A New Paltz Restaurant That Celebrates Seasonal Bounty
The Village TeaRoom | 10 Plattekill Ave | New Paltz, NY
When Agnes Devereux opened The Village TeaRoom, a farm-to-table restaurant in New Paltz, NY, she was a pioneer in supporting seasonal, local cuisine. “There was no real movement for baked goods to be seasonal. People didn’t understand farm-to-table. We were ahead of the curve,” she says, recalling the culinary landscape ten years ago. “Luckily, things have caught up, and now there’s a bounty.”
The Village TeaRoom serves food that is “personal, homey, and traditional,” reflecting the cultural diversity Agnes has adopted over the years. Italian breadsticks are paired with Indian daal and you’re as likely to see a Moroccan stew as an Irish pot pie or a French cream puff. Ingredients are local and seasonal whenever possible.
Raised in Ireland by parents who owned a hotel, Agnes moved to Paris and then to New York, where she worked at Union Square Cafe. After a stint at the Institute of Culinary Education and several years owning a small interior design business, she opened the TeaRoom in 2004.
The building itself has its own rich history, once home to a 200-year old former tailor shop. Agnes preserved much of the original structure and recycled old materials into decorative additions. “I wanted it to be non-pretentious. Simple and rustic and a little shabby, but not too shabby,” she says.
Over the years, the restaurant has become a staple in the New Paltz community. The TeaRoom draws regulars from the local college and surrounding townships, and often caters weddings and other events. And while France and New York may have their charms, Agnes finds New Paltz to be “an amazing place to live. It’s diverse, it’s beautiful.”
“Local farms and food artisans provide us with world class ingredients. It’s inspiring to work with such fresh and beautiful produce. Milk, cream, eggs, cheese, maple syrup, honey, bourbon, beef, chicken, all from our neighbors. When we first opened ten years ago it was a struggle to find everything locally. Now, we have an embarrassment of riches.”
“Our three dining rooms have distinct personalities. The Schoonmaker Room on the second floor is named for Alderd Schoonmaker who built this building for his tailor shop in 1833. On the first floor, the Fairweather Room is named after a local family who owned the property for fifty years. Finally, the Family Room has a kids table and chalkboard.”
“The kale salad is made of three varieties of kale from Liberty View Farm. It’s served with roasted red onions from Florida, NY, maple cured bacon from Jacuterie in Ancramdale, NY and shaved cloth-bound cheddar from Hawthorne Valley. The dressing is a vinaigrette consisting of Lyonsville sugar, a house maple syrup, and warm rendered bacon fat.”
“The restaurant is open for breakfast lunch and dinner. It’s a place where you can get a big bowl of organic oatmeal for breakfast or celebrate a birthday dinner.”
“We serve a wide selection of local hard cider, local spirits, beer and wine.”
“For me, fall and winter is the time to eat apple pies, pear tarts, sticky old fashioned gingerbread cake, deep dark chocolatey cakes and custardy bread puddings. Come summer, we’re up to our elbows in strawberries and raspberries, peaches and blueberries. We’re making sponge cakes and mousses and pavlovas and fruit tarts.”
“I love that our place is right in the heart of the village, yet it feels so secluded shaded by mature sugar maples and set back from the road.”
“The honey bee cake is our signature dessert. The beautiful soft yellow of the butter cream comes from the vibrant yolks of farm eggs and it is sweetened solely with honey. The cake is lightly scented with orange and the bees are made of chocolate truffle with almond wings and white chocolate stripes. Apricot glaze creates the illusion of dripping honey. This is our most popular wedding cake.”