Can L’asso’s New Bagels Light a Fire Under the Competition?

L'ASSO_015Noah Fecks

Thought the bagel burger was unorthodox? L’asso EV is getting into the bagel business, and the restaurant and pizzeria plans to offer hemp-seed, gluten-free, and even vegan varieties.

The ingredients aren’t the only thing of note: the all-organic orbs will be baked for 10 to 12 minutes in the restaurant’s wood-fired oven at the beginning of the day and then toasted in the same oven, to order. Greg Barris, a co-owner of the restaurant, said the bagels will be a whole different story from the traditional kettle-boiled variety. “They’re not as puffy and they have that wood flavor to them,” he told The Local, going on to liken them to harder, flatter Montreal-style bagels.

L'ASSO_004Noah Fecks

Varieties will include caramelized onion and rosemary; parsley, rosemary, and dried oregano; caciocavallo and parmesan cheeses; hemp seed; and a few others that can be topped with cream cheese or with more exotic spreads like hemp butter. (Other spread ideas that have been bandied about: coconut peanut butter, coconut chocolate, and hazelnut olive oil). The bagels will be available during lunch when the restaurant starts opening at 10 a.m. in a couple of weeks, and also during brunch starting this weekend, as an a la carte option or as part of the prix-fixe ($16 for an entrée, a mimosa, and a coffee, or $21 for an upgrade to unlimited mimosas). And yes, you can order them for takeout and delivery.

Mr. Barris said that he and co-owner Robert Benevenga had been talking about baking bagels since well before the December opening of Tompkins Square Bagels, and even built a small oven in the front of the dining room for the purpose. “It’s changed a little bit in the last eight months, but originally there seemed to be a big hole in the bagel world for the East Village,” he said. The pun was apparently unintended, though Mr. Barris does moonlight as a stand-up comedian.