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Cafe XII: Stepping out at Cafe XII

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CAFE XII

12 Hicks Lane

Great Neck, NY 11024

(516) 504-1212

Breakfast, brunch, lunch, or Armani? At Cafe XII in Great Neck's old village, you can feed the body chicly, then dress it in fashionable designer wear.

That's because you'll find Cafe XII while shopping at the upscale clothing boutique, Shari's Place. The Great Neck location is one of three shops in the Shari chain. There is one in Woodbury, NY., and another in Boca Raton, Fla., but lucky us, the Great Neck location is the only one with a cafe.

When my dining partner and I arrived at Cafe XII, a sizable power breakfast had just come to an end, and its chairs needed rearranging.

"Give us a moment or two. Meanwhile you can go inside and spend a few thousand," our waiter chortled, motioning to Shari's entrance.

So, to bide our time we stepped inside the elegant dress shop with designer clothes ranging from sports lines straight through to black tie. It all looked ultra tempting. Here a touch, there a touch. You could tell nothing had escaped a talented decorator's eye for detail.

The Shari's in Great Neck has been around for 20 years but the adjoining cafe opened just six months ago and it's simply thriving. It has the look of old money and the stock report displayed on the cafe's two televisions is there to assist you in trying to keep hold of yours.

The tables at Cafe XII have assorted, antique chairs, upholstered in an array of custom fabrics. One wall is brick with a stairway leading to offices upstairs. Inlaid tiles border the dark wood floor. Two easy chairs and a round table are set in front of the large-paned window draped with a lace swag and bedecked with a row of antique seltzer siphon bottles.

In its bar-like setting, you'll soon see a kitchen where diners are busy choosing from among one of the cafe's super-sized tossed salads. The salad selection includes a choice of one or more of 25 items. Once salad selections are made, one can then hear the tintinabulation of chop, chop, chopping, and before you know it, your salad appears before you in a large glass bowl.

Two soup selections are chalked up on the green blackboard at Shari's daily. We tried both on the day we visited. One was a split pea that was smooth and creamy. The other was a hot potato soup, better than vichyssoise. It tasted rich yet somehow remarkably seemed to be prepared sans butter or heavy cream. (Don't disillusion me, please.)       

Breakfast-to-brunch is served from 8 a.m. -4 p.m. featuring: mini bagels (with toppings options of jam, lox, or a "lite" vegetable or scallion cream cheese); French toast; a fluffy omelet with your choice of toppings; a nova platter; and, there are numerous choices of fresh fruit.

Omelets are also a popular choice at Cafe XII. A woman by the window forked through a spinach omelet packed with mozzarella. The woman on our right ordered "The Leo" (lox, eggs and onion.)

As for the more standard luncheon selections, my dining companion ordered a tasty grilled chicken breast with apple and red onion relish. The open pita melt with assorted cheese, bacon bits, and chopped tomato is a winner, too. And chicken stir fry is another hot dish served forth at Cafe XII.

At coffee time, don't miss out on the cappuccino. The "dining car" cup is mammoth. Sipping becomes a two-handed affair. And when it comes to froth, it's a triple.

What's for dessert? Having had excellent guidance, we asked our waiter (who is also one of the two elite country club chefs at Cafe XII)

"You've got to have the banana bread," he replied.

It came to our table warm, cut into bite-size tidbits for finger-eating-style.

THE BOTTOM LINE

Chic cafe attached to clothing boutique.. Breakfast, brunch or lunch. All items served 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Very fine salads, sandwiches, omelets and cookies. The greatest cappuccino. A gem.

CHEF'S CHOICE

Cafe XII Egg Salad (onions, mushrooms, lettuce, tomato on marble rye)...$8.95

Cafe XII Chicken Salad (grapes, walnuts, raisins, apples on sour dough rye)...$10.95

Combo Salad (choice of 2 salads)...$10.95

Fluffy Omelet (your choice of fillings).,$8.95

Chopped Salad (oversized salad bowl, choice of 25 additions)...$12.95

Kathleen's Chocolate Chip Cookies...$1.50

Food: breakfast, brunch or lunch

Setting: Chic cafe plus designer dress shop

Service: Informal

Hours: All items served from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Reservations: Yes

Location: Old Village of Great Neck

Parking: Lot in rear

Credit cards: All major except Discover

Dress: Neat casual

Takeout: Yes

Catering: No

Private parties: To 30

Smoking: None

Noise level: High at lunch time

Handicap access: Yes

Takeout: Yes

Catering off premises: Yes

Children: Empanadas. Half portions

Noise level: Medium

Smoking: None

Dress: Casual

Handicap access: One step

Posted 7:02 pm, October 10, 2011
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