Friday, March 27, 2015

Nine Bar Cafe

After several months undergoing renovations and setting up, Nine Bar Cafe opened up quietly at 18 Erie Street, not long before their neighbor Carrino Provisions, and quickly became one of the more popular coffee destinations in town.

The proprietor, Stefania Cocozza, hails from Rome and her passion for quality Italian coffee is well-translated here. It's quickly become part of my weekend routine over the past few months and I highly recommend you make it part of yours.

The espresso based drinks are really what you're after here. The regular coffee is good, but the espresso is the star of the show, ideally to be drunk in-store. However, as it's almost always crowded, taking it to go is fairly unavoidable. Preferably with a pastry or two.

Nine Bar carries a variety of baked goods like muffins (there's usually a gluten-free option), scones and croissants, mostly made in-house, and they carry a small variety of light lunch options like sandwiches, soups, and salads with at least one vegetarian option available. I've happily enjoyed the blueberry muffin on more than on occasion and the provolone and salami sandwich with tomato and avocado I had was quite good (although the tomatoes were clearly out of season) and I'd happily enjoy something from their menu again, but I wouldn't call it a must-have.                                              

They also have a display case full of tempting options including specialty bottled drinks, cakes, and their chocolate-lined and ricotta filled cannoli imported from a bakery in Sicily. I have yet to try the cannoli (but think about it every single time I'm there) but I did get a chance to try the tiramisu at a friend's birthday and it was excellent. Light, fluffy, creamy, but with the sharp spike of coffee cutting through the sweetness. I highly recommend it.

Nine Bar has already done so much in the few months it's been open and the next several months promise even more. They will host brewing classes once a month free of charge, they have started selling specialty imported chocolate bars, and are constantly working on and expanding their in-house food options, adding more to the rotation.

All in All
Nine Bar has become one of my go-to spots in Jersey City and is a very welcome addition to our burgeoning coffee scene. Besides just the excellent, secret-blend of coffee, everything else on the menu is solidly good, if not great. With the welcoming atmosphere, it's easy to see why this place has a steady stream of regulars (many of them happy to chat in Italian).

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