We've been in Hyde Park awhile now, starting on our 6th year, amazingly enough. During that time we've been excited to welcome the expansion of Hyde Park Produce on 53rd Street, the backstory cafe on 61st Street, and Istria Cafe, under the traintracks on 57th Street and in the Hyde Park Art Center. These are our favorite places to frequent, and now, from the owners of Istria, comes Zaleski & Horvath MarketCafe, on 47th Street.
Yesterday, we drove over after church (it's a little far for a walk with the stroller for us) and stopped in to drink some coffee and look around. Both of the owners were there and gave us such a warm welcome, explaining their coffee making process (with a Clover coffee machine, brewing coffee, not just espresso, 1 cup at a time), slicing samples of their wide variety of cheeses for us to try, and writing down our suggestions for market items. (I suggested dried egg whites, because I can never seem to find them for the cookie icing I want to try.)
Although the $8/bag of King Arthur flour** is a bit too expensive for us, we'll definitely go back for the deli. We took home two cheeses that we had with a baguette for dinner last night - delicious! And their selection of sandwiches looks amazing. I hope (and will suggest) they expand their baked good selection to include something chocolate-y and some flaky croissant. (If they put a little nib of chocolate on Mike's espresso plate, he would be very happy, too.)
The store is decorated with great old family pictures, most prominently the patriarchs of the Zaleski and Horvath families. Already, a week or two after opening, there were quite a few people in the store, drinking coffee, and milling around. One of the owners (the tall, blonde one) said the opening of the store happened just around the time his first baby was born, so he is looking forward to raising two "children", I guess!
One of the things that draws us to a place is the people. I love the small-town feel of knowing from whom I'm buying. I love to support store owners who are trying to provide the best quality item and good service to our neighborhood. The Z & H Market isn't perfect yet, but I'll be drawn back to watch it grow because of the personal welcome we received from the moment we arrived to the moment we left (squirrelly children notwithstanding!)
**Since posting this, the owners said they repriced the flour. They really, truly are interested in their clients needs/wishes! All the more reason to go back! (in addition to the cheese and coffee...)