The first time I had stopped by the village tearoom in New Paltz, it was rather unplanned. My brother and I were trying to cover some local wineries, we had stopped at Clinton Vineyards and I wanted to hit Adrair. That particular day, the hours did not co-operate, hunger prompted us to the tearoom. I was pleasantly surprised by the food and of course, the nice cup of tea that went with the snacks to boot.
It is of course another thing, that this post has been sitting in my drafts for over two months, and I am finally getting round to posting it. I am bad that way, and look for a change I shall not really blame anything else.
Now, life and food is always about expectations! The next time I went that way was to very specifically get there for a cup of tea (and everyone knows I am a tea buff!). I had also been educated about the reputation of the restaurant. The place as you walk in is like walking into someone’s house. They have a very cozy atmosphere and are surprisingly child friendly. There is a blackboard with chalk and a small collection of children’s books that can help engage their little customers while the food is being prepared. This can possibly be attributed to the fact that the proprietress is a mother with relatively young children. It is a nice change from the super buttoned up tearooms that one might find. The atmosphere is very pleasant and inviting, however on a busy afternoon they can be a little slow.
Their afternoon tea, which is what I ended up getting is wonderful, their home baked goodies, sweet buttery and fresh tasting. Their use of spices is perfectly balanced and adds wonderful notes of flavor and character to the menu. The minted chicken salad with lovely notes of almond hits the spot. They do well in the seasonal and local department, and their absolutely rich and heavenly goat cheese sandwiches are a testimony to this. Other interesting offerings are their Malaysian spiced chicken wings and they have a soup of the day, which the last time that I tried it was really nice. The two teas that we ordered came well brewed in brightly colored teapots and a little hour glass to help you brew the tea to perfection before pouring a cup.
Their sandwiches included an interesting mint almond chicken salad, and the goat cheese sandwich offered the best of Husdon Valley, in creamy, earthy mouthfuls.
Now, on the other side, they have a surprising full mealtime menu, not quite what I would expect in a tearoom, but I imagine there must be plenty of takes. Their tea selections were small and this menu was also complimented with wines. Somewhere here the restaurant does steer away from being just a tea room, possibly to widen its horizons. This does take away a little from what the restaurant tends to do best – be a tea room.
It is however a wonderful stop for tea and company as long as you are happy with a few select teas, brewed to simple perfection. On a cooler day it would also be an inviting lunch stop. If, of course I do make it to the winery one of these days, I shall definitely pair it with a visit to this charming restaurant. Possibly to try their goat cheese sandwiches again!