I know it’s still Winter, but I need it to be Spring

so a bit of both in the menus this week for Supper Club

I know it’s winter, but I need it to be spring, so a bit of both in the menus this week. xo
Wednesday Menu

Entree $12.50

Meatballs and sauce with country style polenta served with broccoli rabe and whole roasted carrots

Sides $5.00

Antipasto of salume, cheese, vegetables and olives
White beans and escarole



Dessert $5.00

apple tart

Thursday Menu

Entree $12.50

Chicken Cutlets with lemon and capers served with string beans and fresh herbs and roasted zucchini with fennel
Sides $5.00

Potato and leek soup with bouquet garni

Salad of greens, croutons, chive, cherry tomatoes with garnish of fresh chevre

Dessert $5.00
Meringue with fresh strawberries

This week’s Supper Club menus

Wednesday Menu

Entree $12.50

Roast chicken stuffed w/ garlic, herbs and lemon served with string beans braised in tomato and roast potato

Sides $5.00

Lentils w/ rosemary and garlic

Salad of greens, zucchini pappardelle, parmesan, chive and crouton



Cheese plate

Dessert $5.00

Italian cheesecake

Thursday Menu

Entree $12.50

Salmon w/ avocado and tomatillo sauce served with basmati rice w/ leek and lemon

Sides $5.00

Chic pea w/ red peppers and herbs

Salad of greens, fennel, orange, red onion and olive



Dessert $5.00


The new dinner list

On Thursday’s, and starting this week, maybe even Wednesdays if the cook feels like she can push the envelope, up her game, and find sleep where there was none to be found before, 51st Bakery and Cafe has a dinnerlist. If you get on this list, which has no cool outfit required, or password or any requirements really, then once a week, you get an email from me telling you what’s for dinner.

There is only one option a night. With the exception of times of Major Illness, when flat coca cola was set next to the bed, my mom never made a different dinner for everybody. Not one time in my leef, life, loaf. As a mother, I failed at that, but at the cafe, I am getting good at it. I make a roast pork loin, or a whole salmon or chickens marinated with heads of garlic and herbs, and spoon some tasty vegetables in there with a spot of salad. All of that is $12.50 In case anybody is super hungry they can get additional sides for five dollars. They always include but are not limited to, cut raw vegetables or fruit. Who doesn’t need more of that? And dessert. Because I love dessert.

Here are the three menus I have done so far. Make them at home or join The dinnerlist at 51st for dinner on Thursday (and maybe even Wednesday) nights.

Dinner Plate $12.50

Roast Salmon with tomato confit served with garlicky spinach and roast red bliss potatoes

Side $5.00

Bruschetta with White Bean Puree

Crudite with sea salt and olive oil

Cut fresh fruit

Dessert $5.00

Lemon Apple Cake

Dinner Plate $12.50:

Roasted chicken breast marinated in dijon, garlic, and lemon zest

Ratatouille with eggplant, zucchini, red pepper, onion and tomato

Mashed potato

Sides $5.00:

Crudite of braised string bean, raw carrot, raw fennel, celery, radish w/sea salt and olive oil

Puy Lentils with rosemary

Cheese board of 3 cheeses: $10.00

Dessert: $5.00

Pear Tart

Cut Fresh Fruit

Dinner Plate $12.50

Penne with turkey sausage, spinach and shallot served with roasted butternut squash and salad of greens, red onion, dried apricot, toasted almond and green olive

Side $5.00

Antipasto of sopressata, idiabazal (spanish sheep cheese), roasted peppers and zucchini

Crudite with sea salt and olive oil

Cut fresh fruit

Dessert $5.00

chocolate jonty (flourless chocolate cake)

all the sandwiches I can think of that I make at 51st

(I think and not all on the same day)

The Lawrence Genoa salami with fried egg and arugula
Meatloaf with roasted onion and tomato
chicken salad with bit of lemon zest, fresh thyme, chive, chopped onion, dijon, olive oil and vinegar
chicken salad with dijon and tarragon
sliced chicken with roasted fennel, roasted red pepper and idiazabal, a Spanish sheep cheese
sliced chicken with roasted string beans, hazen blue, and lettuce
roasted butternut squash with spinach, roasted onion and amish cheddar
soprasatta with red pepper, green olive and lettuce
brie with red grape and chive
brie with sliced pear and chive
fresh goat cheese with roasted string beans, green olive and lettuce
roast chicken with cranberry sauce and stuffing
roast pork with slaw and sliced onion
I think I might make borscht today xo

It’s January. What’s your plan?

If I were a normal human being, I would have slept late on my day off.
I am not.
I kept my body up until after midnight, shoving in supports of pillows and cold water to boost my shoulders into an upright position. On the plus side, I had on cute shoes, I was showered and I made it to the house of friends who fed me all things delicious.
On the slippery slope side, I woke up to the dark.
Sleep and making more than breaking even have become my abacus of success. I count minutes and pennies. If I can keep both above sea level, the day is a success.
I have no salads yet, no hot food, a baked goods selection that could resemble war time and professional attire that is an embarrassment to cooks everywhere. My son has not had any other vegetable except broccoli for the past two weeks–the last time I bought a 5 pound bag of it a Costco and threw it in the cart with 12 dozen eggs, 25 pounds of butter, turkeys, bottles of bleach, and a 6 pound bag of pistachios. But everything is labeled and dated in the refrigerator, there are paper towels at every sink station with in 20 feet of every food prep station, my rinse cycle is above 168 degrees for three minutes, I have mastered 2 minute frittatas in the oven to serve on a Saturday, and I serve the best scone in the neighborhood. From the deep down depths of my heart it never fails to make me happy when people like what they eat. That’s what makes it worth it.
The plan for the next few weeks:
close on Sundays
open for extended hours, at first just on Wednesdays and Thursdays for a Supper Club. One delicious menu that changes each night, one seating, plus take out.

