The focal point of Le Pain Quotidien has always been the communal table. It has immediate appeal as it embraces customers - whether total strangers or close friends. It welcomes everybody, allowing everyone to relax and enjoy the unique atmosphere.
I like the philosophy and the atmosphere of Le Pain Quotidien. We stopped in after a stroll through Central Park, looking for brunch. I was really impressed with the food and the manner in which it was served - cool plates and just an overall rustic atmosphere.
I ordered a Cobb salad which was pretty good, with large portions of the typical Cobb salad toppings, and a slightly spicy dressing. Being that it is a bakery, bread was served on the side, and it was crusty on the outside and chewy on the inside, just the way it should be.
My only complaint is that it seemed a bit pricey. The communal, casual, atmosphere reminds me a lot of restaurants like Panera which are quite affordable. The prices at "Le Pain" were probably double Panera's. For four of us, brunch, with coffee, was something like $80. I guess it is a bit of a step up, and it is in new York City, but still, that's expensive! This location is only a block or so from my office, so perhaps I'll check it out again and see if I can find some better deals, on their great food.