At the intersection of Jay Street and Katonah Avenue, the duo behind The Whitlock now have their sequel: Jay Street Cafe, which opened early this month. The concept is what owners Christina and Matt Safarowic had initially envisioned for their inaugural opening.
“Our first concept was a breakfast-lunch spot,” says Christina, but when The Whitlock space became available in 2017, the couple changed plans. Two years later, when the former KR Café fell vacant, they knew it was perfect for their original idea — located on a desirable corner, windows all around, and smack dab in the center of Downtown Katonah.
Here’s a first look at Jay Street Café.
Less than a handful of weeks in, Jay Street Café has been busy from open to close. Chatter amongst friends and plenty of forks clanging on plates really give it that small-town-diner feel. Hanging globe lights, pies and cakes on display, and counter seating all complete the look.
A palette of whites and blues makes the place pop, as does the Katonah murals, designed by Christina’s brother, Eric Drake.
“The idea [behind the food] is taking classic luncheonette/diner staples and refining them, making it fun,” says Christina. That notion is best represented on the “Nosh” section of the menu, which includes Breakfast Corndogs, pancake-battered pork sausage with a maple-syrup sidecar for dipping.
Also represented are Brother’s Chips, a bowl of thick-cut fried potato chips covered in egg-yolk aioli, chives, and paprika. There are lighter noshes, as well, like steel-cut oatmeal, grapefruit with brûléed rosemary-sugar, and a yogurt bowl.
At a breakfast spot, you’ve got to do griddle grub, right? Order fluffy sour cream pancakes, light and crispy buttermilk waffles, or challah French toast, then top ’em with chocolate chips, Nutella, lemon curd, ice cream, or fruit, if you so desire.
All the breads and desserts are made in-house by pastry chef Tayler Kissam, whose mini pies, black forest cake stacks, and crème brûlée pie will tempt you during your meal. Taking a sweet treat home for later is inevitable.
Getting yolky at Jay Street should be mandatory. The classic BEC is upgraded with the addition of a hash brown. Chipotle aioli adds a creamy, spicy kick and the freshly made, buttery brioche bun stands up to the yolk explosion.
Chef’s Hash (corned beef hash, chimichurri, sunnyside-up eggs, peppers); omelets; an egg tostada with cheesy scrambled eggs, corn tortillas, fresh salsa, and smoked hot sauce; and a protein-packed power bowl (pictured above) with poached eggs, quinoa, spinach, sweet potato, roasted tomatoes, avocado, crumbled feta, and salsa verde are just a few more eggy options.
Jay Street has plenty of hot or cold coffee concoctions, plus egg creams, root beer floats, and a chocolate-cherry-Pepsi float. They’re also making milkshakes — not those ridiculous toothache ones — with Longford’s Ice Cream that can be upgraded with a spike of spirits. A liquor license means the menu also includes four lighter cocktails (think mimosas, Bloody Mary), prosecco, red and white wines, and four beers on tap.
Currently, Jay Street Café is serving breakfast from 8 a.m.–2 p.m. every day except Monday. At the start of 2020, they plan to add lunch and stay open until 3 or 4 p.m. “Lunch is currently in its editing phase; we’ll keep it simple to be consistent,” Christina says. “Expect a BLT, egg salad, and a Matty Patty [burger] cooked on the flat top.” She also teased the possibility of dinner on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, although they’re not sure what that will look like yet, so stay tuned!
Jay Street Café
63 Katonah Avenue
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