Raindrop's Cafe Where Native American Cuisine Meets The Community - 27 East

Arts & Living

Arts & Living / 1328111

Raindrop’s Cafe Where Native American Cuisine Meets The Community

icon 4 Photos

Raindrop's Cafe. ANNETTE HINKLE

Raindrop's Cafe. ANNETTE HINKLE

author on Jun 10, 2019

For those in search of a quick bite or a bit of comfort food, a new dining option has opened just west of Southampton Village. Raindrop’s Café, a farm-to-table restaurant owned and operated by members of the Shinnecock Indian Nation, celebrated its official opening over Memorial Day weekend with raffles, tastings and a craft market.

But even a month before its official opening, fans of Raindrop's fusion cuisine, which merges traditional Shinnecock fare with modern favorites were already settling into the café's cozy confines in the white building located behind Raindrop’s Quick Stop on Montauk Highway.

Bryan Polite is the owner of the café as well as the head roaster at Raindrop’s Coffee, which is produced on site at the rear of the building. Deana Smith serves as the restaurant’s operational manager, handling all the front of house operations. Samantha Sosa is the culinary expert in the kitchen and it’s there that she whips up small bites along with soups, stews, sandwiches and salads, many of which are fused with the flavorings and styles of traditional Native American fare—a menu reflective of the food that all three of them grew up with on the reservation.

“It’s fusion,” Ms. Smith explained during a recent visit to the café. “I used my grandmother’s recipes. She passed away years ago and lived on Heady Creek. She would make clam pie, we would go and get the clams ourselves and peel potatoes. We keep it traditional and have added our own recipes.”

Among the unique offerings on the menu is a venison Philly cheese steak, inspired by the fact that Ms. Smith once lived in the City of Brotherly Love.

“It’s marinated venison with onions, mushrooms and cheese,” she said.

Other offerings at Raindrop’s include omlettes, French toast, sandwiches, Native nachos (frybread topped with venison, turkey, beef or vegetarian chili, tomatoes, lettuce, cheese and sour cream), succotash, samp (a corn-based Native dish), seafood chowder, burgers (turkey or beef) and a 3 Sisters Carving Board" featuring grilled squash, green beans and corn chips with corn and bean hummus. The café will also serve Shinnecock-raised oysters in season.

“This has been two years in the making,” said Mr. Polite, who comes to the café business after having worked as a police officer for the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe in Connecticut and attending law school for a year.

“I was planning to go back to school, then I got into horticulture and the science behind coffee roasting,” explained Mr. Polite, who uses the same roaster that has been in his family since the mid-1990s. “I fell in love with getting my hands in the earth and watching the expression of people when they enjoy the fruits of your labor.”

In addition to producing the coffee, which is packaged and sold at Raindrop’s Café, Mr. Polite has also operated an organic farm behind the building. While creating locally sourced, high quality dishes is the primary focus at the new restaurant, he notes that Raindrop’s Café is ultimately about making connections with community.

“I wanted to create a place where people can enjoy good food and great conversation. That’s what the coffee is about and I see it as a culture of the region,” added Mr. Polite, who learned the coffee business from his mother, Dianne Vieira. “We want this place to be an educational platform for the outside community.”

To that end, Raindrop’s Café has already become something of a community and cultural hub. In April, the restaurant was the site of a “Game of Thrones” final episode party. In early June, Raindrop’s hosted a meet and greet breakfast event with members of the Southampton Town Democratic Committee and candidates running for local office.

In the months ahead, an outdoor craft fair will be held every weekend behind the café and other happenings are planned for the future. So stop by and see what's cooking!

“We’re excited and optimistic and for this summer,” said Ms. Smith.

Raindrop’s Café is located at 40 Montauk Highway in Shinnecock Hills and is housed in the white building behind the Raindrop’s Quick Stop convenience store. Summer hours are 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information on upcoming events, call 631-287-3200.


You May Also Like:

Tom Clavin Discusses ‘Tombstone,’ His Latest Book About The Wild West

Tom Clavin’s most recent book, “Tombstone: The Earp Brothers, Doc Holliday & the Vendetta Ride ... 27 May 2020 by Staff Writer

Goat On A Boat Presents “Judy Saves The Day”

After being pushed around for over 200 years, the famous hand puppet heroine Judy has ... 26 May 2020 by Staff Writer

The Bats Have Come Home To Roost

Tucked in the woods off a quiet road in Sagaponack lies Sagg Swamp, a hidden ... by Annette Hinkle

Southampton Hospital’s Gala Is In Your Garden This Year

The Southampton Hospital Foundation, (SHF), host of the Stony Brook Southampton Hospital (SBSH) Annual Summer Party, is delighted to announce the 2020, 62ndgala will go ahead, in a new, reimaged format. Due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, the gala, one of the biggest and longest running fundraisers in the Hamptons, will not take place in its usual spot on the fields of Wickapogue Road. Instead, the theme will be “Gala in Your Garden,” with the SHF bringing the party to private homes. The date of the gala will be Saturday, August 1. Working creatively with the local restaurant and florist ... 23 May 2020 by Staff Writer

HTC Productions Moved to Next Season

Due to the extension of Governor Cuomo’s Pause restrictions for Suffolk County, and out of ... by Staff Writer

A Call For Artwork For Long Island Biennial

The Heckscher Museum of Art is now accepting entries for the 2020 Long Island Biennial, a juried exhibition featuring works by visual artists from Suffolk and Nassau counties. The Biennial reflects the area’s thriving art scene by featuring artists representing a considerable number of communities throughout Long Island. The exhibition offers emerging and established artists the opportunity to gain broader public awareness of their work. Inaugurated in 2010, this 10-year anniversary of the Long Island Biennial coincides with The Heckscher Museum’s centennial. In honor of this milestone, this year’s Biennial exhibition, which will open in the fall with exact dates ... by Staff Writer

The Art Of The Monologue And A Tap Camp For Teens And Adults

Beginning June 9, Bay Street Theater will offer “Monologue!” an online acting workshop for adults ... by Staff Writer

On With The Show For The Sag Harbor Cinema

Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman and members of the Southampton Town Board are pleased to ... by Staff Writer

‘Very Semi-Serious’ Joins DocFest Online

The newest online “Fest Favorite” documentary offering from Hamptons DocFest was the 2015 film “Very Semi-Serious” which was added to the website on Wednesday, May 27. Directed by Leah Wolchok, the film is an offbeat and humorous behind-the-scenes look at New Yorker Magazine as cartooning hopefuls, like graphic novelist Liana Finck and legends Roz Chast and Mort Gerberg submit their work to Cartoon Editor Bob Mankoff. The film won a 2016 Emmy Award for Outstanding Arts & Culture Programming. Films still available via the website, most with Q&As from the directors’ appearances at the film festival in previous years, are, ... by Staff Writer

It’s A Script Writing Competition

The North Fork TV Festival announces the second annual Alfred P. Sloan Science + Tech Pilot Script Competition, which aims to encourage screenwriters to create more realistic and compelling stories about science and technology and to challenge existing stereotypes about scientists and engineers in the popular imagination. Writers are invited to submit pilot scripts for a television series rooted in science and technology. The panel of independent judges includes accomplished television professionals as well as noted scientists and technologists. In evaluating scripts, they will prioritize unique, character-driven material ending with a cliffhanger or twist that invites a series. Award-winning director ... by Staff Writer

Welcome to our new website!

To see what’s new, click “Start the Tour” to take a tour.

We welcome your feedback. Please click the
“contact/advertise” link in the menu bar to email us.

Start the Tour
Landscape view not supported