Though Johnny Prete's dream of a gourmet deli full of go-go dancers didn't quite come to fruition, he reached his goal all the same. More than 30 years ago, Prete conjured up an idea: a place with great food that was both gourmet and un-intimidating. The result was his quaint deli, where daily specials are served alongside hot sandwiches, subs, burgers, and deli classics.
Book Trader Café stacks more than 16,000 titles of gently used books on its shelves, combined with second-hand DVDs and CDs that transform the inventory into multimedia brain food. Literary works and academic books on art, architecture, and paper towels line the store, their spines inviting readers to sink into their vivid and educational worlds. A cult-fiction section assembles an apocrypha of fringe scribes, photography books tempt eyes with their luscious pages, and a children's-book section tempts kids to burrow into a fort of words. Most titles average $4.95, and staff carefully curates each one to ensure a quality recycled collection sans fraying bindings or torn pages. While Book Trader Café's inventory rotates frequently, the online store lists troves of its selections and lets bibliophiles reserve books by phone. With new old books in hand, patrons can stroll over to the café to enjoy them and further sate their appetites for letters by reading the menu.
Residing in the historic building that was once the Taft Hotel, Richter's Café invites locals to revel in old-fashioned charm. Sate a thirsty throat by sipping a glass of high-end bourbon or scotch as you chat with friends, or sample some of Richter's 13 beers on draft, available in a half pints, pints, and signature 32-ounce half yards, which are served in 18-inch glasses. The food menu sports an array of crisp salads, tasty sandwiches, fresh-grilled burgers, and handcrafted soups to prevent unused teeth from retracting further into the mouth to write sad songs with tonsils.
Sunlight filters through white lace curtains into Tea with Tracy's tearoom, casting delicate shadows across wooden tables, straight-backed dining chairs, and three-tiered serving plates stocked with sandwiches and sweets. This Victorian elegance befits Tracy's location in the center of Seymour's historic antiques district, and a menu that steeps more than 100 different flavors of tea, including English breakfast, white peach, and hot cinnamon spice from Harney & Sons Fine Teas.
To accompany whistling kettles, cooks also bake sweets such as scones, banana bread, and Swedish brownies, or fill crust-less tea sandwiches with curried egg salad, English cucumbers, and mint-infused cream cheese. In addition to its refined finger foods, the shop also prepares visitors to host their own gatherings by selling elegant china alongside tins of aromatic tea.
Jamba Juice blenders whirl together fresh fruit for healthy smoothies liberated from artificial flavors, preservatives, and high-fructose corn syrup. From the classic menu, the Aloha Pineapple thickens straws with pineapple sherbet and bananas or, with a different inflection, bananas and pineapple sherbet. All Fruit smoothies invite just 250 calories of Peach Perfection or Pomegranate Paradise into a fruit-exclusive clubhouse, while Pre-Boosted creations introduce natural supplements. The immune-boosting Açai Super-Antioxidant. Light smoothies bear fewer than one-third of the calories and half of the sugar of a Jamba classic, so mango-, orange-, and peach-infused sips of Mango Mantra cause less guilt than forgetting your mailman's birthday.
Stockbridge's Gourmet Cheesecakes & Café's more than 45 varieties of cheesecake have won Connecticut Magazine's Best Cheesecake in Connecticut award for nine consecutive years and been featured in The New York Times. But even though its vast number of cheesecake and its selection of scones, cookies, and pastries would suggest otherwise, Stockbridge's is not just a bakery. The eatery also offers dishes to sate appetites for every meal, such as omelets, sandwiches, salads, and burgers. And unlike traditional bakeries and DMVs, Stockbridge's has a BYOB policy.