Sporting a fresh slate grey and black paint scheme and tasteful interior makeover, the award-winning gourmet restaurant Jen’s Garden has completed its transformation to The Cottonwood Café and is now open in downtown Sisters. by Jeff Spry
After a brilliant ten-year run, Jen’s Garden officially closed at the end of February to be reborn as The Cottonwood Café, a cozy tree-shaded cottage serving home-style cuisine for breakfast, brunch and lunch.
Inside, the old formal décor has been toned down to reflect a more comfortable, Americana B&B feel, with pinewood chairs, country-style tan tablecloths and condiment trays. Whimsical artwork by Kimry Jelen and Dennis McGregor decorates the walls, depicting rainbow-hued rabbits, tropical fish, regal raptors and a horse with an ice-cream cone stuck unicorn-like on its forehead. Stained glass panels dangle in window frames, casting patches of color across your checkered placemat.
Breakfast is served from 7am to 3pm with lunch items kicking in after 11am, which accommodates late risers and eager early birds as well. The inventive menu is filled with an ample array of choices, from standard breakfast favorites to inspired twists on new farm-to-table sandwiches.
“The response has been fantastic,” said co-owner Jennifer McCrystal. “Fans of Jen’s Garden are commenting that they’re thrilled to have a place serving such a high quality breakfast and lunch. People who thought Jen’s Garden was out of their budget are commenting how thankful they are to be able to have such an amazing, affordable experience. In June we’ll open the backyard patio for seating in addition to a fire pit. Breakfast, lunch and cocktails will be available on the patio.”
Breakfast is the featured meal at Cottonwood with 16 items to choose from, like The Cottonwood Classic ($9), two eggs any style scrambled, matched up with ham, bacon or sausage patty, home-style potatoes, fresh fruit in season and your choice of toasts from a selection of in-house baked breads, a Big Tree Benedict ($13) served over eggplant with prosciutto ham, tomato and hollandaise over a parmesan and herb biscuit, Breakfast Bread Pudding ($12) and a Cotton Cristo ($10) cooked up with egg-battered Texas toast, ham, gruyere with Dijon, jelly and maple syrup.
Lunchtime brings an eclectic roster of soups, salads and sandwiches such as the Meatloaf Burger ($12) with white cheddar in between a pretzel bun and an Open Faced Ocean Melt ($13) of smoked salmon and albacore spread with pickled onions, fried capers and white cheddar on grilled sourdough.
Their Pulled Pork Sandwich ($12) comes on a soft ciabatta roll, accompanied by house fries seasoned with white truffle oil, parmesan and garlic or a side salad. The pork was mildly seasoned and nicely garnished with organic tomatoes, lettuce, melted provolone cheese and sweet slices of grilled pineapple.
For veggie lovers there are five lunch salads on the menu, from a creative House Salad ($4/6) of mixed greens, roasted grapes, brioche croutons, parmesan and Dijon vinaigrette, to a Black Bean and Quinoa Salad ($9) of pineapple, bell peppers, scallions, red wine vinaigrette and toasted almonds.
One of Cottonwood Café’s signature dishes is the Dutch Apple Crepes Stack ($11), which is suitable for anytime. Simple yet elegant, this treat was a true revelation and highly recommended, blending an abundance of tart Fuji and Heirloom Green apples folded inside a hearty crepe sprinkled with powdered sugar, fresh whipped cream and slivered almonds. The chefs plate a plentiful portion that can easily be shared between two hungry diners.
The Cottonwood Café
403 East Hood Avenue in Sisters
Open Wednesday-Sunday until mid-June, when they will expand hours to six days a week, closed on Mondays.