It’s always fun to get to sit down with the owner of someplace you’ve eaten at and liked for a while.
I got to sit down with Buffy Arbogast of Babette’s Kitchen in Millbrook recently and talk to her about what it takes to run a café.
Babette’s Kitchen is celebrating 12 years in business--6 years in their current location, the “sunny side of the street” according to Buffy. She started Babette’s Kitchen in May of 2000 and “never looked back.”
We chatted over a really refreshing ginger peach iced tea and some salads and café specials Buffy gave me to taste.
I first got to know Babette’s Kitchen through one of their suppliers, Kristen Nelson of the Ardent Homesteader, who supplies her delicious Cara-Sel caramel sauce to them. It’s one of many items available to take home from local purveyors.
It’s Buffy’s goal to make everything they can from scratch and try to source locally. That means changing the menu three times a year to take advantage of what her farmers have to offer. But, like many other restaurants, there are things that their clients won’t let them take off, the signature spinach and lentil salad being one of them. It’s a terrific mix of spinach and tiny French lentils, tossed in a tasty vinaigrette with a good kick from some Dijon mustard. One of those dishes, you can just devour (and feel good that it’s all healthy)!
They’re up early serving breakfast, lunch and dinners-to-go. Breakfast features made-to-order eggs along with French toast and other goodies.
One of those goodies is their buttermilk biscuits. As Buffy says, “We’re pretty famous for our buttermilk biscuit”. They’re made fresh every morning from her Grandmother’s recipe. The one I took home was great even the next morning—flaky, tasty and buttery. You can get them individually, or have a bacon, egg and cheese on a buttermilk biscuit, but don’t dawdle, they sell out early!
If lunch is more your thing, there’s plenty to choose from, but save room for dessert.
You can make up any kind of sandwich or go for one of the day’s specials. When I was there, a salad of spring peas, asparagus and ramps caught my eye. It was a perfect combination.
For something more indulgent, you might want to head for the ham and cheese melt, which changes but is always good. Or head for the classic BLT or their smoked salmon BLT—all great choices!
I went home with one of their dinner to go items (or large lunch if you’re starving), a mini-meatloaf, bathed in BBQ sauce (instead of ketchup) and wrapped in bacon—delicious!
Looking for an excuse for something sweet? Stop by for an afternoon coffee and pair one of their specialty coffees with a brownie, lemon bar or other goodie from their dessert case. Buffy called the brownies “outrageous” and she was right! If you like them rich and slightly gooey, you’ll be happy!
On top of all this, they do catering and custom cakes. Buffy and her chef partner Beth, will be glad to cook up anything for your upcoming events, just get in touch with them and let them know what you’re looking for.
Stop by the café at 3293 Franklin Avenue in Millbrook or look for the brownies and other items at the Taste NY Market on the Taconic Parkway.
Babette's Kitichen - Really Good Simple Food Done Well
3293 Franklin Ave