“Oh, this is so good,” cooed a nearby diner as she devoured the object of her affection: an ethereal lemon pudding cake topped with fresh blueberries. Sighs of contentment are a common occurrence at York Street, chef/owner Sharon Hage’s Lakewood temple of culinary delights. Since Hage bought the restaurant from its previous owners in 2001—transforming it from a nice neighborhood cafe into a James Beard-nominated hot spot—foodies have flocked to taste the chef’s simple yet inspired fare.
Now the fervor has spread from York Street’s reservations-required dinners to a new mid-day addiction: Wednesdays-only lunch service. Yes, it’s time to trade in the salad bar for more adventurous creations such as asparagus vichyssoise, duck egg frittatas, porcini risotto, and Hage’s famous cornmeal-dusted okra. Since the seasonal menu changes regularly, each visit is a culinary adventure. True, the decor is a bit dated. The sinewy high-back chairs look straight out of a Paula Abdul video. But the service is spot-on perfect and—let’s be honest—nobody comes to York Street for design ideas. “This was such a great idea,” my co-worker said as he sipped his ginger pineapple lemonade. Between bites of poppyseed pound cake with sauteed figs, I mumbled my agreement. The only problem with lunch at York Street? Eventually, you have to go back to work.
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