the epicurean cantine

Photography by Hannah Baik.

Photography by Hannah Baik.

Greenwich Village, Manhattan will always have a special place in my heart. My grandfather grew up on W 10th St., the same street as my husband’s first apartment, and we were married in a church on the same block a year and half ago. We stayed at the Marlton Hotel for our wedding weekend, just doors down from my new favorite French café, Ancolie. So I love any excuse to spend time in the neighborhood and was thrilled when an event last week brought me to Ancolie for the first time!

Ancolie is a charming, plastic-free cafe with a four star rating (the highest available) from the Green Restaurant Association, making it one of only three NYC restaurants to have received this honor! Chloe Vichot, Ancolie's founder and owner, comes with a finance background and instinctive French flair (she's a Paris native!). After moving to the states and spending ten successful years on Wall St., she was burnt out from work and tired of eating meals from wasteful grab-n-go containers. Ready for a change, she attended the Institute of Culinary Education, receiving her diploma in 2015, and opened Ancolie in late 2016.

Being sustainable has been a part of Ancolie's DNA from the beginning. The furniture in the restaurant is second-hand, and Chloe used Kickstarter to fund the creation of her custom glass jars, which are stackable, leakproof, and offer a wider mouth than traditional mason jars (making them much easier to eat out of). Eating from glass is not only a better option for the environment, but also ensures that your food is not contaminated by any chemicals from plastic packaging. But Ancolie's sustainability factor doesn't stop at glass jars. In addition to recycling, Chloe explains, "we compost all of our food scraps; we compost all of our industrial compost [e.g. napkins, plant based to-go cups & utensils]; we buy everything in small batches; we cook in small batches; We try to use 100% of the ingredients." For example, when making apple sauce, they save all of the apple skins and "roast them in the oven with honey and cinnamon" and sell them as a healthy snack.

"We take the trash out three times a week," Chloe explained while using her hands to demonstrate a 12x12" box. "We really try to waste as little as we can." She went on to say, "recently we switched our milk provider to use glass bottles that we send back to the farm. It's more expensive but we think it's the right thing to do." And Ancolie is planning to start making its own almond milk as well to further cut down on wasteful packaging. 

Ancolie jars can be returned for a discount on your next purchase or taken home and repurposed for your own meals or storage. If you aren't interested in keeping a jar, I urge you to return it to Ancolie where it can be reused - a much better alternative to destroying it in the recycling process!

Sustainability aside, Ancolie offers simple, delicious, health conscious food (plus a few indulgences!) that you'll feel good about eating. My favorites are the rainbow salad and the matcha chia pudding, but I can't wait to try more of her offerings, like the date balls and the açaí jar. Chloe also sells her homemade salad dressings which are delicious - miso, red wine vinaigrette, and apple cider vinaigrette. And for all the chocolate lovers out there, the chocolate mousse looks out-of-this-world good! Bon appétit!