Photography & Words by, Igee Okafor
The idea of going to a Belgian restaurant for brunch was not an Igee Okafor original, sadly. “Petite Abeille” was suggested by, a friend who had already visited the restaurant prior, Gina Nguyen. I had not seen Gina in months, so we decided to indulge ourselves as a way for us to catch up, and experience something new together.
Arriving on the scene, we were told our wait time would be about an hour, which is considered normal on a Sunday, in New York, and although, Gina and I had no issues with waiting, the waitress who was in charge of checking guests in offered us outdoor seats. She disclosed that the outdoor section of the restaurant was closed because of how cold the weather was, but if we didn’t mind, they would open it up for us to save our time. Being that both Gina and I were wearing coats strong enough to accommodate our outdoors hangout, we agreed to take the outdoor seating.
Walking into the restaurant at first sight, the restaurant can be compared to a bakery/diner in terms of decoration but, as we continued to walk down the eatery, we saw the room transitioned into an exquisitely decorated dim lighted room, and then, the outdoor seating where we sat. Since the restaurant is located on the ground floor of an apartment complex, we had a good view of tenants backyards. The ambiance reminded me of a dinner or late lunch I was capable of hosting in my own backyard, which I found refreshing because, I had never experienced something like it in New York - ever. It was a very low-key space; felt very private, and intimate. A complete 360 from the indoor ambiance that stayed true to the traditional Belgian aesthetic in peeling layers.
When it came to ordering food, drink orders were taken first. I believe I opted for a cup of hot chocolate with whipped cream. I am simple guy. For my main course, I ordered the Croque Monsieur sandwich, highly recommended by, Gina Nguyen, and together, we ordered, a toasted baguette. The Croque Monsieur is the French version of a grilled Ham and Cheese sandwich with a sunny side egg, and fries. When you cut it, the egg oozes out. Usually, I prefer my eggs fully cooked, but you can’t knock a meal until you try it so, I tried it. It was the right mixture of soft, and crispy. Very delicious. On the other hand, the toasted baguette wasn’t. Sadly, it was too hard to butter up or bite into. Perhaps, the fact it was freezing cold outdoors had something to do with it.
All embracing, it was a lovely time at Petite Abeille. I’m looking forward to going back.
Thank you for reading!