The chefs at Café Vita craft a menu of gourmet Italian fare from fresh, locally purchased ingredients. Evening meals fit for two kings or four royal comptrollers can commence with Café Vita's signature appetizer, the artichoke romano, which anoints artichoke hearts in flour and egg before sautéing them into a crispy, golden shell. Ravioli pillows stuffed with portobello and porcini mushrooms are lulled to sleep in a blanket of sherry cream sauce. Much like a velvet bib worn over a freshly pressed Armani suit, the veal parmesan's marinara-and-parmesan-studded cape belies the crispness of its flour-battered surface. Diners can swap big-fish stories over a plate of sautéed calamari swimming in a linguine strewn with buoys of garlic and cherry tomatoes. A house-made dessert ends meals on a sweet note reminiscent of Mozart's unfinished Requiem for a Fumbled Twizzler.
The smoky scent of espresso wafts through Cafe Lola’s sunlit space as its patrons recline in leather armchairs or nibble salads, sandwiches, and hearty breakfast fare. Freshly cut sweet-potato fries accompany sandwiches and paninis, and forks dive into veggie-scapes of salad tossed in house-made dressing. Early risers can savor breakfast paninis and omelets, kicking neurons into action with selections from a gourmet espresso bar. When the weather turns balmy, café loungers can migrate to outdoor seating to enjoy gentle breezes and engage in photosynthesis. According to Plum-Oakmont Patch contributor Mia Feinberg, the café was spearheaded by Fox’s Pizza owner Jim Fox and his wife Deana, who decided to stamp their new endeavor with the name of their 2-year-old daughter. Feinberg also captures the café’s eclectic décor, characterized by oversize cutlery mounted on the wall and mint-colored wallpaper with inky designs that evoke a Victorian aesthetic.
The made-from-scratch fare of Iris & Ivory plays partner to the mélange of more than 40 loose-leaf and bagged tea options that define this quaint British–style tearoom. The 16-ounce teapot ($2) houses the drinker's choice of loose-leaf teas, with the option of adding two crumpets, served toasted with a side of jam, butter, and a pardon for poor fake British accents ($4.25).
Frick Art & Historical Center beams with beautiful art and historical artifacts endowed by the daughter of Henry Clay Frick, one of America’s great industrialists and art collectors. Members of the Frick can wander through the bountiful exhibitions, taking a gander at the permanent collection or indulging in the sparkling transience of the Fabergé at the Frick exhibition, a display of more than 100 objects crafted the House of by Fabergé, helmed by famed Russian jeweler Peter Carl Fabergé. Members can impersonate turn-of-the-century chauffeurs with unlimited admission to the Car and Carriage Museum, or learn about different historical objects with discounts on lectures. Brush up on antiquated traditions such as letter writing, origami, or crafting cootie catchers with stationery from the Museum Shop, taking 10% discounts on notecards ($1.80), postcards ($1.13), or books. Members also receive the exclusive ability to make advanced reservations at The Café at the Frick, which dishes out gourmet sandwiches and entrées alongside a list of wines.
When guests walk into the bright blue confines of Square Café, they find owner Sherree Goldstein and her friendly crew serving up smiles and steaming cups of custom-blended Kiva Han coffee. Preparing eclectic breakfast and lunch dishes, chefs crack shells for three-egg omelets, green eggs and ham with homemade pesto, and form their own housemade veggie burgers. Attentive servers endlessly refill freshly brewed ice tea and help health-savvy diners find the best menu options. Inside, colorful local artwork fuels discussions about which colors deserve to be primary, and on the sidewalk patio, diners can scan the street for signs of Square Café's vegetable-oil-powered Mercedes.
Gayot proclaimed Square Café a "vibrant eatery," describing the "generously portioned, cooked-to-order breakfast and lunch items on huge square plates." In addition to the well-crafted eats, the staff's energy and enthusiasm keep the café's sizeable crowd of regulars coming back—the manager, Kevin, even sports a Square Café tattoo as evidence.
In her bio, Margaret Harris jokes that she "may have had her first 'cup of tea' when she was only one day old." That's because Harris was raised in Poland, where tea, she writes, "is the primary household beverage." Today, she applies her training at the Warsaw Medical College to discuss the health benefits of her brews with customers at her tea-and-coffee shop, Margaret's Fine Imports. In addition to stocking more than 200 types of loose-leaf tea, from Chinese green tea to British teas such as Taylor's Yorkshire Gold tea and PG Tips, Harris completes proper tea times with German and Polish sweets, Asian-style tea sets, and napkins autographed by the Mad Hatter.