kate's Joint (my own personal sob story as I lived next door and ate there so many times over the years it's crazy and I'm not even veg) or recently Yaffa?
I think a group that wants to keep a place like DeRobertis mostly in tact is pretty great. Considering the alternative.
The new wave here is eating and drinking. Artisanal or not, it's the new wave in The City. And it aint the first, and it wont be the last.
I'm all for bashing the chains and the corporate BS. Fuck them. Fuck Duane Reade pushing out EV Cheese, etc.
But small, local joints with skin in the game who provide good eats are not that.

DaveA said...

As much as I loved the interior of DeRobertis and love that they're leaving it, it's annoying to think they're also assuming the mantel of a long standing icon of bakery delights, as if BS had been around since back in the day. They will be forgiven if they bring back the old ashtrays and allow smoking in the back...