New on the dining scene: Zeppoleme in Port Chester

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Remember the coffee shop of your youth? A place with freshly made food, a bevy of people from the neighborhood, and one darn good cup of joe? Nessa owner Marc Tessitore and business executive Robert Squire are hoping to recreate that kind of atmosphere with their new coffeehouse, Zeppoleme.

 

This little sister to nessa, the Port Chester mainstay known for its inventive cocktails, sultry atmosphere and carefully crafted Italian food, said the idea came from watching the habits of nessa customers. “One of our desserts was a ricotta-filled zeppole with vanilla cream,” says Tessitore. “This handcrafted Italian doughnut was made in house and served with vanilla ice cream and got folks talking about their grandmothers or long-forgotten family dinners or their old neighborhoods. It gave us this feeling that wow, maybe we could build a business out of this.”

 

And so, Zeppoleme — the “me” is meant to remind patrons the experience is all about “you” and “your story” — has opened next door to nessa, with a shared garden in between, where lingering is encouraged and breakfast, lunch and dinner are served. Stumptown coffee is on the menu, along with a host of healthy yet indulgent items including butter-pressed paninis, salads, and an interesting variety of classic, modern and savory zeppole.

 

Tessitore is quick to point out that the zeppole are not like the kind you might find at a typical summer feast, but rather are authentic and crisp, made with just the right temperature, the right oil, and the right frying time. Classic zeppole look like a pillow with powdered sugar or cinnamon on top. The savory versions are filled with chive or pancetta and go well with a glass of wine or an Italian soda. Zeppoleme’s modern zeppole has ricotta in it and comes with a variety of dipping sauces, including buttercream, lemon glaze and Nutella.

 

There are 25 seats in the café; 40 outside; wine on tap is coming soon. “We have a lot of plans,” says Squire, who hopes that opening at 6 a.m. will drive a big morning business. He and Tessitore call the zeppole “memory makers,” and hope this updated concept of a community coffee house full of authenticity and integrity will take off.

 

Read our review on lohud.com

Oh Dio Mio, Zeppoleme! Killer Coffee, Sandwiches, Zeppole + More in Port Chester, NY

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Aye, paisanos, have we got a new spot for you to check out! We’re talking ’bout Zeppoleme, right on Main Street in Port Chester, walking distance from our part of Greenwich (uh oh, we’re in trouble). Ever since we saw the sign a few months ago, we’ve been dreaming about the zeppoles we’d enjoy on, oh, say EVERY Sunday morning, starting with this past Sunday when they opened up shop!

 

Lucky for Kristien’s parents, they just so happened to be in town when they opened…which was the perfect way to round out our weekend of gorging. See just two nights before we had taken the rents out for dinner at Bar Sugo and feasted like the good Italians we are.  But back to Zeppoleme

 

Immediately, we were happy to see how cute and cozy the interior is. Lots of dark wood tables and rustic tones make Zeppoleme chill, relaxing, and comfortable. Plus, if you’re feeling like it would be nice to eat outside, check out their pretty outdoor garden dining that they share with sister restaurant Nessa next door. Eh, you gonna get to the food? Psshhhh, here are the basics:

  1. Zeppole: classic, modern ricotta, and savory
  2. Coffee, espresso, tea, frozen whipped frappes, and other drinks
  3. Special boxed lunches and salads
  4. Panini for breakfast, lunch, or dinner
  5. Their seasonal soup and superfood cereals.

 

Now, ordering might seem like a super easy thing to do, but there are lots of combos of things to get and we got almost every kind of combination that you could think of. Hey, we were doing our due diligence.  You can get 3 zeppole for $2.95 (comes with one sauce), 6 for $5.50 (two sauces), or a dozen for $10 and three sauces. Each extra sauce costs just .50, no biggie. You can pick from vanilla cream, caramel, buttercream, espresso dip, biscoff, hazelnut nutella, and lemon glaze and have that go with either the classic zeppole or the modern, airier version. For whatever zeppole you get, you can take them plain (but that’s just lame), with granulated, or powdered sugar. We prefer the powdered sugar, but you might be different…whatevs. They also have savory zepps of bacon, chives, and provolone; veggie; and sundried tomato, basil, and fontina.

 

Seriously, we felt like little kids in a candy store, only this time the smell of fried zeppole was in the air and we were getting drunk off the vapors.

 

Zeppole

Ah, lovely powdered sugar laden zeppoles!We got a dozen modern ricotta and they were light, airy, and fluffy. At first we were concerned because the outside seemed crispy, but when you bit in…madon! Those were some magical zeppoles:  light, fluffy, moist, and hot! We tried the thick buttercream that we loved, the gentle touch of coffee from the espresso dip, and the indescribable yumminess of the biscoff dip (though it was a bit congealed). If you haven’t had biscoff, go get you some!

