Flushing at Falai’s New Nolita Café

Step into the sink area (left) to reach the room where it all goes down (worm's eye view).


Clinton Street hotspot Falai recently opened a Nolita café, because apparently Italio-philes needed a place to rest their weary Pradas and take in the Taleggio after a day of shopping at Amarcord across the street. Like its predecessor, Caffe Falai is every bit as antique-meets-modern (and blanketed in white) as a stage set from A Clockwork Orange. Wondering whether the bathrooms were fit for a droog, we stepped into the sliding door that encloses a tiny sink anteroom, and, behind another door, found one of the smallest privvies to which we’ve ever been privy.

Concept:White-tiled minimalism with just a touch of artistocracy, owing to a tiny crystal chandelier.

Privacy: The sliding door wasn’t closing properly on our visit, but we’re not sure why it was there to begin with, since there’s also a door to the toilet. There’s a weird skylight over the pot that makes you wonder whether someone is peeping from above.

Amenities: A bowl of potpourri in the WC; a clear plastic box of it is in the sink area.

Drawbacks: The WC is slightly larger than an airplane bathroom (not that Ralph Fiennes would care). Some of the seats are so close together at this tiny joint that you have to ask neighboring patrons to stand and let you out in order to use the loo.

Strategy: Ask for an outside table if you plan to use the restroom, otherwise use it before you’re seated.

Rating: [No stars] — Daniel Maurer