The Cafe in Westerly is a dining destination. From the moment you walk in, you feel welcomed. The lighting is on point, warm and romantic. Swoon your lover or grab your friends; this place is perfect either way. Aside from the atmosphere, the food and drinks are delicious. Equally as important, the service is stellar. Our waitress was knowledgeable, attentive, provided insight and menu suggestions, and added to the experience overall. Okay, back to the food and drink. Per suggestion, I tried Cafe Buzz. If you like a drink that is not too alcohol forward, this is for you, concocted with artisanal honey gin, lavender honey, and lemon. Not too sweet, aromatic, and delicious to drink. I’m typically not a huge gin fan, but I loved this cocktail. Suppose you are more interested in tasting your alcohol. In that case, there are plenty of mightier drink options, including The Oaxacan, which is tequila, mezcal, agave, angostura & orange bitters, and orange coin.
Moving along to the food portion of the evening. I was immediately happy to see a snacks plate. My ideal dinner date likes to share; we can try as many things as our stomachs allow. Luckily my date for the evening was equally as excited about this idea. We started with the hummus platter, deviled eggs, and crispy fried artichokes. It’s hard to say which was my favorite of the three, but I’d say the fried artichokes if I had to choose. The idea intrigued me, and the dish impressed me. They were lightly battered and gently fried with harissa aioli and lemon. However, the deviled eggs and hummus platter are a must-try.
The “mains” menu is concise, so attention to detail and quality is prioritized. Chef Todd Keister describes the menu as very clean, regional, and local. He steers away from overloading the products with ingredients that mask the cuisine’s true nature. As a firm believer that with attention to detail and a straightforward method, the product does the leg work, they help it along and let the wonderful choices shine through.
This evening, the menu featured the night’s pasta dish, Elk Meatballs, in a homemade Ragu, a menu highlight that changes. We indulged in some shareable plates and planned for dessert, so I went for a lighter dish, Miso-Marinated Local Cod. The fish was delicately cooked with a golden butter crumb crust and rested upon napa cabbage slaw. As promised, the attention to detail was impeccable, and the ingredients’ natural flavors shined. An elevated entree for sure; I recommend getting it. Other menu highlights include Sauteed Local Wild Mushrooms, Bacon-Wrapped Meatloaf, and Dry-Aged Sirloin. Salads and sandwiches are available, savory side dishes, something for everyone in your party.
Now for the sweet part, dessert. I am still dreaming about the Sticky Toffee Pudding. It was served warm with a side of sauce and cream, utter perfection. Pair it with an after-dinner drink to top off the evening. Our experience at The Cafe in Westerly was outstanding from start to finish. Grab a date, friends, or family, and try this place. A little advice from Chef Todd Keister, ” I would recommend first-timers, or anyone to try some of the local & Regional cheeses I bring in. Most of them have a great back story, rich in history, and some are returning to how food used to be made and sourced. Some of my favorites are the farms that are single-sourced properties; they raise, and grow everything they produce on one farm or location, which makes for some amazing culinary options.” Click here to check out The Cafe in Westerly!
Always end it on a sweet note, check out these desserts: