By Aida Toro
Tribeca's little summer getaway cafe.
It was 90 degrees out in the streets of the Big Apple on a Tuesday afternoon and I was craving some appetizers rather than a big meal. In that case, I decided to pay Summer Day Cafe in New York City’s TriBeca area a visit, which opened last year. If you haven’t been to TribeCa, then you are in for a treat, as it is the stomping ground for all fashionistas, socialites, and artists alike.
When my guest and I first walked inside Summer Day Cafe, the atmosphere automatically carried us away to a summer oasis, which provided that chill and positive energy this wonderful season provides. We were the first patrons at the cafe since we arrived right at 11:30 am on the dot. The restaurant’s Manager sat us down right away and gave us one of the best booths in the house, right by the natural light and the pop art that hangs on the walls.
While we perused through the menu, we also admired Summer Day’s interior. The cafe is cloaked with floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook the glamour TriBeca has to offer. The interior showcases palm like plants, hand painted murals, pop art and a pink wallpaper with leaves of all colors painted on it. I felt as if I was at a venue in South Beach or Palm Springs, where it feels like summer all the time. Not to mention, that the pop art reminds me so much of images utilized in vintage issues of the iconic Interview Magazine.
The Summer Day menu presents Contemporary American fare with a splendid balance of comfort and healthy foods where special seasonal ingredients are utilized. The beverages offered at the bar are also out of this world as they feature a mix of seasonally crafted cocktails, spirits, but most importantly, year-round frozen drinks.
Before ordering, Chef Pietro Aletto came out to greet us and provided us with an amazing description of items on the menu. Aletto has been the chef at Summer Day for six months. He mentioned that his favorite dish at Summer Day is the Chicken Pot Pie which is literally made by hand and baked from scratch.
“We have a lot of fresh vegetables in there, a puff pastry, and each order is done by hand,” he said about the dish. “If you do order it for dinner, it will take at least ten to 12 minutes to come out of the oven.”
The Chicken Pot pie can be found in the dinner menu. Aletto also mentioned that he enjoys working at Summer Day for the simple fact that he receives that summer vibe all year around.
After speaking with him, we finally ordered our series of appetizers. We ordered Brussel Sprouts, Fried Pizza Dough, and Mashed Avocado accompanied with Grilled Shrimp. These Brussel Sprouts were not your ordinary Brussel Sprouts as these were savory to the T and crispy rather than soggy. They were mixed with some pancetta and shaved parmesan cheese which are combinations that not one person on this planet can go wrong with. I can seriously have these Brussel sprouts everyday and add these as a side to my daily meals since they are packed with protein. I mean...who wouldn’t want a healthy yet tasty item included in their meal plan for the week?
The Fried Pizza Dough was interesting, since this was the first time we ever had it. I didn’t even know there was such a thing! Well...this appetizer was finger licking good! The pizza dough was chewy and crunchy at the same time. Each piece was topped with sicilian oregano and parmesan shavings. Next to the pieces of fried pizza dough, came a bowl containing marinara sauce and ricotta cheese topped with sicilian oregano as well. My guest and I dunked our pieces of fried pizza dough in the marinara sauce and ricotta cheese like there was no tomorrow. For being our first time trying fried pizza dough, Summer Day did not disappoint!
Lastly, we ordered a bowl of Smashed Avocado with grilled shrimp on the side. This is not your typical guacamole because this was super smooth rather than chunky. The avocado is crushed and mixed with sea salt and olive oil. This dish was just appropriate to have on a summer day as a lunch appetizer, especially with grilled shrimp, cause it ain’t summer without some seafood involved!
Once we joined the clean plate club after finishing up every ounce of the appetizers we ordered, we decided to share a Strawberry Shortcake dessert. Summer Day has a different take on serving Strawberry Shortcake as it is served in a mason jar. Inside the jar, you’ll find crushed sugar shortbread, vanilla chantilly, and strawberries that your palate will go insane for and literally feel refreshed afterwards since the chantilly and strawberries are cool rather than warm.
Overall, our experience at Summer Day Cafe was delightful. What better place to spend a summer afternoon with a family member, friend, spouse, or by yourself and savor the sun, eats, and mixology. Lunch is definitely a go for me again as well as dinner in the future since Chef Pietro mentioned nothing but great things about it. Of course, if you can’t escape to Miami or Palm Springs, there will always be A Summer Day Cafe in TribeCa.