Cafe Culture Picks Up Steam In Salisbury
By Lisa Green
When we wrote our 10 Things To Love About Salisbury story two-and-a-half years ago, two of our favorite things were Sweet William’s Bakery and Salisbury Breads. Alas, Salisbury Breads has been folded into Hathaway Young and moved to Millerton, New York. But happily, Sweet William’s has expanded and The White Hart Inn has opened Provisions. The historic village at the crossroads of routes 41 and 44 has a Main Street with a burgeoning, bustling café and takeout scene… and one that’s pretty darn delicious.
Jason Young opened his bakery at 19 Main Street about seven years ago. There was the kitchen in back where they made all of the desserts and pastries, and a small retail operation in front. When Salisbury Breads vacated the spot a few steps away at 17 Main Street, Young saw the opportunity to spread the bakery’s wings.
“We ran out of space at the other place,” says Young. “This building gives us a chance to do more with coffee and tea — we’re making our own chais and cold brew now.” Young’s partner, Michael Lampro, is the coffee meister, running that end of things including coffee merchandise (the regular brew is Barrington Coffee, roasted to order). The new space offers a cozy seating area (wi-fi available), and now that there’s a place inside to linger, the bakery is putting out more savory items like spinach feta and sun-dried tomato croissants, vegetable quiche and breakfast soufflés. In the spring, patrons will be able to sit at the outdoor garden patio in back. The side wall at the front of the store has become an exhibition area featuring the work of local artists.
The original location, which still houses the kitchen — and employs three bakers and a full-time cake and a dessert maker — is now Sweet William’s Desserts and Scoop Shop, serving Jane’s Ice Cream from Kingston, New York and, aside from cups and cones, some killer ice cream sandwiches. This is where you’ll find the pies, tarts, cheesecakes, cupcakes and cakes by the slice.
And it seems there’s more to come. “We’re experimenting with bread,” Young says.
Sweet William’s Coffee Shop & Bakery
17 Main Street, Salisbury, CT
Tues. - Thurs., 7 a.m. - 5 p.m
Fri. & Sat., 7 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Sun., 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Sweet William’s Desserts & Scoop Shop
19 Main Street, Salisbury, CT
White Hart Provisions
When the White Hart Inn reopened in 2014, its mission, said Conde Nast Traveler, was to become a hangout and hideaway for the area’s culture cognoscenti. And maybe it has; the dining room at the White Hart Inn landed on Bon Appetit’s best restaurant list last year, and its speaker series has presented big name authors including Jay McInerney, Gary Trudeau and local resident Malcolm Gladwell (one of the White Hart’s investors).
That’s all well and good, but what we really love is Provisions, the general store and café corner of the inn.
The case of prepared foods beckons with meals to go or to consume on premises, and the menu of made-to-order breakfast and lunch items go from the expected (ham and cheese croissant, breakfast sandwich, daily soups) to the delightfully unexpected — avocado toast with feta, lemon and chili flakes; beets, feta, black olives on focaccia; and roast beef, crispy shallots, watercress and tomato.
In place of juices and smoothies, there’s an intriguing daily house soda that Provisions manager Lucas Smith creates from scratch. The day I visited, it was grape soda — Smith had muddled fresh concord grapes — but other flavors have included cucumber/mint and carrot/pear.
Provisions is run by the same team that put the restaurant on the map — Annie Wayte, Paul Pearson and pastry chef Gabby Rio — and the space was designed by Megan Wilson of Ancient Industries in Cornwall, Connecticut. It’s a blend of old-timey comfort and a clean, modern palette. A long center table encourages communal dining; there are smaller tables along the windows and a few that extend into the tranquil lobby. Wilson also curates the general store merch: books, blankets, penny candy and curious retro-inspired items.
Although Provisions is open just Friday through Monday for now, there are plans to expand those hours.
Provisions at the White Hart Inn
15 Undermountain Road, Salisbury, CT
Fri., Sat., Mon., 7 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Sun., 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.