Stuff Stylish Women Like: weekend brunch. good food. fashion. black and white photos. trips to europe. spain. spanish men.
Which means they’ll love super cute East Village restaurant Bikinis, obvi. This small eatery, which is run by former fashionista Karina Correa and her fiance Petrit Pula, serves Spanish fare in a stylish setting reminiscent of a chic cafe and art gallery. You might find the name Bikinis a bit odd, since the only signs of a two-piece are in the nostalgic, glossy photos that hang on the walls. However, it is actually the name of a type of sandwich served in Spain, which was apparently invented in the 1950s at a dance hall called Sala Bikinis. The place started serving its guests triangular shaped croque monsieurs which were soon dubbed “bikinis” since they resembled the bottoms of the notorious swimsuit. You can learn more about the colorful origins of this Spanish sandwich here in a video interview with owner Correa.
The brunch menu at Bikinis features several varieties of its signature sandwich, as well as Spanish-inspired brunch fare and a heartier baguette-based sandwich called the bocadillo. We ordered a little bit of everything–the Huevos con Xistorra for something reminiscent of a traditional eggs dish, the Don Quixote bikini to satiate our curiosity of this peculiarly-named sandwich, and the Pepito de Pollo bocadillo to round things out.
Bikinis really knows how to serve solid and delicious comfort foods in a stylish and slightly offbeat manner. The chicken in the bocadillo was well-seasoned and flavorful, the baguette was crisp and not overly-thick, and even the side of salad was simple but tasty. With the Don Quixote, Bikinis refashioned the classic ham and cheese sandwich as an elegant and exotic Spanish adaptation, pairing tangy cured serrano ham and manchego cheese in between two pressed slices of incredibly satisfying challah toast.
Similar Spanish tweaks were made to the familiar eggs and sausage combo in the huevos con xistorra by replacing sausage links with a spicier chorizo-like meat and serving a side of olives and manchego cheese for a unique Barcelonian touch. And that fantastic toasted challah bread made an appearance again. Sopping up the toast with egg yolk, savory sausage and mild cheese was a pretty effective combination.
Brunch isn’t complete without some bellinis and bloody marys, and the “Bloody Maria” served at Bikinis is really well mixed and a great deal at $5. As opposed to using a vodka base, the restaurant uses soju, which results in a creamy and incredibly smooth drink. I think we need to add Bloody Maria to the list of stuff that stylish girls like.
The wholesome and chic charms of Bikinis is a refreshing addition to the gritty landscape of Alphabet City. I’m frankly shocked that a place like this even exists on Ave C. It feels like it should be in Nolita next to Cafe Habana or Tacombi somewhere. I think this explains why Bikinis isn’t more popular, along with the fact that getting to Ave C from anywhere can be quite a hike. Which is perfect for those willing to make the trip, since that means more space and time for you to linger and reminisce about that junior year abroad in Spain over a glass of lovely sangria or cerveza. Vicky Cristina Barcelona Part 2, reunion in NYC!
56 Avenue C (between 4th and 5th St)
New York, NY 10009