Seven years of excellence - Sutton's Tintoretto Cafe
By Manfried H. Starhemberg
Seven years ago when Farley Morris, a professor of literature, who can quote about every Shakepearean sonnet, and his wife Lucy, opened the cafe "Tintoretto" in Sutton, everyone thought they were a bit bonkers. There is about one reataurant for every six people in the area and "did we really need another one?"
Well, they did it anyways, did it well and continue to be one of those great little places adored by regulars. In a town like Sutton, which is mostly tourist driven, the restaurant business is pretty tough. There are a lot of them, the seasons are short, skiing in winter and hiking and biking in summer, a few days of watching the leafs turn and then the long wait until the cycle starts up again. So it takes guts, determination and a very good product to be successful.
Tintoretto has a great location on the edge of Sutton's town square, next to a fine gallery, across from the post office, and the beneficiary of the town's only great parking lot.
But come inside: There is a piano, there are funky tables, shelves of used books for sale, even some locally made jewelry, local art is on the walls, the colors are as whacky as the owners and most of the customers. Just this Thursday morning, August 12, a local real estate office called and asked if they could have cream of broccoly and cheddar cheese soup made for their lunch?
"Of course they can" explained Farley, ten minutes late for my interview, because he had to get fresh broccoly to make the soup. "They are loyal customers, they have their preferences and if this the soup they want, I certainly will make it".
"I have been written up once before" Farley told me. "They loved the soup, praised the salad, euligized the entree but on the end they said the only thing they had to add was, that 'the owner talks too much'"...
For me that's ok, because Farley is a raconteur, he not only loves to talk, but he does it well, with wisdom and a very fine wit. You can tell that he is used to teaching and, given half a chance, he steps right into it. I now know about polish cold soups and his idea about the best pizza sauce and about his secret source of brick oven produced smoked meat, (made just for Tintoretto by an unnamed co-conspirator), to the culinary excellence of the place, which is dervived by the owner's intense desire to experiment with new foods, new textures, new colors.
I have eaten there often and to this day I am surprised that this minimalistic kitchen can produce affordable quality meals based on only the very best local produce, meats, eggs and milk. The breads are made in-house, as are the wonderful cakes and pastries. Everything is brought in fresh every day, nothing ever is pre-made to be heated and served. If you cant give them a little time to make your meal, do not eat there. You can go across the street to about six other places, possibly save a couple of bucks, but you will not get Lucy or Farley's superb food.