 

Bacon, chive, and provolone zeppole Just to get a taste of the savory (you know we did it for the sake of you, not because we wanted more zeppole!) we got three of the bacon, chives, and provolone zeppole. Again, this zeppole was just right, and no flavor was too overpowering. There was just a small amount of ingredients which made the zeppole perfect in our eyes because if it was overloaded with ingredients, it really wouldn’t feel like you were eating zeppole anymore. Our one suggestion to them when we left (they found out who we were at the end because Kristien’s mom outed us as OmNomCT, saying we were big-time bloggers…oh mom) was to have dipping sauces for the savory also such as a marinara, a pesto, or a cheese sauce. Still, we loved them. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the classic zeppoles, but…oh darn…guess we’ll have to go back for more!

 

Caffè

The coffee, well, we can’t say enough about the coffee. It’s from one of our favorite roasters, Stumptown Coffee Roasters. We drank a whole helluva lot of this in Seattle and Portland and now we’re glad that we can drink it just minutes from our home. What’s even cooler is you can get a big box of the coffee for just $24 or even get the big box coffee and a dozen zeppole for just $30. You’ll be the most favorite person in your office if you hook up your buddies.

 

Panini

Kristien’s steak and egg panini…molto bene

And, then there are the excellent panini. They have five breakfast panini and five other lunch/dinner panini to pick from. All of the panini come on this amazing grilled bread that is perfectly crispy and just a bit smoky from the grill. And, you can’t get much fresher bread. Why? It’s made just a few hundred feet away at The Kneaded Bread…totally awesome place!

 

Dan went with the bacon, egg, and cheese that was just the right size and had a nice balance of ingredients. Kristien had the steak and egg, caramelized onion, provolone, garlic aioli, and frisée panini. The strip steak was cooked nicely, the onions added a nice sweetness, and the egg was fresh and cooked perfectly with some yolk oozing out after a bite.

 

Service was good, but was a bit slow as they figured out where items were on the cash register or what a certain item on the menu was. After all of that was taken care of, though, service speeded up. They didn’t do bad at all for their first busy Sunday morning. What we liked is that they brought over our zeppole and panini when they were ready so we could begin the feast.

 

Final Thoughts

Zeppoleme seems like a no-brainier to us, paisanos. Coffee, zeppole, panini, and even wine at night? How can you go wrong? We’ll be back many, many (too) many times and are interested in trying Zeppoleme for dinner. They open up early at 6 am, too, so you can get some coffee and dough to go on the way to work. What might be even worse for us (and our waistlines) is the fact that they plan to deliver soon.  Feel like two dozen zeppole?  Sure, just call em up!  Feel like placing an order for your two favorite bloggers ready for pick up?  Sure!

 

Read our review on OmNomCT

Greenwich Girl

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We all have heard of and enjoyed the savory Italian dishes of Nessa restaurant in Port Chester. Located directly down the street from the train track bridge of downtown PC, Nessa has provided a menu to die for for ages. But over the years there has been one menu item in specific that people from all over the county have visited just for:
zeppoles.

 

As the affinity for these fried dough sprinkled with sugar treats has grown in bundles, so have the suggestions to open a place that JUST serves them. Well, as fate would have it, Nessa decided to do just that. Soon to be opening Zeppoleme (LOVE the name) conveniently located right next door to Nessa will serve zeppoles (obvi), paninis, wine/beer and more. Unique, one of a kind Zeppole options and Stumpgump coffee are among the many traits that differentiate this highly exciting new hot spot to be.

 

With a convenient layout there is both indoor and outdoor seating tucked in between both restaurants. Lined with beautiful ferns and plantery (yes I made that word up) the opening of Zeppoleme shines light on this hidden oasis in Port Chester that some may not even know of. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, Zeppoleme and Nessa are THE #1 PC destination in my GG new resty’s list.

 

As if the sentiment of Zeppoles and paninis, Italian dishes and wine weren’t enough to lure you in, the not-overly-crowded outdoor seating setup leads you down a peaceful and plush pathway, detailed with birdhouses (made by the owners father) that decorate the vines to the traditional game of Batchi court. Yes, there is actually a full in batchi court! With separate side tables for participants and cheering onlookers, something in me tells me I will be frequenting this hidden oasis on a way too regular basis. From morning to night, Zeppolme offers a little something for everyone.

 

As the menu continues to intrigue my palette and the daily progress of its construction nears completion, I must confess that daily drive bys have become a part of my weekly routine. While they are just seconds away from opening, be sure to mark your calendar for its magnificent, must attend opening.

 

Read our review on Greenwich Girl