Though the experts at Silver Tips Tea take tea seriously, they eschew traditional notions of the Victorian teahouse. Instead, they strive to “democratize” teatime, educating patrons on tea origins and preparation methods, which, at Silver Tips, are meticulous. Staffers scrupulously steep their selection of 150 organic and fair-trade teas to order, carefully gauging steep time, water temperature, and harmonies on “I'm a Little Tea Pot” to ensure an optimal cup. Additionally, they strive to foster a homey, welcoming space, outfitting their pumpkin and honey-wheat walls with local artwork.
When not busy stocking its shelves with imported Italian pantry staples, The Iron Tomato's kitchen whips out authentic dishes of fresh fare crafted using house-made mozzarella and fresh ingredients culled from the in-house produce stand and butchery. Engage in midday munching with offerings from the market's full-service salad bar, or exchange amorous glances with an eggplant and prosciutto sandwich, which spans the distance between two halves of a bastone with fried eggplant, prosciutto, mozzarella, and broccoli rabe ($10.75). Diners can pledge their undying devotion to pasta by diving into bowlfuls of homemade cheese ravioli ($13.95) or creamy pancetta-laced fettuccini alfredo ($12.95), or the can feign loyalty to its arch nemesis, antipasti, by surrendering to bites of baked little-neck clams rolled in seasoned breadcrumbs ($8.50). Come dinner time, stuffed pork chops envelop a melodious mélange of broccoli rabe, roasted peppers, and fresh mozzarella ($17.95) to silence boisterous stomach pains, and the Giant Iron Tomato burger anchors appetites with 24 ounces of sirloin topped with cheese, sautéed mushrooms, onions, and a small wrecking ball ($10.95).
The founder of Lilli Pilli Health Bar came to New York from Australia via the Serengeti, Alps, and Morocco, bringing with her a love for the healthy food that fueled her adventurous, healthy life. Nourishing cold-pressed juices made from fresh fruits, veggies, and herbs are at the core of her menu—juices that can be sipped as simple refreshment or used as part of a multi-day cleanse. The chefs at this juice bar and eatery also assemble wholesome sandwiches and salads and simmer soups free from preservatives or Twinkies. Locally roasted coffees and a selection of loose teas provide a dose of caffeine or calming break from the day.
Voted the Best of Westchester in 2003 and 2004 by both the readers and editors of Westchester Magazine, Slave to the Grind's owners Andrew and Carol Marshall have remained focused on brewing great coffee since 1993. Within the coffee house's retro interior, eight different brewed coffees stand ready to pour into cups staged on a mahogany and stained glass bar back salvaged from the burned-down Hotel Gramatan. With more than 50 bean varieties to choose from, visitors can also pick up bags to brew at home, including certified Kona coffee beans, cultivated on the slopes of Hawaiian volcanoes that regularly erupt with delicious cream and sugar.
A teapot dangles from the ceiling, poised to pour tea into the three cups waiting beneath it. It's not a quirky new way to enjoy tea, but a light fixture in the homey space at Harmony Tea House.
Eccentric, yet charming, with mismatched chairs and tableware, teatime here is reminiscent of an afternoon spent in a cozy home, which is likely why the readers of Bergen Health & Life magazine named it Best Tea House 2013. Fragrant pots of tea in 23 loose-leaf varieties accompany just-baked scones, finger sandwiches, and sweets during tea time, which may also include servings of the two seasonal soups and salads offered every day.
In addition to traditional afternoon tea, Harmony Tea Room hosts events such as Mommy and Me teas and brunch every third Sunday of the month. And of course, it's a relaxing setting for baby showers, book clubs, and birthday parties for stuffed animals dressed in their finest tutus.