It’s the second quarter of 2021, and with the pandemic seemingly on the way out, it’s high time to visit all the restaurants you’ve been missing in the age of social distancing. But if you’re (naturally) not ready to step back into the bar scene shoulder to shoulder fair Still, a coffee date might just be the vehicle to return to the wild world of in-person dining.
For your sipping pleasure, here’s what’s happening at three new Nassau County cafes that have opened in the past few months.
Owner Jennifer Bae began renovations to a new cafe adjacent to her tutoring business Sage Test Prep in 2019. But when the work ended it was April 2020 and restaurants on Long Island were more or less closed. . So no need to rush, “I wasn’t expecting any customers,” Bae said.
Its spacious and bright cafe finally opened in October, and after a slow start, things are moving fast. “I have seven baristas now,” Bae said, “because it’s growing really fast.”
These baristas make hot espresso drinks using Brooklyn Spare Moment roast coffee beans, as well as caramel or green tea smoothies and hibiscus or pineapple-lychee-flavored “coolers”.
To eat, there are croissants stuffed with applewood bacon and melted Swiss focaccia sandwiches with fried eggplant with pesto, mozzarella and marinara, and avocado toast, with or without smoked salmon.
Bakery products arrive daily from Balthazar Bakery, located in the metropolitan area, and for the summer Bae has added bingsu, a silky crushed ice from his home country of Korea. The milky ice cream is infused with flavors such as mango or matcha and topped with fresh fruit, macaroons and other decadent candies.
Further information: 15 Jericho Turnpike, Jericho; 917-882-7011
Celestial Cafe, Merrick
If cold coffee is your jam, Heavenly Coffee just might be your new favorite caffeinating station. With over 50 varieties of custom roasted iced coffee, this new Merrick squeeze brings to a robust local market for flavored beers. “The flavors are toasty,” said co-owner Joe Vitale. “There is no sugar, no syrups.”
Vitale owns the cafe with her brother, John Vitale, and their mother, Gina Vitale. The Merrick Road spot, which opened in February, is the second in the Vitale family – the team opened the original Heavenly Coffee location in East Rockaway in 2019.
And while the edible items on the menu are limited to on-the-go snacks like gourmet cookies from Long Island’s Cultured Cookie Co., the shop’s rococo-frozen “specialty lattes” – drizzled with flavored syrup, topped with a mousse. homemade whipped cream and sprinkled with lucky charms, cinnamon toast, crisps or crushed dunkaroos – can almost count as a meal.
More info: 2330 Merrick Rd, Merrick, 516-758-3074. paradislycoffeeny.com
Soul Brew, Bellmore
The tye-dye-forward cafe, which invites visitors to ‘feed your soul’, officially hung a shingle in Bellmore at the end of March.
The Grand Avenue spot replaces the longtime Bellmore Bean community center, which closed in March 2020 amid the COVID-19 lockdown. This is the third location for owners Kristin Walsh, Dean Lambros, Jeffery Petrocelli and Nicole Petrocelli, who opened their first café in St. James in 2016 and added a location in Huntington in 2019.
While the owners of Soul Brew weren’t planning to expand, Walsh said Bellmore’s location “just looked like fate. We just walked in and we were like,” Wow, this place is super cool. “We wanted to save it and keep it like that, just with our brand. There really isn’t anything like it on the South Shore.”
The new cafe serves organic and fair trade coffee – drip, cold brew and espresso, from Brooklyn’s Stone Street Coffee Co., – as well as juicy ‘coolers’, cereals and cookie lattes, and specialty teas.
Breakfast items are available daily until the kitchen closes at 3 p.m. and include waffle sandwiches topped with lavender and mascarpone syrup, breakfast burritos, and toast. lawyer. Breakfast sandwiches include grilled chipotle cheese with avocado and a chicken-cheddar-bacon wrap nicknamed “Man of the Ramblins”.
As for live entertainment – a constant at Bellmore Bean – Walsh said she plans to bring back open mic events in the next month or so, once her staff are ready for the event.
Pandemic mask warrants (hopefully!) Being a thing of the past, Walsh said she can’t wait to bring people together for some own good fun. “Everyone is so happy,” she said, describing unmasked guests smiling and visiting one of her cafes earlier this week. “People need to see each other’s faces again.”
More info: 2718 Grand Ave, Bellmore, 516-804-4624. soulbrew.coffee