The new Gathering Cafe, which offers breakfast, lunch, and baked goods, opened its doors earlier this month at a spot familiar to many in Ocala.
Previously Sips Cafe, The Gathering Cafe officially opened for business on Feb. 1 at the popular circular building, located at 2601 SW 19th Avenue R., next to the Regal Hollywood & IMAX.
Owner Sarah Partee says opening the cafe was a dream-come-true, and her passion for good food and friendly confines is evidenced in the restaurant’s simple, yet delicious, menu and modern, rustic style.
The interior is still brilliantly lit by windows that extend all around the dining room area, but a collection of new rustic, simple chairs and tables make for a brighter, more open feel, similar to a cafe one might find in the Italian countryside.
Unlike its predecessor, The Gathering Cafe has a menu that features extensive options for breakfast and lunch, as well as a variety of coffees and sweet treats. A plethora of pastries and croissants are made fresh each day.
The drinks include the traditional helping of coffees like macchiatos, frappes and espressos, as well as a variety of specialty lattes. The créme brûlée latte comes with two shots of espresso, caramel and vanilla syrup, and frothed milk.
In addition to coffees, the restaurant offers an interesting array of smoothies, including a Green Goodness variety that combines avocado, spinach protein, mint, honey and almond milk.
The restaurant’s food options come in breakfast nests, open-faced toasts, and paninis, which all come in with a variety of different ingredients. Breakfast nests are made by baking an egg inside of a seasoned hash brown cup and filling it with an assortment of ingredients. In addition to the three options, biscuits and gravy, quiches and breakfast croissants are all made fresh daily.
In trying to create a cafe with the traits and qualities that she valued, Partee found her inspiration from the traditional Italian cafes she visited while overseas. She credits the inclusion of a homemade biscotti, whose recipe came from her grandmother, with each hot drink to those experiences.
The attention to detail and care taken with each drink and meal prepared is evident.
If you are in the mood for deliciously prepared foods in an inviting, open space, the restaurant is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. It is closed on Sunday.