Passiflora’s eco-conscious menu brims with more than 140 varieties of tea and wholesome fare prepared with local and seasonal ingredients. For breakfast, a flourless veggie mini quiche sparks dozing synapses with the help of sourdough flax or gluten-free toast ($6.99). Patrons access free WiFi after fashioning an impromptu mouse pad out of lunchtime options, which include a basil pesto chicken panini ($8.99) or a homemade veggie burger ($8.99). Meanwhile, black, oolong, green, and white herb bundles from the vast tea menu bathe luxuriously in cups ($2–$4.25) and pots ($3.75–$6.75); smoothies such as cardamom-ginger-mango lassi ($6.50) tempt palates with flavors as smooth and complex as a calculus class taught by Marvin Gaye.
The chefs at River's Edge Bistro culled their recipes from the culinary traditions of the 21 countries that surround the Mediterranean Sea. They make hummus from scratch and flame-broil skewered chicken and shrimp doused with classic Mediterranean spices. Lamb gyro tucks into a pita with a dollop of tzatziki sauce, and crispy falafel balls are drizzled with tahini sauce.
Jitters Café deftly intermixes locally grown, organic ingredients whenever possible to fill empty stomachs with a toothsome menu of soups, salads, and baked goods. Lavish neglected spice yens with a pungent bowl of veggie or meat chili flanked with stacks of crispy tortilla chips ($3.75/cup, $5.75/bowl), or spoon up savory destiny with a cup of the rotating soup of the day ($3.50/cup, $5.50/bowl). A vitamin-kissed mixed greens and spinach salad laced with candied walnuts, grape tomatoes, and judicious sprinkles of feta cheese ($6.75) hones jaw muscles and rabbit impressions. Guests can opt to eschew greenery entirely for the primal chew of cheese, pepperoni, or veggie pizza by the slice ($4–$5). Congo lines of freshly whipped desserts fill sweet teeth with bites of strawberry-topped cheesecake ($5.50), vegan cookies ($2.50), and frosty glasses of ice-cream-kissed frozen coffee ($3.50).
Alexandra and Romeo fell in love in France over cups of flour and sugar as Romeo completed his professional boulanger and patissier training. Today, the couple recreates quintessential French flavors in their West Hartford bakery-café, where the menu kicks off with breakfasts of pain au chocolat and almond croissants. For lunch, chefs build sandwiches such as Le Brie with cheese and butter, and the Eiffel, whose roasted chicken breast, carrots, and cucumber stands 324 meters tall. Desserts such as macarons and chocolate-hazelnut mousse cake pair with a cappuccino or café au lait to round out each meal.
La Petite France also rolls out its portable crepe cart to special events throughout the area, where French-speaking chefs (upon request) whip up sweet or savory crepes for parties of 20 or more.
The café menu at Hartford Baking Company displays a slew of sandwiches framed in fresh artisan breads and pastries baked from scratch. Fluffy multigrain bread cushions the roasted turkey slathered in cranberry-sage mayo and caramelized onion jam ($7.45), and the flavor of roast beef emerges full-force when coaxed by a blue-cheese spread and caramelized onions, all resting on a rustic roll ($7.95). Hartford Baking Company counts among its doughy dominion a variety of weekly rotating bread selections as well as everyday flavors including honey whole wheat, walnut raisin, and french peasant bread that longs to eat cake. A slice of signature chocolate arrives swathed in either cream cheese or mocha frosting, and scones or biscotti compliment steaming cups of Harney & Sons tea ($1.89) or Stumptown coffee ($1.50–$2.12).
Consuming between 9 and 13 servings of vegetables and fruits each day can seem like a daunting task. But Robeks turns what could be a chore into a delicious pastime with fresh juices and blended smoothies that incorporate oranges, bananas, blueberries, strawberries, mangos, and other fresh fruits. Elsewhere on the menu, fresh salads, tasty muffins and cookies, and gourmet sandwiches help customers adhere to a healthy lifestyle without hiring an apple tree as a personal trainer.