When Dan and I first interviewed for the position of Inn Manager, we were completely unfamiliar with this area. We had driven from Oswego, NY to Pittsfield, MA a night early for that historic interview and had only made dinner plans for the night of our arrival. Checkout was at 10:00am at the little hotel we stayed at, but our interview wasn't until Noon. What were two completely clueless, unbelievably nervous, and very hungry interviewees supposed to do for two hours? The simple answer was eat. The difficult question was where.
So Dan and I headed south from Pittsfield to Lenox, searching for food. We parked on Church street and ambled about, seeking food. Church Street Cafe? Closed. Bistro Zinc? Closed. Firefly? Closed. Cafe Lucia? Closed. Alta? Closed. We had arrived at in Lenox at what I now know to be exactly the wrong time for finding food, which, for future reference, is 10:30am on a weekday. After walking to all of these places and finding not a single morsel we pessimistically turned a corner and spotted the sign for Haven Cafe & Bakery. And they were open.
"Cafe food?" I thought, "My Favorite!"
And let me tell you, to this day, two months and many restaurants after that first experience, Haven is still my favorite place in Lenox. Dan and I went there for lunch today and I decided to bring along the new camera and give you a peek into why I am nearly addicted to this beautiful, wonderful, delicious gem of a café.
Reason #1: They source locally. What was such a rarity for me in Oswego (local cuisine is impossible to find there) is much more common here in The Berkshires; but it will always earn any business buckets of brownie points in my book.
Reason #2: Their menu is simultaneously unique, well-done, simple, gourmet, and completely affordable. How is this possible!
Reason #3: Every last employee is delightful. We’ve had friendly, helpful, courteous service every time we’ve gone. (Figures 1 & 2 depict prime examples of employees with impeccable customer service)
Reason #4: The food NEVER disappoints. Just look at these sandwiches!
And do you see those perfect, luscious slices of pear on my Croque Monsieur?
And the sweet, caramelized onion on Dan’s Steak sandwich!
Not to mention these oven-roasted potatoes, which are TO DIE FOR.
Reason #5: Their 100% made in-house bakery items. They’re… I could just…. I wanna… It’s like they’re… You know what, I’ll just let the pictures do the talking, I can’t even find adequate adjectives for this kind of deliciosity.
Reason #6: This dessert.
It’s called a Cappuccino Cake. I call it Pure Chocolate Love with Cream Cheese Coffee Frosting that happens to be topped with a Chocolate Covered, Cocoa Dusted Hazelnut. If you want to make me very happy this Christmas, buy me one of these. I’m not even kidding. This dessert is rapidly becoming yet another addiction of mine.
Reason #7: Free samples of Cappuccino Cake!!!!!!!!!
Reason #8: Stevia and Z-Sweet (erythritol) on the tables and Agave Nectar and Honey on the coffee bar. Was this place made for me???
Reason #9: When they say that they care about the environment, they mean it. Even their shirts are 100% Organic Cotton!
Reason #10: With all of these reasons to love Haven, it actually affects your mood to be there. Dan and I get really happy and giddy. Sometimes a little silly too. Here’s a quote from today’s visit:
In a silly, batty old woman voice Dan says, “Now you see, with the second cup of tea, you gotta squeeze the bejeezus out of the teabag." He squeezes it. "See that? That’s the bejeezus coming out” (Moments like these are also one of the reasons that I love Dan so much, FYI)
And those, dear friends, are 10 reasons why I love Haven. I would (and do) recommend this place to any of our guests. Even if you’re not a guest, please go there! I promise you’ll love it!
And I was thinking, if you happen to go there… Tell them Brande from The Garden Gables sent you… and maybe I’ll get a free cappuccino cake…
It’s just a thought.
With Much Love,
(PS: By popular demand, they just started serving dinner on Friday and Saturday nights as well! Yay!)