Citrine Cafe: Easy Bites, Raw Juices, and Hot Drinks in Cold Spring | Markets & Cafes | Hudson Valley | Chronogram Magazine

The Ascend Center + Collective occupies a rust-brick jewel box built in 1864 that is arguably the most ornate building on Cold Spring’s charming Main Street. No one’s making large arched windows or fish-scale slate roofs like that anymore.

After Hurricane Sandy destroyed their original location down by the river, Melia and David Marzollo bought the historic, three-story building and opened a yoga and Pilates studio on the top floor, which served as a Freemason hall for 67 years.

At first, they rented the lower floors. As tenants moved out, the Pilates, massage therapy, acupuncture, psychotherapy and chiropractic services filtered down to the second floor. When Cold Spring Apothecary vacated a year ago, the couple took the opportunity to turn the ground floor space with its soaring ceiling into Maker’s Marketplace retail boutique, which features local women creators, artists, and designers.

Then, David built a bar-like serving station for food and beverages and they waited to find suitable partners, who turned out to be Brad Gilley and Eve Barnes-Corby. Citrine Café, which opened inside the Maker’s Marketplace last August, is named for their one year-old’s birthstone.

“This is the final piece to the puzzle,” says Melia. “Now, people can gather and build a stronger sense of community.”

Up With Down Under

The cuisine is billed as “Australian-style fast casual.” Barnes-Corby is the house Aussie lending legitimacy to the concept. “It’s a fresh-forward approach to food that’s not necessarily overly healthy, it’s more about really fresh ingredients and leaning toward the lighter side,” she explains of the term unfamiliar to many. “Also really good coffee and fresh juice—that’s the Aussie café culture I’ve missed since staying in the US. Here, you have a coffee shop or a sit-down restaurant with a full, heavier main meal, but not something in between.”

The menu reflects this ethos. Light touches include the toasts. Options like the avocado and feta toast ($14) and the savory fig and ricotta toast ($14) come with organic produce from nearby Glynwood farm in season.

click to enlarge Citrine Cafe: Easy Bites, Raw Juices, and Hot Drinks in Cold Spring
Citrine Cafe's three toast options offer something between a snack and a meal.

Not all smoked salmon is created equal. Some drop sodium bombs, others are mealy. But Wallkill-based Catsmo Artisan Smokehouse, working from a recipe developed by renowned chef Daniel Boulud, is prized by a-fish-cionados for its buttery texture and subtle flavor.

Gilley and Barnes-Corby are wise to namedrop Catsmo’s Gold Label brand in the menu description of the Smoked Salmon + Goat Cheese Toast ($16), served an a bed of cucumber and herb goat cheese spread and topped with pickled red onion along with fresh-chopped dill and scallion.

Sandwiches ($16) include Pesto Chicken, Chicken + Swiss, Turkey Avocado and Turkey + Swiss. There’s also a Warm Vegan Brown Rice Bowl ($15) and two low-carb items: Arugula Salad with Creamy Pesto Chicken ($17) and a Clean Protein Bowl with smoked salmon, eggs, avocado, tomato, arugula, pickled red onion and herb lemon dressing ($17).

Pressing Over Pasteurizing

In true Down-Under style, Barnes-Corby takes her juice seriously. The menu’s marquee drinks are RAW Juicery’s Green Fiend and Red Cure ($11). “Of course it’s not a cure,” says the former lawyer. “It just makes you feel good.”

One key is that the juice is extracted through a slow, cold-press process that avoids blades, blowing air, preservatives, and boiling to create a organic, vegan product that is as close to its source ingredients as possible, with no sugar or preservatives added. “This is raw juice that’s hard to come by,” she says. “RAW has a unique process that allows natural enzymes to remain in a raw state rather than be heated. It’s an amazing new technique.”

Offbeat specialty drinks include Coconut Maple Matcha ($7) and Spicy Chili Mocha ($7.5). The caffeine-free Shatavari Rose Cardamom Latte ($7) is “a nourishing drink with two Ayurvedic herbs that have been used for thousands of years and balance each other, Shatavari and Guduchi,” she says. “It’s great during pregnancy.”

Turmeric, maca and ghee spice up the Buttered Golden Masala Chai ($7.5). “It’s warming and good for the cold months,” she says. “I wanted to create something satiating that also brings a heating property.”

Barista Michael Cucinella serves a full slate of the classic coffee drinks. Tea offerings include Tranquili-tea, created by Warmacita Herbals in Cold Spring and consisting of catnip, peppermint, lemon verbena, lavender, chamomile, and rose. Brand creator Katya Varlamova sells the blend and other herbal supplements in the space’s retail section.

In this tiny village (population, 1,933), locals embrace new dining options, especially one that offers the ability to get a bite or a bracing beverage seven days a week from 7:30am (8am on weekends) to 5pm—even during the off-season.

Ten white-leather barstools create a comfortable arc around the lunch counter. For Harper Dion, a regular who lives in Garrison, “it’s my home away from home.” Kids often pull up to drink hot chocolate and color with crayons while their parent takes a class upstairs, says yoga instructor Kathy Toris.

Sammy Smith-Coleman, co-owner of low-waste Understory Market across the street, gave Citrine Café gift cards to her employees for the holidays: “It’s a great place where the community gets together to have some chicken and hang out.”

Marc Ferris

Marc Ferris is the author of Star-Spangled Banner: The Unlikely Story of America's National Anthem. He also performs Star-Spangled Mystery, a one-person musical history tour.
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