Joe at Alessi
As if it weren't enough fun to have Italian design giant Alessi open up a slick, spanking-new flagship store in Soho, Joe: The Art of Coffee has set up an espresso bar in the front, complete with their trademark tasty pastries!
First the store. It's very mod, very cool, the lighting's terrific, the layout smart, and the deft use of mirrors makes it feel much roomier than it actually is (not that that's a new trick... it's just that they've executed it really well). All of Alessi's greatest hits are in stock, and it all looks terrific and tempting in the setting. Yes, you can get everything here elsewhere, but how convenient to have it all in one place. Expect mobs.
So after not buying anything I headed back up front for a cup of Joe's startlingly refreshing iced coffee (I'm so used to—and tired of—the bitterness of Starbucks... so heavy on the tongue, you always need gum or something afterwards) and an amazing almond croissant: it had that chewy, sort-of-burnt, sort-of-carmalized texture and it was rich and dense and delicious. This definitely has the potential to become the go-to place for a Soho pick-me-up. It's on Greene Street, between Houston and Prince.