eat. shop. love. nyc.

Great value at Gaia Italian Cafe
March 1, 2011, 4:06 pm
Filed under: Eat | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I’ve been out of town for a month, so I can’t be held responsible for being a little late to the Gaia party. A friend of mine who is a small business owner in the neighborhood was raving about Gaia, saying she had started going there 4 or 5 times a week because of it’s good food, and it’s super cheap. This little walk-down Italian cafe opened up on Houston Street between Norfolk and Suffolk to little fanfare about a month ago, and it should be much more popular than it is given the great value.

The atmosphere is fairly generic, but I literally did a double take when I saw the prices on the menu. $5 for paninis on housemade flatbread? $7 salads? $7 risotto and gnocchi? $2.50 for freshly pressed pear or orange or apple juice? Good coffee for $1.75? And everything is made to order, not sitting around and reheated. In the neighborhood, most of the coffeeshops and cafes serving paninis are charging $7 and up.

One of the most expensive menu items was the burrata cheese served with mushrooms sauteed with parsley in a white wine sauce, and that was just $11. And it was good. I would slap a baby for some good burrata, and this was it.

Gaia offers a fantastic $12 Italian Brunch deal on the weekends that includes any panini or lasagna of your choice, a fresh fruit juice, a Nutella-stuffed pastry, and a coffee. I strongly recommend the pear juice – it’s delicious!

The speck panini with pickled vegetables and cheese was phenomenal, and the prosciutto brie and chicken pesto paninis were also very tasty. There is no reason these sandwiches should be $5. I think owner Gaia Bagnasacco is undercharging for everything on her menu by at least a couple dollars. I don’t know how long these very low prices will last, so you should definitely check it out now.

Eat: Gaia Italian Cafe (LES) 251 Houston Street at Norfolk. (646) 350-3977.


1 Comment so far
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Wow, that’s a great brunch deal! Got to hit it up! Thanks!

Comment by gargupie

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