Forget Arabian/French, Japanese/Ukrainian or Swedish/Mexican — new neighborhood joint Spiegel is ditching the East Village trend of unexpected cuisine marriages and going simply “International.” “I grew up in Israel, I lived in New York for 13 years and traveled Central America,” says owner Shmulike Avital. “I picked up good stuff from all over.”
Avital, who previously managed Westville’s East Village outpost and later helped to open its Chelsea location, is hoping his new joint has a little something for everyone. So if mushrooms stuffed with cream cheese and smoked salmon aren’t your jam, perhaps you’re into beer battered mahi mahi fish tacos. Vegan? How about a burger fashioned from quinoa, chickpeas and veggies topped with Sriracha yogurt? This veritable smorgasbord of delights (along with several salad and sandwich options and entrees that include salmon, schnitzel and vegetarian couscous) are yours for the taking when Spiegel opens its doors on Monday.
Though Avital himself may lean towards different menu items depending on the day (these days he only eats meat once a week), he’s firm on one thing: “I don’t compromise on coffee,” he says. That’s why they’re shelling out a few extra bucks to serve Santa Cruz’s Verve coffee (they recently had a pop-up in Williamsburg). Coffee connoisseurs can enjoy the roast along with freshly baked pastries from 7 a.m.
Bathed in natural light (check out those wraparound windows) and featuring custom white oak, the restaurant is bright and inviting. To emphasize the low-key vibe, Spiegel also features counter service.
So if you’re a human being living on planet earth, some aspect of Spiegel is likely appealing to you.
Spiegel opens Monday at 26 First Ave., at East Second Street, and is open daily from 7 a.m. Lunch/Dinner service begins at 10 a.m. and runs until 11 p.m. The bar closes at varying times, “depending on the day.”