An insider's view of the Connecticut dining scene
Dec 1, 2013
06:30 AMThe Connecticut Table
Café at Whittemore Crossing in Middlebury Will Delight Hungry Holiday Shoppers
Dining out during the holiday season should be a festive experience—and if it’s homey, too, all the better. Both qualities describe The Café at Whittemore Crossing, a cozy nook on the second floor of Middlebury’s four-story Shoppes at Whittemore Crossing.
With its old-fashioned hardwood floors, rush-seated chairs, tasteful artwork on the walls and ball-fringe curtained windows, it could be the dining room of your epicurean elderly aunt—if said aunt’s backyard were landscaped to include an outdoor patio and stone footbridge with waterfall. Still, like your aunt, this café’s kitchen sure knows how to produce mouthwatering aromas, seasonal or otherwise.
One of its claims to fame is traditional French onion soup ($6.75), but I preferred the silky pleasure of pumpkin soup with crême fraiche.
Salads and sandwiches here are anything but ordinary, too—for taste sensations, try the garlic-peppercorn roast beef baguette with boursin cheese, arugula, fried onions and housemade horseradish (the beef is likewise garlicked and peppercorned on-site) and the Mandarin beet salad ($12.50), a blend of roasted beets, Mandarin oranges, Gorgonzola, red onion, sliced fennel and sweet and savory pecans atop mixed greens dressed with apricot-ginger vinaigrette.
There’s always a choice of savory pie (ours was beef burgundy) and puff pastry quiche (ham, onion and Cheddar) on the menu, and most selections are listed with a suggested wine pairing.
Should you forego dessert—a poor decision in the case of the Limoncello tea cake or pear-cranberry crisp—I suggest you stop by Dylan’s Candy Bar and pick up a few indulgences for later.
You should also check out Whittemore Crossing’s nonedible goodies, including the new and gently used home furnishings and housewares at Middlebury Consignment and showcase collections of unique gifts from MacKenzie-Childs and Juliska.
Then, plan to return for one of the kitchen’s cooking classes, such as December’s “French Bistro” and “My Eastern European Christmas.”