Perk Up With Great Local Coffee in Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess NY

Coffee-cupby Rinku Bhattacharya

This time of year, nothing satisfies like a well-brewed cup of coffee. With its warm, nutty aroma, it’s both soothing and re-energizing, the perfect pick-me-up on a chilly winter day.

Coffee shops have mushroomed all around the area, so it’s easy to find a place to grab a fresh cup. But the best local spots are the ones that take pride in their product and opt for fair-trade beans. Chances are if coffee is grown and sourced right, it will taste right, too. After all, you want to warm your soul along with your body.

 

Big Bang Coffee Roasters: If you’re looking to start your morning with a unique selection of fresh coffee beans delivered right to your door, this company is for you. A family-owned business, Big Bang offers a custom selection of fair-trade and organic coffee beans to choose from, and they will deliver your order to your house—or you can purchase their coffee at John Boy’s Outpost in Bedford, NY, Skinny Buddha Organic Kitchen in Mt. Kisco, NY, or Plum Plums Cheese in Pound Ridge, NY. Owner Elina Dart says, “I like to find the sweet spot in every roast, where all the nuances of a coffee are highlighted. All of my coffees are intensely flavorful due to this diligence.”

Big Bang Coffee Roasters

914.433.7278

BBCRoasters.co

 

Coffee-Labs-signCoffee Labs, Tarrytown: Coffee Labs is owned and managed by Mike and Alicia Love. Mike is a retired chef who now focuses his culinary passion on bringing together a select collection of sustainable and exclusive coffees. Alicia is a humanitarian who is very committed to the green component of the business. Together this duo developed a business model that offers exclusive coffee with a conscience. Their Tarrytown shop sells a wide assortment of beans, and it’s also a great place to grab a cup of coffee or tea—just what you might want on a weekend morning. Don’t miss the blog on CoffeeLabs.com; it will give you further insight into their mission and their featured coffees. Coffee Labs’ products can be ordered from the website and found at Mrs. Greens and Whole Foods markets.

Coffee Labs

7 Main St., Tarrytown, NY

914.332.1479

CoffeeLabs.com

 

Crafted--KupThe Crafted Kup, Poughkeepsie: A true coffee house located near Vassar College in Poughkeepsie’s Arlington walking district, the Crafted Kup serves hand-crafted espresso beverages; locally roasted, certified fair-trade organic coffees and teas; and locally made baked goods and bagels. “I guarantee you won’t find a better cup of coffee around,” says co-owner Tanner Townsend. “We pride ourselves on making sure every guest’s experience is an unforgettable one.” Sounds like the perfect way to start (or finish) the day.

The Crafted Kup

44 Raymond Ave., Poughkeepsie, NY

845.483.7070

TheCraftedKup.com

 

The Freight House Café, Mahopac: Located in the heart of downtown Mahopac, the Freight House Café uses Bear Mountain Roasters certified organic coffee beans exclusively for their entire coffee menu, including espressos, lattes and cappuccinos. Almost everything on the food menu is also natural, local or organic, says owner Donna Massaro. The breakfast menu includes organic egg omelets and a yummy Veggie Breakfast Wrap made with homemade pico di gallo, melted provolone, avocado, red onion, egg and sour cream. A gluten-free menu is also available. On Friday nights, the café is open until 10 p.m., serving beer, wine and cocktails with noshing foods. Check their website for the local live music calendar and other fun events, including a Single Dads Night on Feb. 12, and Stitch and Bitch (bring your own yarn) on Feb. 19. Look for light dinners to be added on Friday and Saturday nights soon.

The Freight House Café

609 Rte. 6, Mahopac, NY

845.628.1872

TheFreightHouseCafe.com

 

Rinku Bhattacharya is the voice behind the blog “Spice Chronicles” and the author of The Bengali Five Spice Chronicles and Spices and Seasons, Simple, Sustainable Indian Cooking. She also teaches Indian cooking classes out of her home and at other locations. Her interests include Indian cooking, spices and herbs, and sustainable living. She can be reached on Twitter @wchestermasala.

Sweet Grass Grill and Tomatillo Restaurant, Terrific Local Food Dining in Southern Westchester

Chef Iain Falconer at the Sweet Grass Grill

Chef Iain Falconer at the Sweet Grass Grill

Sweet Grass Grill

24 Main St. Tarrytown, NY 10591

914.631.0000; SweetGrassGrill.com

Hours: Monday through Friday 11:30 a.m. – ‘til, Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. – ‘til, and  brunch on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Tomatillo Restaurant

13 Cedar St. Dobbs Ferry, NY 10522  

914.478.2300; Mexchester.com

Hours: Tuesday through Sunday 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. (most nights); kitchen stays open until 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday

Sweet Grass Grill and Tomatillo Restaurant are located in the heart of Southern Westchester and both are owned and operated by David Starkey. I stumbled upon Sweet Grass Grill one summer afternoon when I was searching for a great farm-to-table lunch option. Chefs Ian Falconer (Sweet Grass Grill) and Starkey (Tomatillo) are both dedicated to healthy, locally sourced foods and Starkey’s commitment is to ensure that his food is not only delicious, but also socially responsible. Many of the ingredients used at both restaurants come from nearby farms, such as Stone Barn in Pocantico Hills and Ryder Farm in Brewster. My favorite dish at Sweet Grass Grill is the free-range chicken, which is covered in an array of savory toppings according to the season.

Sweet Grass Grill offers American-infused traditional comfort dishes with a healthy twist, while Tomatillo offers Mexican favorites with the same health consciousness (e.g., brown versus white rice). The menu items change seasonally according to the local foods used to create them. Sweet Grass Grill also offers Meatless Mondays, giving vegetarians a prix-fixe menu option. Their children’s menu items come with vegetables to provide a balanced meal and promote healthy habits. Many of the wines served are also local. One of their most popular Chardonnays comes from Red Tail Ridge Winery in the Finger Lakes region.

Whether he’s buying garlic from California, shrimp from the Gulf Coast or pumpkin from the farm next door, Starkey seeks to make sure that his business boosts the American economy while staying on top of food trends. His restaurants are a great option for those seeking to enjoy a healthy, local and sustainable meal that is both delicious and reasonably priced.

Natasha Bernardez is the Executive Chef of Clean Plate Culinary Inc. Her team specializes in healthy food culinary services, including personal chef and other customized offerings. To book their services visit CleanPlateCulinary.com or call 347.644.8306 for a consultation.