Why is it that in Europe you can walk into nearly any seedy bar, order an espresso, and have it prepared so skillfully, and from such quality beans, that it's a delight to drink? For God's sake, even the Canadians make better espresso than we do. In this country -- even in alleged foodie meccas -- you're far more likely to get a cup of something that tastes like lighter fluid mixed with tequila than anything approximating the smooth, many-faceted taste of good espresso. Even at cafes where the espresso is sometimes decent you're lucky if it's consistently so. Maybe it's because we Americans usually drink espresso that's overpowered by milk by a factor of ten -- or maybe we all drink it that way because experience has shown that the straight stuff is about as palatable as Richmond refinery sludge. Tiny Nefeli, however, is both consistent and delicious. Europeans drink here, so that's a good sign. The place is minuscule, so don't expect room to do calisthenics when you've finished your drink, but the coffee's worth the squeeze.
What the Fork - July 22, 2:39 PM
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