Java Crave Caffe invites visitors to take a seat at one of its granite-topped tables for a cup of coffee or a fresh-baked pastry. Thanks to the floor-to-ceiling windows, the quaint cafe's hardwood floors and light mocha walls are bathed in sunlight. As visitors bask in the warm glow of the sun?which is a house cat's favorite activity, according to numerous Fancy Cat studies?baristas brew batches of coffees that are set out for self-service or create frothy cappuccinos and flavored lattes.
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. It was very important to her to establish a menu based in organic and nutritionally sound foods and juices for a healthy detox. 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.
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 and water temperature to ensure an optimal cup. Additionally, they strive to foster a homey, welcoming space, outfitting their pumpkin and honey-wheat walls with local artwork.
Not every Italian restaurant needs baked ziti and eggplant parmigiana. At Zeppoleme, the chefs strive to create a hybrid, bistro-style setting that combines elements of a wine bar, a coffee house, and a trattoria underneath the same roof. Instead of designing a menu that incorporates dishes from every corner of the Italian peninsula, the chefs choose to present diners with a curated collection of dishes that is intended to spotlight the potential of a handful of items prepared with hand-crafted care, as well as the occasional modern touch.
Befitting its name, zeppole?Italian-style donuts?appear prominently on Zeppoleme's menu. The list includes the time-honored version so often seen in the kitchens of Italian homes and on the streets during the annual Feast of St. Joseph; however, the chefs also create their own version by folding ricotta into the dough, making the pastry lighter and fluffier than their traditional counterparts. As many as six different dipping sauces, including vanilla cream, Nutella, and lemon glaze, can accompany these zeppole for dessert. For a more savory take on the treat though, Zeppoleme also offers another modern innovation: appetizer-sized versions stuffed with hearty fillings, such as bacon, chives, and provolone.
Although the zeppole appear prominently on the menu and even attracted the attention of Food Network personality Giada de Laurentiis, the selection also features a number of heartier gourmet options. Butter-pressed panini include everything from spicy eggplant and goat cheese to broccoli rabe and beef short ribs that braise for a full 24 hours. Even the salads put on upscale spin on the expected, as evidenced by the classic caesar made with kale instead of standard iceberg filler.
Stopping in for a quick bite or a meal is always an option, although Zeppoleme also caters to the whims of passersby seeking a drink and an opportunity to lounge for a bit in a relaxed setting. Baristas make specialty espresso drinks while exclusively using beans from Stumptown Coffee Roasters, and the bartenders keep spirits high full by pouring fresh glasses of wine straight from the taps. Even with its gourmet bistro spirit and festively vibrant decor, Zeppoleme never manages to lose "the friendly, drop-in culture that thrives here," according to the New York Times.