Better socks.

Happy New Year xo

Friday Lunch at 51st Bakery and Cafe

Thursday lunch was so darn busy, I completely forgot to post. I am trying to post early now.
Meatloaf with roasted onions and tomato sandwich
Homemade roast turkey w/stuffing and cranberry sandwich
Grilled Amish Cheddar
Cheese board w/red grape, dried apricots and toasted pecan
Tuna w/avocado, field greens and roasted pepper
Chicken salad w/tarragon
Creamy tomato soup w/side of Sardo Bianco
Turkey soup w/red bliss potato

We are open!

Since Friday. I think we have changed our hours nine times according to how tired we are.

At the moment:
7:30 am to 5:00 pm Monday through Friday
8:00 am to 12:00 Saturday and Sunday

So tired. But I love my customers. Opening a cafe is reconfirmation of how many good people there are in the world. We have people on their way to work, people who have stopped working, moms with babies, students of every age. There is a high school at the end of my street on the East River and those kids love cookies.

The coffee is really good. I couldn’t be happier with it. It’s called Intelligentsia. Every morning I hold my cup steady and tip my hat to its deliciousness. Which becomes more and more important, the less sleep you get. I have been losing sleep like sand through a sieve. Too much in the head and no time to let it be.
Molly died yesterday, which I tell you, wasn’t easy. I loved that dog from my heels up.
Ferdinand is going to print off a picture of her for us so we can hang it in the cafe.
I miss her so much when I come and she’s not there.

What I have

Here is what I have:

An EIN number
An employer registration number from the NY department of labor
A certificate to operate
A food handler’s certificate
A certificate of authority from the NY department of taxation and finance
Disability insurance, liability insurance, unemployment insurance

A poster to read in case someone chokes, a poster to read in case anybody has allergies, a poster to inform workers about worker’s rights, a cpr kit with a poster that says the kit is behind the counter, a first aid kit, a sanitation bucket, paper strips to be sure I have the right balance of bleach to water for sanitizing dishes and wiping down counters and a grease trap the size of a small hotel. I have a hand washing sink with soap and paper towels within reach. I have a sneeze guard that goes the length of the counter and a faucet on a three compartment sink in the kitchen.
I have hats and aprons and bar towels. I have closed containers to hold 50 pounds each of flour and sugar.
I have a bathroom for customers with another sink with air gaps, soap and paper towels.
I have had an inspection by a pest control guy.
I have an eight rack oven, Goliath size mixing bowls, a dishwasher that will hold 170 degrees for thirty seconds.

I have no food or drink on the premises, because in order to pass the final inspection by the Health Department of New York City you can’t have food or drink on the premises.

I will be ordering everything this afternoon for everything to arrive on Friday morning.
Because I have hope.
That somewhere between the hours of 9 am and 4pm on Thursday, we will get the go ahead.

I made a turkey soup with the final remains of Thanksgiving. Dessert was gingerbread rabbits.


Ferdinand is struggling with school again.
Everyday at the breakfast table for the past week he says “Mom, I don’t want to go to school.” And I think to myself how different it is this time.
How hopeful it is.
“Ferdinand” I say, “It is not easy, is it. You are working so hard. You are doing your very best, your absolute very best and
you are getting closer and closer to your goal, and where is easy? Nowhere. I know.”
“I think I should stay home from school.”
“You know why you can’t stay home from school? Because this is good hard. This is the kind of hard that’s going to take you up. You are with teachers
you love and who believe in you. They know what you are capable of, which is up.”
“What if I don’t want to be up?”
“You do. Up is where you want to be because when you get there, you get to look back and say, ‘I did that.’ And that’s what
keeps you walking. So look for what is going to get you through. Appreciate how delicious your potato chips are. Love recess. Take pride in how
beautiful your desk is.”
“Can I have a donut for breakfast?”
“Yes, you can.”
Somedays it’s whatever it takes.
On that day, I took the dog to the vet because she couldn’t walk from a cat fight, I signed up for another credit card, I obsessed about passing the plumbing inspection and the electrical inspection, and felt as alone as a patient in the waiting room on the doctor’s day off. And do you know what hit me? The light on the back cement brick wall of the garden; the way you could see the shadow of the leaves moving in the wind on the back wall. You never know what it is that’s going to keep you going.

For nourishment: braise two cups of cauliflower flowerets in an inch of water w/a leek, salt, parsley and olive oil. Same for a cup of string beans, and cup of peeled, chopped beets. Change the water for each vegetables. Saute a small, tight red onion w/a bit of fresh parsley and a few bay leaves. Toss everything together with a few good green olives that you pit yourself and a few tablespoons of warmed through walnut halves. Crush a clove in a mortar and pestle w/olive oil and a tiny clove of garlic. Fold into the mixture w/a few drops of red wine vinegar and more olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Serve with your best bread and a semi firm goat cheese.


There are about 6 electricians, a few plumbers and the contractor at the cafe. I said good morning and started getting all wet on the face, which the plumber
thought was pretty funny.
That many power tools in one place can only mean one thing. We have to open.