One of the best-kept secrets in all of Westchester is a café tucked inside the former Katonah Library aptly named The Katonah Reading Room. Located steps away from the train station, there’s always an eclectic mix of people. At any given time, you can catch kids reading Dr. Seuss, while adults catch up on work, browse the latest fiction lining Reading Room’s shelves, or digest its vast collection of cookbooks.
Since opening in early 2015, the Reading Room has quickly taken its place as one of the small Northern Westchester village’s crown jewels. And with a unique combination of locally sourced grocery items and delicious prepared dishes, there’s something for any foodie.
Here are five can’t-miss menu items for your next stop to this must-visit café and shop.
Egg Toast/Avocado Toast
Made with fresh bread delivered daily from Wave Hill Breads in Norwalk, CT, this offering is prepared two different ways: The egg toast features light and fluffy scrambled eggs while the fresh avocado serves as a savory snack. Both are topped with sea salt and a drizzle of olive oil.
This Vietnamese sandwich staple has long been owner Gretchen Menzies’s favorite Reading Room creation. The incredible blend of flavors hits you in waves: pickled veggies and perfectly tender Asian roast pork, and then the spicy mayo and jalapeños for kick. They’ve even introduced a (mostly) vegetarian mushroom alternative.
Caledonia Spirits Raw Honey
One of the most treasured items in the grocery section is this raw honey straight from the mountains of Hardwick, VT. It was initially used to help create the unique flavor for Caledonia Spirits gin, but it was so good that Caledonia began selling it on its own. With a consistency closer to butter than honey, this spreadable treat is amazing atop anything from toast to apples.
Vermont Creamery Cultured Butter
“This is the best butter I’ve ever tasted,” declares Menzies about this awesome find. Perked up by infused sea-salt crystals, this fresh, natural butter is not only delicious but award-winning. Once you’ve tasted it, any other option might feel like settling.
When you think of an artisan café full of local grocery items and fresh food, you don’t usually consider hot dogs or peanut butter and jam. But Menzies wanted Katonah Reading Room to be a place for everyone, kids included. The hot dogs are done several ways, including Chicago, New York, and French style (the latter busting with béchamel, Gruyère, and mustard on a brioche bun, something Menzies and her husband picked up traveling in Europe). The peanut butter and jam is pure soul food. It’s a flashback to childhood, but adults are welcome to the kids’ menu as well.