Wobble Café is the type of idiosyncratic country-kitchen eatery you might find while traveling on the back roads of Vermont. Its décor recipe is a helping of rummage-sale resourcefulness, a taste of Greenwich Village hip, and a measure of Grandma’s attic vintage, which adds up to a cluttered, lovable jumble.
The key word at Wobble Café is comfort, from the vibe to the food, (co-owner Beylka Krupp previously worked at the meatless West Lynn Café in Austin, Texas). But this eatery, whose dinner menu changes weekly, is not for veg-heads only.
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The cozy interior of Wobble Café.
Mainstay choices include a selection of panini and salads and an Americanized version of the peasant-simple Tuscan panzanella (bread salad) with miniature cubes of fresh mozzarella, Roma tomatoes, crunchy purple onions, and even crunchier bread squares. While the flavorful bread salad’s dressing of cider vinegar and olive oil was a fine complement, the sun-dried tomato vinaigrette for a spinach salad with beets and hazelnuts was less vinaigrette and more paste, a consistency better suited for spreading.
A fork was just as effective as a spoon for digging into a sturdy starter of vegetarian chili that substituted cashews for beef. The chili lacked heat but there’s a selection of 17 bottled hot sauces, some of which are original recipes by co-owner Rich Foshay. Roasted acorn squash was an appetizer described on the menu as “drizzled with a maple-soy reduction.” It arrived instead with a healthy pour, which was welcomed; the warm wedges of yellow-gold squash were brought nearly to the sweetness of a dessert. A sandwich press in the kitchen was put to good use preparing a miniature Cuban sandwich: a crispy roll crammed with ham and Swiss cheese, then flattened into delectable gooeyness.
Entrées were portioned perfectly, and, for the most part, were good-tasting. Thai coconut curry (chunks of potato, fresh peas, and tofu cubes in a creamy coconut-curry broth, ladled around a rice pyramid) was a dish rich enough to satiate even the most ardent carnivore. Quesadillas were a moist interior of cheddar and Jack cheeses, tomatoes, and scallions wedged between flaky, crunchy tortilla triangles.
Two stews, one meatless, yielded mixed results. A ratatouille of eggplant, tomatoes, onions, string beans, and zucchini in a tomato-olive oil sauce was excellent, while the Oktoberfest stew, made with a mild bratwurst, was okay, simmered in a broth that was too soupy. A brightly-colored pumpkin risotto, made with fresh pumpkin, roasted garlic, cashews, and caramelized onions, could’ve been creamier but still was good.
Baked duck breast was the lone failed entrée tried; the overcooked bird sat in a pool of bitter chocolate sauce.
With an extensive children’s menu a wall of children’s art, and a play area with a toy chest, it is not surprising that Wobble is popular with the very young set. But children more often make their appearance at breakfast and lunch; on the three evenings I dined here, kids were virtually absent. (But take note: Wobble has no liquor license, so BYO.)
Desserts are primarily an afterthought here, with store-brand ice cream the central ingredient of most. Bananas Foster, made with rum and sliced bananas, was, however, a warm delight.
So Wobble Café is not perfect, but imperfections are what low-key dining is all about. So grab a stool, peruse the Post, and shoot the breeze with the owners for a spell, then indulge in an egg cream or ice-cream soda while you check out the menu. By the time you decide, you just may be well on your way to becoming a regular.
21 Campwoods Rd
(914) 762-3459; wobblecafe.com