soon after labor day, j was lucky enough to have his job moved (most of the time) from jersey city to 30th and broadway. the digs aren’t so nice, but it sure has been huge treat to not only be in manhattan but also in a virtual food mecca with all the vendors selling tasty treats this past fall at madison square park. and then this guy really hit the jackpot when he figured out that stumptown’s first new york outpost was part of the very cool, very hip, ace hotel. and of course i am super jealous. my office used to be just a few blocks away and the food options have only gotten exponentially better since my days on broadway.
after hearing j. go on and on about stumptown all fall — how amazing the baristas are, how the beans are roasted in red hook, how consistently excellent the coffee is – i finally got to try it out a few weeks ago. first and foremost, i really totally love the space. super excellent design by roman and williams both in the hotel lobby especially and the coffee spot is also great (love those lights). the baristas too, as has been noted elsewhere, were excellently dressed and not at all snooty but downright friendly (that was a shock at this trendy spot). as for the pastries, not quite abraço (they get some goodies from the frankie boys like the pretzels) but certainly decent.
as for the coffee, i feel like i cannot give them a fair assessment given that i only had it once so maybe j will chime in. my one cup was good but not amazing. the foam was not as rich and creamy as i like (see picture above) though the coffee itself was rich and just the right amount of bitterness. there’s so much good coffee these days, that it is really hard to excel. i think i’m still loving southside, and a new (but late to the party) obsession is gorilla coffee. however, if i were anywhere in the middle of manhattan, stumptown will be my destination as i cannot think of anything decent nearby, so i am sure i will be back if only to hang out in the lobby and if course to check out the breslin which is now mostly open. stumptown at the ace hotel, 20 west 29th street between broadway and 5th avenue, manhattan, new york, 212.679.2222.