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.
In the afternoons, Xenia Fine Foods’ quaint storefront bustles with the activity of cooks who handcraft organic dishes. They tuck traditional Waldorf chicken salad into spinach and honey-wheat wraps, and fill pita pockets or gluten-free pant pockets with roasted eggplant, tomato sauce, and garlic. On a daily basis, they simmer up fresh soups, ranging from mushroom barley to new york cabbage. They cater to the after-work crowd in the evenings, stocking the deli case with ready-made items, such as salmon filets, turkey meatballs, and roasted vegetables.
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.
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).