Aroma comes to Manhattan from Tel Aviv

Aroma_1Aroma espresso bar from Israel opened their first U.S. store last week on Houston St near Wooster. In a first time for this blog, I'm posting in real time on location.  Personally, I never thought their coffee or simple salads/sandwiches were anything special. Their frozen blended drink - Ice Aroma - is okay, but I would have been content saving these for special occasions while visiting Israel.  What makes Aroma nice - in addition to the red leather swivel chairs, euro-style tunes and sleek modern design - is the Israeli clientele.  There are more people speaking Hebrew in here right now than English.  Looking around, I feel like I’m in Tel Aviv (not a bad thing). I have a feeling this place could be serving fried dirt and still be packed.  They also offer free wi-fi, which makes it a more attractive place to…well, blog. During my visit, the lights inexplicably dimmed and brightened several times, something burned in the oven filling the space with a strong odor and some guy walked in insisting on practicing his Hebrew with the man behind the counter (unfortunately, the guy taking his order was Asian, one of the few non-Israelis working) – only strengthening the Israeli feel. And while probably not a design feature, I think JDate may have some stiff new competition.

By Josh Guttman