Though Constantinople didn't survive, the coffee shop did, exported from what's now Istanbul through Europe and eventually to England, whose colonists brought the concept to the New World. The American coffee shop is as old as America itself, and the best cafes are -- and always have been -- more than just a place to sip coffee, but about showcasing the artscultivating a sense of community, and giving an outlet for ideas and expressions ranging from politics to poetry.
Blues, jazz and rock bands keep the crowds coming back -- or maybe it's the locally made cakes and banana bread, or housemade syrups. It doesn't even open until 10 a.
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But the coffee is worth waiting for -- it's made by Golden Hills, a local micro-roastery. The European vibe just oozes coffee culture, and the art on the walls is by local talent and all for sale.
Artefino Cafe rotates a selection of photography, paintings, and other works created by the same local talent eating and drinking there. When they hear words such as "espresso" and "cappuccino," they think not of chic urban baristas with curly mustaches and "Star Wars" T-shirts, but of the Old World coffee gurus who developed those classic Italian drinks.
There's pottery and other works from local artists on display and, of course, Italian pastry.
Art Cafe serves only coffee by Counter Culture, which roasts sustainable beans grown by farmers in developing nations. The beans behind its addictive brew comes from Blazing Beans Roasters, an artisanal roaster in nearby Clearwater. The place is an institution because of its commitment to the concept of coffeehouses as gathering places for people who love live music.
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Jazz pianists, classical composers, and Grammy nominees keep the place full -- but there's always room for local talent. Pannikin coffee and pastries are served alongside hummus plates and acai bowls, VG doughnuts, and Prager Brothers bread.
The espresso shop even pours a healthy selection of craft beers. The coffee comes from beans grown worldwide but roasted locally, on Long Island, and never ground anywhere but in-house. The real treat, however, is cold: Once you decide to forgo the national chains, get off the beaten path, and take a chance on some local favorites, you'll have the chance to reel in the greatest food the sea has to offer.
This is true waterfront dining — the restaurant offers docking for guests arriving in boats, up to medium yacht size. Guest can even dine while watching anglers reel in their own dinners.
Live music across all genres lends a celebratory vibe for visitors, who indulge in a range of specialty seafoods and dishes from the oyster and shrimp bar. The menu is so simple, it's brilliant: Wine is served out of keg dispensers powered by nitrogen to limit oxidation, and the raw bar offers uncooked fare from land and sea. The crabs it serves seasonally come right off the dock out back.
The restaurant serves up fresh, local seafood, some caught during deep-sea dives, in a sometimes stunning waterfront setting. There's no shortage of locals who believe the place is haunted, but even more who come back anyway for the fine dining restaurant's relatively affordable menu.
The restaurant partners with local fishers and a network of organic farms on the North Shore to bring unrivaled freshness to diners.