When Larchmont favorite Stanz resumes Sunday hours starting October 4th (after a no-Sundays summer), it will do so with some savory news: an expanded brunch menu and brand new feeling. “It’s my way of saying I want to keep things fresh for my customers in both regards,” says owner Steve Weishaus, “and as a thank you, since this marks our tenth year.”
That lack of pretense is a hallmark of Stanz, and a reason for its continuous appeal. Affordable prices, large portions, and an informal, stylish atmosphere partner with breakfast and lunch menus that show “gourmet” creativity.
With You in Mind
What keeps Mr. Weishaus energized and inspired? “I love our customers” he says, finishing taking a phone order. “The Larchmont customer is food savvy and sophisticated at the same time that they like that our food is fresh and wholesome. This town is hugely supportive of their locals. That they care to come to a local café is something I’m very grateful about.”
Replacing a rustic Provencal effect, the new mood at Stanz is reminiscent of an intimate, sleek Lower East Side café, with a modern duo of blue and brown offset by stainless steel. White tablecloths and chocolate-color leather chairs add subtle finish. The menu is even heartier.
New Brunch Choices
Mr. Weishaus added Sunday brunch last fall “because a lot of customers kept requesting it.” Additions to the menu include a “brunch sandwich board” – a blackboard devoted to a long list of twists on traditional breakfast sandwiches, such as an open-face “soft-fried egg, bacon, gorgonzola, arugula and honey Dijon on sour dough,” $6.25; and grilled brie and apples on country bread, $6.25.
There will also be other choices, like pancakes and crepes with special add-ins and fillings, along with basics like eggs benedict. Regular breakfast (such as French toast for $4.25) and lunch menus will be offered as well.
It’s a neighborhood destination for devoted locals near and far . Walter Vinces, a Riverdale photographer, was introduced to Stanz by a friend a year ago and aims for at least five visits per month ever since. “I keep coming back. It’s a twenty-five-minute drive just to go to breakfast here,” he says, “but it’s definitely a drive I look forward to because I know what’s waiting for me at the end.” As an avocado, swiss, and ham omelette is put before him, Mr. Vinces smiles and says, “This. And the coffee is the best.”
He’s on a business meeting with Sarah Brianna, a make-up artist from New Rochelle, who’s here for the first time. Though she notes that the menu shows “an interesting combination of food,” she emphasizes “the OJ is fantastic.”
It’s All About the Food
If there can be a no-nonsense approach to heart-felt dining, this is it. It’s an order-at-the counter set-up, with each order prepared fresh and as quickly as possible. One of the cooks brings your meal directly to your table.
“We’re a tight team,” says Mr. Weishaus affectionately of a core staff with whom regulars are on a first-name basis, notably his aunt Linda Pizzuti, and main cook Angel Campos.
26 Chatsworth Ave
Mr. Weishaus is usually the first arrive at 5:30, and there’s a reason for starting early and closing before dinner: to go make dinner at home in New Rochelle for wife Nancy and their three children, ages seven to twelve, who attend Sts. John and Paul in Larchmont. (Family favorite: “Barbecued steak with fresh French fries and a Caesar salad.”)
Just before he addresses the sudden line of customers, Mr. Weishaus turns and says, “You know what? It’s really this: I, for one, love to eat, and I enjoy tasty food. And I think food should be prepared fresh, and in an environment that feels like a home away from home — that’s what we do here.”
Katherine Ann Samon is the Larchmont Gazette business editor and author of Ranch House Style, Clarkson Potter. Send your business news to BizEditor@larchmontgazette.com