by Linda Viertel
A bustling, vibrant new coffee and café venue, Muddy Water, opened in October and is already attracting crowds eager to sample richly brewed caffeinated and decaf coffees, teas, delicate sweet and savory pastries, sandwiches, wraps and soups. The brainchild of Ossining residents, Loretta Oleck and her partner Linton Suttner, Muddy Water, located at the southern end of Tarrytown’s Main Street, is a new destination for a relaxed get-together. It’s a comfortable place to settle in and enjoy free wi-fi in a casual, calm and cozy atmosphere.
Suttner, hailing from South Africa, knows and loves coffee. As the previous manager of Pleasantville’s Black Cow Coffee House, he has learned the business. And, his background in photography, documentary filmmaking, video and commercials has given him an eye to creating a well-lit environment with a homey touch. Oleck has been a therapist in private practice for 25 years, and is complementing her professional life as co-owner of Muddy Water, adding her own symbolic take on the significance of their new venture. She notes, “No matter how tough life is, the lotus can only make its home in muddy water. It rises above and is beautiful.”
She describes finding their new location through her poet’s sensibility, “The space called out to us with its tin ceilings, hardwood floors, brick walls and a garden in back. We saw it and we knew.”
Their choices of found, recycled, and homey furniture, with a bake case from Hank’s Alley and a commanding English pine serving buffet all add character to their robust yet easy-going café. All the comfy sofas and chairs, funky stools, the nooks and crannies add to the charm of the place.
Oleck’s good friend Debbie Goddard, a master gardener, donated plants, and Suttner’s son, an avid gamer, chose some of the games to accompany the children’s books and board games on hand to keep the young ones busy. Another son wrote up the menu board.
They searched for the best coffees they could find, with the idea of rotating different styles of coffee, since they aren’t roasters themselves. After sampling for a long time, they discovered Big Bang Coffee, roasted in Peekskill, whose philosophy matched their own mindful environmental sensibilities. Organic, fair-trade, and a member of the Rainforest Alliance, Big Bang has become a favorite. Look for small-batch, custom roasted GiacoBean coffee, Ethiopian, Indonesian, and espresso as well.
Tea is from Teapigs, the UK’s favorite brand, and Englishmen certainly know their tea! Teapigs uses whole, organic leaves in a temple-shaped bag and comes in a variety of flavors. Chai latte and hot chocolate will be welcome treats as winter arrives. And, everyone loves to order the Mud Wrestle, well, just because……Hudson Valley Fresh provides the hormone and pesticide-free milk.
Customers can choose from either pastries and savories that are gluten-free and vegan or flour based. But, it is guaranteed that you can’t taste the difference – they’re all delicious. Bydimples, a company owned by two local women, provides rosemary fig scones that they can’t keep on the shelf. And pumpkin cinnamon sticky buns fly out the door along with espresso banana muffins.
Tarrytown resident Mini Dhingra, whose Samosa Shack is a staple at the TaSH Farmers market, brings in fresh vegetarian samosas daily, accompanied by tamarind and cilantro dressings. Soups are made from seasonal ingredients every day. The Briarcliff sandwich-maker delivers home-made sandwiches daily as well. Hearty salads and healthy vegetarian wraps are also on the menu, along with quiche and focaccia offerings made by Ceci-Cela, a premier French bakery in Soho.
Since no cooking is done on the premises, everything is heated up to order, giving pastries and savories that special delicious warm taste appeal.
The rosemary cheese torsade, a soft butter pastry in an elongated twist, melts in your mouth. And, you can take home some spice in your life with the Gracious Gourmet tapenade or Cheeky Monkey tomato garlic dip, which can double as tasty marinades.
On December 4th, Muddy Water will host its first musical event, two sets at 7 and 9 p.m.by award-winning urban folk /jazz artist and singer/songwriter, Ossining resident KJ Denhert (call 914-909-2826 for reservations). Plans are underway to bring in more local artists for poetry readings, open mic nights, lectures and art exhibits. Right now, Linton’s masterful photography adorns the walls.
Oleck has future plans to connect with Farmigo, a hybrid format in which you place a website order for seasonal produce and independent baked goods from purveyors throughout the Hudson Valley. If 10-15 people sign up, she hopes to start a Monday delivery. And, don’t forget to order your gluten-free pies or cakes for the holidays from Bydimples at the café. How does organic carrot or chocolate hazelnut ganache cake sound? Maybe an apple crumb pie, southern pecan or organic sweet potato?
Oleck and Suttner met in Chicago, home of the great blues guitarist and singer, Muddy Waters. And they admit their café’s name could be a nod to his artistry. But then, another seminal blues singer Bessie Smith once sang , “My heart cries out for muddy water…..”
So, come on down to Main Street, have a cup of Joe, relax and treat yourself to wholesome tastes and a welcoming spirit.
If Your Go
52 Main Street, Tarrytown
M-Thurs 6AM – 8PM, Fri 6AM – 10PM
Sat 8AM – 10PM, Sun 8AM – 5 p.m.