Morrisville isn't known for having a proliferation of galleries or farm-to-table restaurants, but when Rogue Artisans Café soft-opens inside the Rogue Artisans woodshop and gallery this week, the cuisine will be as handmade and artisanal as the tables, chairs and décor. "We're an art gallery/café," says owner Jonathan Mogor, a Navy veteran who moved to Vermont three years ago. "Our whole focus is on keeping it local as much as possible."
The café — which will be open seven days a week — will offer daylong espresso service (iced lattes!), with coffee from Waterbury's Vermont Artisan Coffee & tea, alongside morning breakfasts and baked treats from pastry chef Donna Steffen. Her cookies, cupcakes and truffles also will be available into the evening.
On the savory side, chef Jason Gelineau (formerly of Johnson's French Press Café and the Stowehof Inn & resort) will layer house-roasted-and-brined meats into panini. One specialty, Spalted Maple, will stuff turkey, bacon, cheddar and apple between slices of Klinger's Bread French toast. Other stackers include the Burn Pile, featuring house-pulled pork and coleslaw served on polenta bread from Hardwick's Patchwork Farm & Bakery, and a handful of creative vegetarian options, salads and soups.
Behind the bar, front-of-house manager Jessica Winters — a trained herbalist — will serve Italian-style sodas flavored with housemade syrups alongside cocktails, draft wines and beers.
Mogor says he never intended to open a café, but when he set up shop on the main drag two years ago, he found a space well-suited to hosting and a community of people willing to help.
"Once we set up," he said, "we were like, We can complete a room; why don't we hold art events here? Then I just happened to meet some amazing people who were like, We can cook; we're professionals. And what a nice place to come and relax and enjoy the art and the food."
Rogue Artisans Café is open for staff training now; Mogor says he hopes to début the café's full menu this weekend.
The original print version of this article was headlined "Going Rogue"
Justin Turcotte: Gotta love our little food Mecca!
Roy: Meh. They can't compare to Red Hen and dealing with Hunt is often not worth the trouble.
Tammy Goughnour: This will be AWESOME!! Their pastry is out of this world!!
Old Vermonter: Amazing they lasted so long with such terrible business acumem
Bryan Bouchard: It wasn't that good before. Of they didn't reopen it wouldn't be a great loss to the Burlington…