Hello there! Sorry it’s been so long – I’ve had quite a busy fall thus far. Lots of celebrating – my puppy, my birthday, and many a wedding festivity! In anticipation of my friend Amelia’s wedding, we celebrated her bachelorette party in style in Southampton, NY! We rented a great house and spent the weekend drinking, eating, dancing, and doing yoga on the beach. Lucky for me I was surrounded by coffee lovers, so naturally we went exploring some of the local cafes. On the first day we went to Sant Ambroeus on Main St. This is a small chain, with locations scattered about Manhattan and the Hamptons. Though the Yelp.com acclaim for their mocha lattes made me eager to try one for myself, and I’m glad I did, I must say that this mocha was not worth the $6.50 price tag. http://santambroeus.com/sa_southampton.html
In other worlds – check out my little Eleanor! She is the one lying down in the green collar, playing with her sisters during an obedience and agility training. As my brother noted upon seeing this photo – ‘it looks like she has more agility than obedience.’ 🙂
Ok, back to the coffee. Sant Ambroeus claims to be authentic to origins in Milan. Milan was the first place I could remember noticing that coffee in Europe was different than coffee culture in the States. Specifically, having a coffee or cappuccino in Milan was a time of relaxing and socializing. There were no to go cups when I was visiting (back in 2005). I opted for a to go mocha this time and I have to say I was a bit disappointed. It tasted more like a regular latte than a mocha. Would have loved to have tasted more cocoa. Also, this mocha was so hot I burnt my tongue! For the lackluster experience + the hefty price tag, I have to give this mocha a 4.
I had my suspicions this was not going to be my best mocha. My first inclination came from the barista. I ordered a mocha latte to go… she had no idea what I was talking about. Then, upon explanation of what encompasses a mocha latte, it took about 10 minutes to prepare. While the wait time was a bit much, it did provide ample time for people watching, which I highly recommend doing when dining at Sant Ambroeus. The overall 2 score for appearance is mostly for the colorful to go cup.
When I stepped into Sant Ambroeus, I was reminded of that coffee shop in Milan from many years back. Awash with elaborate decor, deep greens and rich wood paneling. Adorned with gold trim everywhere, Sant Ambroeus appeared more as a restaurant than a coffee shop. It is nearly impossible to walk straight into the dining room without stopping to admire the array of desserts and gelatos (must try the gelato next time). The most important aesthetic in my opinion is the ability to watch the baristas create your coffee drink. Most people grabbing a dessert and coffee or waiting for a to-go order (like the mother/son duo waiting for their $30.00 salads!) were watching in awe as the espresso machines huffed and steamed their way into creating a delicious caffeinated treat. All the other patrons were drinking wine with their lunches and dressed to the nines. It will be worth returning to one of the establishments in the city, but I think I’ll pass on that mocha.
If you’re a coffee nerd like I am, check out this nation’s best coffee roasters list created by thrillist! Has anyone been to one of these shops before? http://www.thrillist.com/drink/nation/best-coffee-roasters-in-america