Tipped off by our creative director Dennis Freedman, who's a big fan of the stunning East Side flower shop Zeze Flowers
, my colleague Catherine Hong and I immediately hopped over for lunch at Ze Cafe, which opened just this week. Located in the former carriage house that was home to the original Zeze for close to two decades, the casually chic eatery features an eclectic French, Italian and Brazilian menu and a died-and-gone-to-heaven selection of pastries and desserts. Of course it's no mystery why the food is so delicious; owners Zeze and Peggy O'Dea partnered with two Le Cirque alumni--Roberto and Monica Bellissimo
--to steer the culinary ship. (Cute story: Roberto and Monica met at Le Cirque when he was the sous chef and she was the pastry sous chef; they got married, went into business together and are now expecting a baby.) Over impossibly tasty tomato soup, a gruyere-topped veggie burger, a killer tuna sandwich that rivals the one across town at Bouchon Bakery and a pecan tart with homemade creme fraiche ice cream--we surveyed the ultra-coiffed crowd, many of whom no doubt reside in the fabled River House, just around the corner. It seems they've already claimed the beautiful new boite as their own.
398 E. 52nd Street, 212.758.1944