Food

Gee, You’re Swell: Groundswell Cafe + Bakery pours the perfect cup for the new year

Resolutions are great, especially when they involve shaking off your 2020 coffee-run routines and reaching for a new cup o’ joe as we embrace a new year. In a push to get myself out of my caffeine rut, I ventured off-island (gasp!), and stumbled upon Groundswell Cafe + Bakery, an idyllic oasis nestled in Tiverton’s historic Four Corners neighborhood. The gorgeous cafe is built inside a gingerbread-trimmed house that looks like something out of a well-funded community theater’s production of Hello, Dolly!. I’m all for channeling my inner Minnie Faye (Hey, Rhode Island theaters! Cast me when it’s safe again!), so even before I stepped inside, I felt at home. Although the decor is decidedly vintage-inspired, the menu is thrillingly modern, with house made artisanal coffee and millennial-friendly nitro cold brew, plus a dizzying array of made-to-order sandwiches, pastries, salads and more. 

Of course the true mark of a great coffeehouse is their java, and Groundswell has some of the best I’ve tried in Rhode Island! The dark roast has some intense chocolate and caramel notes, and it’s the perfect antidote to a cold January afternoon, especially with some foamed oat milk poured in for good measure.

Of course, you can’t just drink a coffee without nibbling on one of their tasty pastries, and if you only get one thing, get a coconut macaroon. It’s a pint-sized patisserie that packs a punch of strong coconutty flavor, plus a deliciously soft texture that melts in your mouth. Bet you can’t eat just one (for the record, I had four)! Not into coconut? The strawberry crostata is equally masterful, with layers of flaky pastry giving way to the succulent berry filling beneath. I can’t wait to see what other seasonal specialties the Groundswell crew will think up as we saunter into the springtime and beyond.

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Groundswell also serves up breakfast and lunch all day long, with an impressive array of offerings. I was particularly impressed with the egg white wrap, served on pillowy lavash bread, and the Instagram-ready pain bagnat, the cafe’s take on a French classic, chock full of rich and flavorful niçoise salad, ripe heirloom tomatoes and herbs de provence. There’s also a kids’ menu for the littlest caffeine-addicts-in-training, featuring a wholesome PB&J on homemade farmhouse bread, and an ooey-gooey grilled cheese that I may just have to ask them to make in an adult size when I return. Groundswell Cafe may not yet be open to indoor seating (new year, same pandemic), but the idea of curling up around their outdoor fire pit with a handcrafted mocha latte and a couple of Paris-perfect noshes makes for the coziest new hidden gem of the year. Santé! 

Groundswell Cafe + Bakery, 3883 Main Rd, Tiverton; groundswellcafegarden.com

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