Since opening last weekend on Seventh Avenue between 14th and 15th Streets, Couleur Cafe has already become one of the South Slope's top destinations for coffee, pastries, sandwiches, and relaxation.
While "relaxation" may seem like a strange feature to add to that list, one step through the door will give you an idea of what I'm talking about. Big windows let in a lot of sunlight, ceiling fans create a pleasant breeze, and light, neutral colors put you at ease. Grab a pastry and a cup of coffee, take a seat, and owner Murat Ozcan, a native of Paris, will drop by and make you feel like a member of his family. Spend two minutes in his cafe and you'll find yourself never wanting to leave.
But onto the food. Pastries include brioche, apple turnovers (above), fruit tarts, and croissants that are to die for (especialy when filled with chocolate, almonds, or both). They're handmade every morning by local baker David Benizeri, who hails from Nice, in the South of France. Coffee is a special blend provided by Brooklyn Roasting. All the meats used in the salads and sandwiches (like ham, smoked duck, sausage, and pork loin) are provided by Aux Fourchettes, a Woodmere-based smokehouse that usually supplies high-end restaurants but made an exception for Ozcan. Baguettes are from Pain d'Avignon.
The high quality of Couleur's offerings is indicative of Ozcan's dedication to his community (he has lived here for over 20 years, and his wife, Kristen Lynch, runs the nearby Young Player's Theater).
"For me, this isn't about making money," he said. "It's about being a part of the community, and letting the community be a part of us."
Couleur Cafe, 435 Seventh Avenue Brooklyn NY 11215. Phone: 718-788-6600.