Simpson House Tea Room sets the tone for tea time from the moment guests first glimpse the stately structure. The shrub-flanked walkway, the white wooden farmhouse with the sprawling wraparound porch, emerald shutters, and red roof appear untouched since being built in the 1890s. Inside, high-backed wooden chairs, bow-adorned teapots, and tiered platters surround steaming pots of 100 varieties of loose-leaf tea, a large variety of sandwiches including cream-cheese-and-olive, and scones with homemade lemon curd. With a variety of delightfully fussy services, the teahouse embraces teatime's lineage as the perfect treat for ladies who lunch—welcoming bridal and baby showers—and as the only way to tame a wild teddy bear.
Pastry chefstrodinaire Michael Graham, who studied at The Culinary Institute of America, fills the bakery’s burly display case with sweet-laden and fruit-strewn delights. Tear into the sugar-crusted labyrinths of pastries such as linzer tarts ($2.50), chocolate-mocha boats ($2.75), and hamantaschen ($1.95). If you need a pie ($13.95–$19.95) to throw in the face of a tardy cable repairman, choose from black cherry, southern pecan, coconut custard, strawberry rhubarb, and eight others. Savory popovers ($2.75), scones ($1.95), and croissants ($1.95–$3.95) complete the bakery’s motley cornucopia. Cakes are available in 8- or 10-inch raspberry buttercream ($26.95/$32.95), decadent mocha nutella ($29.95/$34.95), and triple-tiered vanilla or chocolate ($24.95/$29.95).
Open Monday through Saturday starting at 6 a.m., Coffee Aroma is a dependable little spot to nab simple breakfast and lunch items. Brewed coffee, tea, and hot chocolate, along with hearty sandwiches and salads, are the mainstay of this no-frills quick eatery.
Café Rêve’s chefs craft a wide array of dishes during breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the part coffeehouse, part bistro. Fluffy pancakes served all day hoist fresh strawberries and bananas, and omelets enfold melty provolone and crisp bacon. The lunch menu tempts appetites with quarter-pound burgers and steak melts, both sizzled on the grill. During dinner, guests sip on glasses of wine while perusing entrees of Cajun-style tilapia, flatiron steak, and savory, stuffed chicken breast. Live music by local performers offers diners a pleasant background soundtrack.
Since the first Friendly's opened in 1935, staff members have been serving up hand-crafted ice cream in scoops, cones, and sundaes alongside juicy beef burgers crowned with crisp lettuce and tomatoes. Now with locations spanning the United States, Friendly's has come a long way from its first modest shop in Massachusetts, which sold double-dip cones for 5 cents. Today, servers scoop ice cream in classic flavors such as chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry and dish out new twists on the favorites, including Fribble soft-serve shakes and Friend-z ice-cream desserts whipped with toppings such as Oreos, Butterfingers, and Reese's peanut-butter cups. They also top crisp belgian waffles with scoops of ice cream and hot caramel and fill dishes with new ice-cream flavors such as Vienna Mocha Chunk and Rockin' Poppin' Cotton Candy.
Behind the grills, cooks build big beef burgers such as the Vermonter with melted vermont white cheddar and maple-pepper bacon on a toasted ciabatta roll. Healthier options include meals under 555 calories, such as the sweet and spicy grilled shrimp over rice pilaf and the chicken-caprese sandwich.