Floofy Coffee & Killer Egg Sandwiches at Bear & Fox Provisions in Tannersville | General Food & Drink | Hudson Valley | Chronogram Magazine

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Floofy Coffee & Killer Egg Sandwiches at Bear & Fox Provisions in Tannersville

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“Maybe I don't love wearing black all the time,” Jenae Di Napoli recalls thinking after her revelatory first visit to Deer Mountain Inn in Tannersville. At the time, in 2016 Di Napoli was a cocktail waiter at the Soho Grand Hotel. She had come up with another work friend to visit their former colleague Brian Wagner, who at the time was managing at the reimagined DMI.

“We loved it so much in Tannersville, we were like, ‘We don’t ever want to leave,’ and Brian was like ‘Great, I have jobs for both of you,’” Di Napoli says. Four days later, she and her colleague Ernesto Roman had moved up and started working. (Roman continues at DMI in the role of creative director.)

When Di Napoli was still at Soho Grand, she regularly inundated Wagner (the food and beverage director at the time) with ideas of how the guest experience could be improved. He praised her observations but advised her that they were unlikely to be implemented. So she began dreaming of her own coffee shop. The aesthetic proposition at that time was very New York City. In her words: “severe and minimal, dark and gothic.” Which is why the visit to Tannersville was so eye-opening.

“In the city, everything has to be fast and polished and beautiful and hardcore,” she says. “And up here, it was like, oh what? Things can be beautiful and not stressful? I didn't know I could have that.” After moving upstate, the coffee shop concept remained a dream, but the aesthetic mood softened at the edges into a place where you could feel “intense beauty but non-alienating.”

In early 2019, Di Napoli teamed up with Wagner’s wife Deirdre Patton to sign a lease on a property on Main Street in Tannersville. Bear & Fox Provisions opened in August 2019 as a coffee shop primarily with a concise menu of food to order and a curated selection of artisan wares from independent makers and artists. Far from the polished silver ceilings and industrial lighting of Di Napoli’s first vision, Bear & Fox sports a peachy facade, pale pink interior walls, tasteful taxidermy (does that exist?), and a slew of vintage area rugs, mirrors, shelving, and tables.

Bagels, Brioche Doughnuts, and Coffee

When Bear & Fox opened, the only dedicated other coffee shop in town was Twin Peaks. “They didn't make floofy coffee, they just made general American coffee,” she says. “Sometimes that is the coffee I want…and sometimes I want an oat lavender latte.”

Di Napoli wanted to cater to a different audience. In addition to standard espresso bar offerings made with Partners Coffee, Bear & Fox serves Thai cold brew, made with sweetened condensed milk, and a Dirty Gilda (golden milk latte). You can choose from oat, almond, or cow milk, and if you feel like jazzing up your regular order? Special flavors include vanilla, caramel, raspberry, chocolate, rose, ginger, cardamom, maple syrup, pumpkin spice, and lavender.

Careful not to step on toes, Di Napoli stayed away from doughnuts, which were the historic trademark of Twin Peaks. But after COVID forced the other coffee shop's new owners to close down  and multiple crying children and exasperated parents wandered into Bear & Fox looking for doughnuts, she relented. “I started out making beignets to order, and that was absolutely impossible,” Di Napoli says. So she taught herself to make brioche doughnuts. Every weekend she makes a single rotating flavor. Recent picks include Nutella, rose-matcha, black and white (like the cookie), raspberry, and Italian-style custard.

The food menu at Bear & Fox, served all day, is sandwich oriented. “We do these egg sandwiches that are bananas, just off the charts, really, really good,” Di Napoli says. “For all the food that we do, we buy the highest-quality, floofiest version of the ingredients we can. We’re not going to cut corners to make a cheaper sandwich. It’s a terrible business model, but that’s what we do.” Those breakfast sandwiches ($6), served on a brioche bun, come with heirloom amber egg yolks from a farm in the Ozarks, cheese, and basil or spicy mayo. For extra, you can dress it up with Beyond sausage, avocado, lox, onion, arugula, or tomato. There’s also a PB&J ($4), an Impossible veggie burger ($14), avocado toast ($12), and a slew of bagel options ($4-$14).

The curated market section of Bear & Fox spans food staples to home goods to gifts and art. There are blankets from Sackcloth + Ashes, accessories and home goods from Tiny Deer Studio; fingerless wool gloves from Newberry Knitting; stickers, pins, and patches from Amanda Weedmark; candles from Cave Glow, paper products from Idlewild Co; and sparkling NA mixers from Root Elixirs. The provisions include salsas and hot sauces from Kitchen Garden Farm; Sfoglini organic pasta; Nettle Meadow cheeses; Raaka Chocolate; Bjorn Qorn popcorn; all-natural, campfire goodies from Hudson Valley Marshmallow Co.; and more.

Since the pandemic hit, staffing has been a huge hurdle. Pre-COVID, Bear & Fox was open daily till 2pm. These days, Di Napoli is there Friday through Sunday, 9am to 5pm. (“Right now my only employee is my boyfriend, and he’s sort of my employee under duress,” she says with a laugh.) When we spoke, Di Napoli was getting ready to spread a truckbed of gravel on the floor of the metal-sided garage space at the back of the Bear & Fox building, literally laying the groundwork for a future bar.

Bear & Fox’s wine and beer license has been caught in a bureaucratic holding pattern for over a year, but Di Napoli has her fingers crossed for this summer. “Hopefully that can be a space where people can hang out and drink really good wine that is approachable,” she says. “If you want to wear pajamas, fine. If you want to dress like Harry Styles, fine. Everyone is welcome.”

Overall, the move upstate and the change of pace seem to have done Di Napoli a world of good. “I used to make fun of people that wore brown shoes,” she says of her New York City days. “You don't realize how stressed out you are until you're not anymore. Now, I get up and stare at my chickens, eat breakfast, and garden.”

You can find chill vibes, floofy coffee, and killer egg sandwiches at Bear & Fox Fridays through Sundays, 9am to 5pm.

Location Details Bear & Fox Provisions

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