Salads, sandwiches, sweets delight
The sunny ambience of the café Latte e Miele (“milk and honey” in Italian) is a charming blend of the austere — simple chairs and tables — and the whimsical — art sculptures of glass spheres adorning the ceiling.
You’ll order at the counter — the menu’s on a blackboard on the wall — and your meal will be brought to your table.
Opened by Luca DiMartino, who was born in Rome and grew up in Boston, the café offers a wonderful lunch menu of soup du jour (which can include carrot fennel, potato leak, butternut squash and more) and salads and sandwiches of the traditional and exotic variety.
Throughout your meal, the counter of pastries and chilled pans of gelato and sorbetto will sing their siren songs.
The roasted peach salad ($8) topped arugula with toasted almonds and grilled peach slices, all tossed with goat cheese and a light vinaigrette. Delicious.
It’s always fun to find yet another variation on the popular chicken salad sandwich, and the restaurant’s version, also $8, didn’t disappoint.
Served on soft, thickly sliced bread, the sandwich offered chunks of tender, braised chicken blended with chopped apple, pecans, grapes and tomatoes and sliced cucumbers, carrots and radishes.
With pecorino cheese a nice addition to the medley of wonderful flavors, the mix was dressed in a lemon vinaigrette. The result was a delight.
You don’t have to be a vegetarian to enjoy the eggplant caponata ($8.50). With its ingredients of sicilian caponata, provolone, extra virgin pecorino and season greens on a baguette, this sandwich is both tasty and filling. Diners also have the choice of eating this sandwich on a wheat wrap.
None of the ingredients is overpowering with each complementing the other. The sandwich also is big enough for lunch, yet not too big to be overfilling.
The porchetta sandwich ($9) was also satisfying. The house-made, toasted ciabatta bread was a good choice to contain the substantial filling this sandwich, served along with multi-grain chips, offered. The slices of slow-roasted Italian pork shoulder were oh so tender and juicy, dressed with arugula, and finished with peach mostarda for a hint of sweetness. Quite flavorful.
For dessert, we tried several flavors of the rich, creamy gelato (a small is $5). They were all happy choices as was the delicious caramel praline cupcake ($3) ordered by another guest.
Incidentally, at Latte e Miele a small gelato is only comparatively small — the generous serving would probably be a “medium” at other places.
Latte e Miele also sells gourmet, packaged coffees and various sweets and wafers.