“I love that band!” exclaimed my tattooed, be-hatted barista to the other barista, who sported a jacket, tie, and bored expression. It is news to exactly no one that Stumptown Coffee in the Ace Hotel is a hotbed of hipster-dom, so hipster-ish, in fact, that it crosses the parody line back into entertaining. One plain wall bears writing that says something to the effect of “this art has malfunctioned,” and one wonders if the baristas are instructed to drip ennui. The lobby, where customers sit to sip the drinks, is what your college library would have looked like if it were designed by AvroKO. (Actually, the firm didn’t design the lobby, it was Roman and Williams.)
Those baritas, however, know how to pull a shot of espresso, and how to steam milk to the perfect, silken consistency that’s neither to puffy or too limp, too hot or too cold. It’s an expensive pick-me-up (about $3.70 for a medium), but it’s also wonderful. The pastries, from Cafe Pedlar, look delicious.
20 West 29th Street
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 12, 2009