If I can get past the (extraordinary) steaks, which is very hard to do, I’ve discovered that Tuthillhouse Restaurant is that illusive place that will not give you a dirty look if you show up and just want coffee and dessert. The world has a great shortage of such places; you’ve eaten at home, but you do need just a little indulgence!
Tuthillhouse At the Mill, sold to Tuthilltown Spirits by previous owners Toby and Joe Gabriello last November, has been under the management of CIA graduate Audra Norris since last July. When asked if she would bristle at the “coffee and dessert only” request Audra looked astonished and said, “Of course not. As long as we have a table available we’d be happy to accommodate you.” That night I ordered Caramel Bread Pudding with bourbon whipped cream and was pleasantly surprised to find it was not dripping in mountains of caramel. It was dense and firm, as bread pudding should be, and drizzled with a nice amount of caramel. My friend ordered Chocolate Rice Pudding with espresso whipped cream, which was an unusual combination of flavors (that worked very well together) in an unusual presentation (a mason jar).
Other standard offerings from new chef Jared Krom, (also a CIA graduate) are Chocolate Bomb (chocolate mousse and chocolate ganache on a cookie), or seasonal Fruit Crisp. (That night it was cranberry crumble.) They also occasionally have dessert specials, like Banana Tart, Peanut Butter Bomb, and a new version of Flourless Chocolate Cake, and offer house-made ice cream in warmer months. All standard desserts are $6.00, while prices for special desserts fluctuate.
There has also been a reconfiguration of the main floor—the small, original bar has been replaced by a very large wrap-around bar in the middle of the room. “Our goal,” Audra says, “was to become a more multi-faceted operation, accommodate more people, focus on cocktail creations and offer more dining options—like a drink and quick bite at the bar.”
So, if tables are full, chances are you could have that sweet indulgence and coffee at the bar. Now, if I can just stop myself from ordering the rib eye for dessert …