The punched out metal letters on Tim Phillips’s sign for Landscape Café will be lit up with backlights and set against a pouring of crushed glass. The new café, the product of an architectural background and yearning for a good latte, demonstrates keen attention to detail and clean design on the corner across from greasy late-night pancake haven, Kellogg’s Diner, and down the street from the Barcade and another Gothamist favorite, the Hope & Union Bakery-Cafe. Perhaps the only former squatters’ den becomes cafe in Williamsburg to now don Philippe Starck chairs, Gothamist noticed the track lights, fan fixtures, and art deco sign en route to the subway, and stopped in to talk to Phillips earlier this week.

Landscape Cafe; Photo--Youngna ParkGregarious and visibly enthused about the café’s opening, Phillips, who received his M.Arch from Yale, explained that as a junior partner of a major architecture firm, he'd had enough of designing and building hospitals, restaurants, and airports. Living just blocks away from the narrow, but cozy spot he now owns, Phillips explained the café today hardly resembles the condition Phillips found it in. The back third of the café is tiled instead of hardwood; the old floor had caved in and had to be completely restructured. In charge of the construction, 10 tons of concrete, buckets of paint, and new foundations were all part of the café’s metamorphosis.

Landscape Muffin; Photo -- Youngna ParkThe counter cuts down the middle of the café with a small eating area up front and about six tables in the back. There is a large garden behind the cafe, which Phillips hopes to turn into a landscape architecture-savvy juice bar during the summer. Inside, a red velvet and “Brooklyn blackout” cake were on display next to croissants, berry muffins, a plate of scones, and a variety of bagels. Landscape also offers a line of vegan and vegetarian soups; like all the food, these are custom-made and offered exclusively at Phillips’s café.

Landscape Sign; Photo -- Youngna ParkWhile most edibles are sweets, Phillips unabashedly promoted his soups, served with a choice of white or multigrain bread. (cup, $3.50; bowl; $4.50) Varieties include lentil mushroom barley, Florentine Spinach Cheese, Butternut Squash Ginger, and Carrot Orange Spice. Phillips graciously gave Gothamist a bowl of the Butternut Squash Ginger, which, with a dash of sea salt offered on every table, was delicious. Gothamist also tasted a mixed berry muffin, exploding with fresh raspberries, blueberries, and a topping of toasted almonds, and will certainly return for another.

Secretive about his suppliers, Phillips claimed Landscape has the “best espresso drinks in Brooklyn.” He also hopes to add a line of spreads to his menu, currently a minimalist presentation posted on a chalkboard listing a handful of fresh fruit juices, smoothies, espresso beverages, the soups, and pastry in block letters.

Still in his debut week, Phillips noted overwhelmingly positive reaction during his opening weekend, both for the café’s food and décor. Invested in every component of the space, Phillips sought out experienced baristas on Craigslist, receiving more than 200 responses for the ad in less than 2 days. Phillips also advertised for photographs and finally selected a series of urban landscapes and texturally rich c-prints, currently on display. With a trained staff now at hand, Phillips is putting the finishing touches on Landscape, which, like its namesake, is always a work in progress.

Landscape Cafe is located at 434 Union Avenue