Café Mado spread
Café Mado officially opens on May 25. Photo by Chris Coe, courtesy of Café Mado

The RundownNew York

All About Café Mado, From the Team Behind Oxalis and Place des Fêtes 


It was certainly a sad day in Brooklyn last year when Oxalis closed its doors in Crown Heights, but the same team behind the Michelin-starred spot has made good on their promise to reopen those doors once more — this time for a new all-day spot serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

In this edition of the Resy Rundown, we’ve got all the information you need about Café Mado, which opens officially on Saturday, May 25. Reservations are open now. (And P.S. don’t worry, Oxalis isn’t gone forever.)

The Resy Rundown
Café Mado

  • Why We Like It
    This all-day, French-inflected café from the all-star vets behind Oxalis and Place des Fêtes is truly all-purpose in every sense of the word, whether you’re looking for a quick, delicious bite or some place casual to simply linger.
  • Essential Dishes
    Any of the Laurel Bakery pastries, including the smoked date financier and croissants; pan bagnat; pissaladière; anything from the vegetable/salad section; and pici pasta.  
  • Must-Order Drinks
    Seasonal housemade ferments and non-alcoholic beverages; any of the martinis; and a glass of the Baracco rosé, Rosammare, made from Nero D’Avola grapes. 
  • Who It’s For
    Locals in a hurry to pick up something on the way to work, or those looking for an easy brunch spot on the weekends; anyone seeking out a lovely (power) lunch place during the week; diners who don’t mind dining on the slightly earlier side (last seating is at 7:30 p.m.); and park goers looking for goods to fill their picnic baskets with. 
  • How to Get In
    Reservations are available for lunch and dinner, but walk-ins are also encouraged for all hours of the day. Breakfast is served from 8:30 a.m. to 12 noon; lunch from 12 noon to 3 p.m., and dinner from 5 to 8 p.m.  
Café Mado space
Photo by Chris Coe, courtesy of Café Mado
Café Mado space
Photo by Chris Coe, courtesy of Café Mado

1. This won’t be your typical all-day café.

How could it be, especially when it comes from the same trio behind Oxalis, Place des Fêtes, and the recently opened Laurel Bakery: chef Nico Russell, director of operations Steve Wong, and beverage director Piper Kristensen?

Yes, there will be some requisite all-day café features — locally roasted coffee, sandwiches to go, big salads, and plenty of pastries on deck — but they likely aren’t exactly like what you’ll find at other all-day operations in the city. And that’s certainly intentional.

Case in point? Their approach to wine bars à la Place des Fêtes, whereby all the familiar trappings of a wine bar are there, but there’s a little special added twist and finesse to the dishes and drinks that they’re putting before you.

“It was a similar alchemy to get this going,” Russell says of Café Mado. He says they looked to older, established restaurants like San Francisco’s iconic Zuni Café for inspiration and, as far as the menu goes, they’re keeping with the same market-driven approach they had at Oxalis and Place des Fêtes. Their reason for closing Oxalis and installing Café Mado was to be more approachable and accessible to the local community with an all-day café-style setup, as opposed to a tasting menu format like they had with Oxalis.

Spread at Café Mado
Spring pea leaves with sesame; asparagus bagna cauda; and pan bagnat. Photo by Chris Coe, courtesy of Café Mado
Pici pasta at Café Mado
Pici pasta. Photo by Chris Coe, courtesy of Café Mado

The café menu, Russell says, will feature, “A lot of vegetables, a lot of salads, great sandwiches, and toasts from the bakery. It can be a little flexible, and then the dinner menu has a few entrées and things you’d want to snack on, or you’d want to come and get a few times a week.”

Breakfast leans heavily on items sourced from Laurel, their bakery near Brooklyn Bridge Park. There are two egg sandwiches, both served on sweet potato milk bread from Laurel, as well as country-style loaves and baguettes, a smoked date financier, kouign-amann, maritozzi, and canelés, too.

Russell’s time spent in southern France, where he worked at three-Michelin-starred Mirazur, also finds its way onto the menu in the form of a pan bagnat. “It’s really hard to find outside of Nice,” explains Russell. “It’s like a tuna salad sandwich, and we’re pressing it.” Café Mado’s version of a pissaladière, an onion and anchovy tart, also from Nice, uses focaccia dough from Laurel Bakery. “I’m trying to create one of my favorite bites of food from the south of France,” he says.

There’s also a grilled lion’s mane tartine with egg yolk and black garlic that we can only hope riffs on Place des Fêtes’ crispy mushroom with black garlic fudge. Vegetables and salads include pea leaves and sesame with sugar snap peas and perilla leaves; blackened yuba with tomato water and sofrito; and pickled bamboo with clam butter and wild bay leaf.

Café Mado has just three main entrées: a skirt steak served alongside tortillas from Sobre Masa and a dried chile sauce; cured hake in the style of a Basque pil pil; and pici pasta with ricotta, fava beans, and lemon.

Café Mado space
Photo by Chris Coe, courtesy of Café Mado
Café Mado space
Photo by Chris Coe, courtesy of Café Mado

2. Expect many French references, whether it’s on the menu or on the walls.

Pan bagnat and assorted viennoiseries (croissants and baguettes included) aren’t the only French influences that you’ll find at Café Mado. The restaurant is named for Marie Louise “Madame Mado” Point, part of the dynamic duo behind the famed La Pyramide restaurant in Vienne, France. When her husband, chef Fernand Point, died in 1955, she carried on his legacy and ran the restaurant, which remains in operation today, now under chef Patrick Henriroux, who has owned it since 1989.

