Disclaimer: I was invited as a guest to this establishment for a complimentary meal. All opinions expressed in this post are my own.
Spiegel is a brand new Mediterranean leaning café/ bar/ restaurant opened in a bright corner spot in the East Village. I was recently invited to a press dinner to review this spot.
Owned by Shmulik Avital with Chef Dario Tapia (formerly at Westville and Maison Kayser), Spiegel opens up with at 7:00 AM with freshly baked croissant and a smattering of breakfast offerings. All of this is served with Verve Coffee Roasters from Santa Cruz, CA, which is truly spectacular coffee. Spiegel is one of the only spots on the entire East Coast to serve Verve.
Avital is a huge enthusiast of classic films and hence the name Spiegel came into being as a nod to one of his idols – Sam Spiegel, who produced several of his favorite old movies.
Avital is of Moroccan descent but grew up in Israel. He lived in a community that housed a melting pot of cultures, where he spent his early years eating the world (literally). It’s this mash up of flavors and sense of community and friendship that he attempts to recreate within the walls of Spiegel.
The underlying tone of the food is definitely Mediterranean with Israeli and Moroccan influences. The dishes are very vegetable-centric which is so refreshing. The portions are HUGE – and I have to say they make some of the best fries I have had in a long time at Spiegel.
We tried a large variety of dishes and everything we tried was rather light. My favorite was the salmon, which was grilled and served on a bed of really well roasted vegetables.
Spiegel has a full-service sit-down bar with a small but impressive global wine list. It is open from breakfast till late night everyday and until midnight on weekends.
Spiegel is a place with a whole lot of heart – that’s exactly what I said to Avital who then showed me how he actually had a little icon of a heart on the above the awning outside the restaurant! Do go check it out.
Here is some of what we ate:
The Spiegel Chopped Salad
Sweet Potato Fries