This winter, a new player takes the stage on Southeast Clinton. Shana Lane-Block's cute and comforting counter-service-only Compote Cafe (which closed its doors in September) will reopen on December 17 as Block's, a breakfast and lunch joint with East Coast deli influences, a small grab-and-go market, and a nod to her family's Eastern European roots.
"Compote was my first restaurant," says Lane-Block. "I tried a lot of things, and I found out I didn't want to be constrained by a rigid farm-to-table, organic menu with minimal meat, because I don't want anyone to feel left out. I want to cater to as many people as possible—gluten-free, vegan, and people who just want a good burger."
The new plan: an all-grown-up, table service restaurant boasting family recipes, from latkes and blintzes to cobb salads, turkey reubens, and, yes, that promised burger (a grass fed beauty topped with bacon and blue cheese).
As for the decor, look for a streamlined color palate of black, white, and forest green. Gone is the kid's play area, replaced by a communal table for larger parties, and a fresh collage wall of family photos and maps of NYC and PDX ties together Lane-Block's bicoastal inspiration. Block's will also be home to a mini grab-and-go market offering retro sodas, artisan food products, and dinner entrees like turkey meatloaf and roast chicken.
Fans of Compote's former menu will find much to love in the restaurant's second life: Lane-Block's signature poached egg stacks and gluten-free breakfast cookies are sticking around, veggies will still be sourced largely from local standby Gathering Together Farms, and her commitment to providing a family-friendly neighbhood spot is stronger than ever—a goal close to her own heart, as she lives less than a block away, next door to her sister and across the street from her parents. Who knows, that handsome gent ordering the knishes at the next table could be the source of the recipe on your own plate.
2032 SE Clinton St
Monday-Friday 8 am-6pm
Saturday-Sunday 8 am-3 pm
On opening day, December 17, Block’s will donate a percentage
of the days sales to neighboring Abernathy Elementary.