“She’s kind of like this patron saint of hospitality,” says Russell. “When you talk about nouvelle cuisine and French cooking in the 50s, 60s, and 70s, Fernand’s name comes up and obviously, his impact was huge, but her impact was just as big … Restaurants are built on so many people, and we’ve experienced that firsthand, so she just felt like the perfect person to center [this] around.”

Look around the space and you’ll spot nods to Madame Mado and La Pyramide, too, in the form of postcards and menus from the restaurant, and even a menu written by Mado herself that Wong got from various auctions in France.

Russell admits, “My personal cooking etymology is based a lot from [France],” but adds, “We kind of make it our own … by bringing the Old World and New World together. Our food might not be classical French, but we use a lot of those techniques. And I think we oftentimes end up bringing some of that to diners who aren’t as familiar [with it], and starting that conversation with them.” In short, as they did with Place des Fêtes (named for a neighborhood in Paris), they’re adding to New Yorkers’ long-running love affair with French cooking.

Café Mado space
Photo by Chris Coe, courtesy of Café Mado
Café Mado space
Photo by Chris Coe, courtesy of Café Mado
Café Mado space
Photo by Chris Coe, courtesy of Café Mado
Café Mado space
Photo by Chris Coe, courtesy of Café Mado

3. It’ll feel familiar, but also very different from Oxalis.

Occupying the same exact space at Oxalis, Café Mado will feel familiar to regulars of Oxalis, but it will also feel a bit different, too. For one thing, it’s much brighter and lighter than Oxalis was, notes Wong, who designed the space alongside Russell and Kristensen.

The kitchen space for Oxalis, located near the front, is now a bakery/coffee/grab-and-go café area that’s open as early as 8:30 a.m. The glass-roofed atrium section in the back is where sit-down service takes place from noon to 3 p.m. for lunch and from 5 to 8 p.m. for dinner, with 28 seats inside, total. There’s also an outdoor backyard for walk-ins, with 15 seats.

“The atrium, which was always wonderful to use for brunch on Sundays, is really gorgeous,” says Wong. “The sun comes in and even when it’s raining, the pitter patter of the rain is just so nice.  It was really gorgeous at night, but it really shines in the daytime.”

In addition to those aforementioned effects from La Pyramide and Madame Mado, you may also spot a few things from Oxalis, too, and more artwork that also centers unsung heroines. “We centered the art on female artists whose husbands are artists that may be more well known,” Wong explains. “We want to shine a light on other people who may not have captured the spotlight as strongly, but are just as important to the story.”

Café Mado drinks
The beverage list leans toward the classics, with spritzes, gin and tonics, Negronis, and martinis on deck. Photo by Chris Coe, courtesy of Café Mado
Café Mado drinks
The beverage list leans toward the classics, with spritzes, gin and tonics, Negronis, and martinis on deck. Photo by Chris Coe, courtesy of Café Mado

4. Don’t sleep on the drinks.

From your morning coffee to your early evening martini, Café Mado will have you covered. In the café area, they’re serving up Brooklyn-based Parlor Coffee, Kettl Tea, and plenty of non-alcoholic beverages (more on that later), and in the atrium area they’ll be pouring wines, spritzes, and (mini) martinis.

“Having a martini in the middle of the day is a special, luxurious thing that’s perfect for the space,” says Kristensen. “The idea is that we’re going to be making not-so-large martinis that stay cold for the greater part of their life. And you can have a really high-quality product for not an enormous price.”

Expect lots of light, crisp wine spritzes and wines that hail from France and Italy, too. Kristensen is particularly fond of a rosé from Sicilian producer Barraco, called Rosammare, that’s made from Nero D’Avola grapes. “It’s really saline and laser focused and crisp; with chef Nico’s food, some brightness and acidity always pairs very well.”

As they did before at Oxalis, the range of non-alcoholic beverages at Café Mado will also be relatively extensive, with everything from housemade jasmine pear soda and a cherry blossom kombucha to a pine needle and limestone spritz. “We’re really leaning into products we get from our forager, Tama [Matsuoka Wong], canning and preserving some of these ingredients so we can extend their season,” Kristensen says. “It’s stuff people can also take away or drink at the park.”

Café Mado housemade sodas
Café Mado makes its own housemade sodas. Photo by Chris Coe, courtesy of Café Mado
Café Mado pan bagnat
Cafe Mado’s version of a pan bagnat. Photo by Chris Coe, courtesy of Café Mado

5. Pencil them in for your next Prospect Park picnic, too.

Café Mado is walking distance to the Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and Prospect Park, and the trio behind it hope you’ll consider it for park picnics and pre- and post-visits to the museum and gardens. That’s why they’ll also soon offer a number of grab-and-go items to take along with you, from housemade drinks and sandwiches to pastries and more. Come June, do look for a formidable picnic-ready version of a jambon beurre on a fresh baguette.

More than anything, though, they all hope New Yorkers, especially locals, will continue making Café Mado a cornerstone of their daily lives. “We’ve been a part of this neighborhood for a really long time,” says Kristensen. “And it’s an exciting new chapter for us to welcome back the regulars in the community and to share the space in a different way.”


Deanna Ting is Resy’s New York & Philadelphia Editor. Follow her on Instagram and X. Follow Resy, too.