Hi all, it’s Patrice Costa, and Liz asked me to share this review which I originally posted on Food|Photography|Reviews, the terrific new food blog by my photographer friend, lunch partner and culinary cohort, Margaret Rizzuto. Enjoy!
It was a damp and cloudy day outside, but one step into Café of Love and we were surrounded by warm and inviting colors, patterns and textures. From the farmhouse style table and chairs to the dangling crystal chandelier, the décor was kind of eclectic French Provençal.
We were still a little chilled from the rain, so starting out with a pot of herbal tea warmed us right up.
The menu changes seasonally, and we had a nice selection of late summer dishes to choose from. A big blackboard on the wall in the back shows what’s in season and which local producers they support like Amawalk Farm, Rainbeau Ridge, or Hemlock Hill Farm.
We couldn’t pass up their signature Truffled Chickpeas as an appetizer. The chickpeas are fried, but not greasy, and are served toasty hot. These crisp little morsels are finished with truffle oil making them so addictive that once you pop one in your mouth, you can’t stop!
Margaret’s Maine Lobster Roll was the perfect dish to signal the end of summer. The salad had generous pieces of lobster with ripe tomatoes, sweet corn and a nice crunch of diced cucumber. It was all mixed in a light, creamy dressing that allowed the fresh flavors to shine through. Unfortunately, the accompanying roll was very dense with a pretzel-like dough which we agreed was a bit too heavy for the delicate salad.
I love crepes because they always remind me of my visits to France, and my Café Crepes did not disappoint. Light, airy thin pancakes, beautifully browned, were wrapped around moist pieces of wild salmon combined with summer corn, shitake mushrooms, and bits of crisp bacon. The amount of buttery sauce in the filling and around the crepes was ideal – not too much to be soggy, but not too little to be dry.
Sadly, we decided not to order dessert, even though the menu was one sweet treat after another: Blueberry Clafoutis, Banana Tart, Peach & Blackberry Cobbler, Steamed Chocolate Pudding and Almond Croissant Bread Pudding. A return visit for one of those tempting desserts was immediately on our agenda.
The café was aptly named as we definitely felt the love in our attentive server, friendly manager and delicious dishes. There’s even more love just around the corner with their first restaurant, Ladle of Love. They serve up soups, sandwiches, and salads — eat in, take out or delivered by Love on the Run. They even made it to the big city with their food truck in the new Central Park Visitor Center at Tavern on the Green. Now, that’s a whole lotta love to go around!