food and flowers

To me nothing is more luxurious than good food and beautiful flowers (oh, and fine linens too!). If I could, I would have fresh flowers in my home every day.
While we were in NYC my husband and I happened upon two little jewels hidden at 52nd Street and 1st Avenue. In a sleepy part of town, a block away from the East river, sits an old carriage house which was once home to the swanky east side florist Zeze. The flower shop has since moved to a larger location around the corner on 1st Avenue, and the Brazilian owner Zeze O'Dea has turned the 52nd street carriage shop into a casually chic bistro.

The restaurant serves a fantastic Franco-Italian menu. The atmosphere--with exposed brick walls, beautiful botanical accents (of course), and laid-back french country vibe--enlivens the dining experience. Along the center of the restaurant is a long wooden table that displays homemade pastries and is topped with beautiful flower arrangements.

The flower shop around the corner is another must-see if you are in the city. Also owned by Zeze and his wife, Peggy, the shop is filled with the most beautiful myrtle topiaries, orchids, and cyclamen. In addition, Zeze offers fabulous cachepots, jardinieres, and vases that he has collected both stateside and abroad. In the front window sits a huge cobweb window that Zeze salvaged from a historic barn in Maine and around which he displays some of his finest flowers. If that weren't worth the trip itself, each morning a different garden scape is created on the sidewalk outside the shop's doors, making the neighborhood just a little more beautiful.

Ze Cafe 398 East 52nd Street; 212.758.1944Zeze flowers 938 1st Avenue

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