24 Irving Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11237
The corner of Irving and Jefferson was left bare after a dark neighborhood bar shut down a few years ago. Ryan’s totally been hoping that something cute opens up there, since it’s a prime location, but we were sad that the building looked like nothing was going on for a long time.
Of course this all changed a couple of months ago. We saw the windows had newspaper plastered on and there was some serious work going on over there. Then in the last 2 months, we saw a serious bar table and some espresso machines/coffee stuff, which sparked some debate. Will it be a bar? Or a cafe? (We were hoping bar.) And at nights when I walked by the place after work, I would plaster my face on the window hoping to get some inkling of what was coming. (You know, and in the process creeped out the owners of the place.)
They are a restaurant/cafe that is open for breakfast/brunch/lunch/dinner 7 days a week. Awesome, right? They are open until 1am-2am (depending on the foot traffic) and their kitchens current close around 11pm (although they will probably start having late night snacks available until closing).
On the first weekend of April, they opened up! (Apparently they were hoping to open up since October, but things kept getting pushed back.) Of course we slid on in Sunday evening, one of the first people in that night to survey our new neighborhood restaurant.
The place offers seating of around maybe 15 people on the floor and another 8 or so at the bar. It’s full of light and super cute with great shelving system that I am totally jealous of. (Seriously, I need something like that.) The menu is simple, but has vegetarian opens, soups, appetizers, and Ryan’s favorite… Charcuterie plate (and a cheese plate). They have wines, local beers (Sehr Crisp! Pork Slap! Oh my!) and a good brunch cocktail selection. (Including some serious hangover recipes: Emergen-C cocktails? Ben’s Breakfast Beverage Buffet: Coffee + Water + Coke + OJ?) The best part is the price point is really good. Their house wine is delicious and affordable. They have a seriously lovely white wine, called BOE (with a beautiful label done by a local Bushwick artist).
Their dinner menu is a little light (but hearty enough with good portions), currently consisting of their soup of the day (more on that later), salads, charcuterie plate, cheese plate, and sandwiches. When we went there for dinner, their mac n’ cheese and burgers weren’t on the menu, yet. Ryan and I got the turnip soup to share with the cheese plate and charcuterie with chicken liver. The SOUP was seriously good, you guys. I still think about it. It was the perfect consistency and creamy with some drizzled pesto and pumpernickel croutons. I loved everything there, but that was MY FAVORITE thing.
The cheese plate was delicious. They were all very earthy and they are all from the farm that the chef worked at previously (local in NJ, I believe). There was a creamy harder cheese, a stinky soft cheese, and a sharper harder cheese. The breads were toasted (kinda like a sandwich) and was soft and crispy. The charcuterie plate was good. Love the prosciutto and coppa. They were all cured in house, as well. GET THE CHICKEN LIVER. It was creamy and savory and everything I love in pate. It was A LOT of food.
I loved that this place is dedicated to being open for breakfast and lunch during the weekday. I wouldn’t get to take advantage of this, but Ryan certainly could. We went there for brunch twice and loved what we had. Some home runs were the breakfast sandwich (bacon egg and cheese? You can’t really go wrong – and Ryan loves his sandwiches and bacon), daily scramble (I love the combination of goat cheese, butternut squash and spinach. The butternut squash is done so well and adds to the creaminess of this whole dish. I love the fact that the second time around they used kale. That balanced out quite well.), and the belgian waffle (I have no words to describe this. It’s like a pumpkin pie custard delight).
We’re so excited that this place opened up on that corner. With this place, arepas place, the coffee place and the salad place on Wyckoff, there are tons of daytime options near the Jefferson stop now. Over all Cafe Ghia is a missing puzzle piece to the growing culinary scene out here.