The Compound in Clinton, New York is Serving High Tea with a Modern Twist
February 11, 2021
Last updated on March 24, 2021.
Who opens a restaurant in the middle of a pandemic? Anna Marie & Sharrone Sofer, that’s who! And I am SO glad they did. The Sofers are the owners of The Compound in Clinton, New York, a restaurant built around homemade butters, grilled cheese, and tea. Basically my dream come true. Last weekend the couple invited some friends and me to experience their high tea, an all-you-can-eat smorgasbord of carbs, butter, and tea. In other words, perfection.
The History of The Compound
So why did the Sofers decide to open up a restaurant about butter? And why do it in Clinton? Believe it or not, before Anna and Sharrone met in Austin, Texas, they were both from Upstate New York. So when they started their own family, they decided to move back up north to be closer to the rest of their family. In the meantime, Anna had developed a passion for making homemade butter using all sorts of creative ingredients. After her friends and family kept requesting personal batches, the idea for the restaurant came to them. And what better place to bring their Austin vibe to a restaurant than along Village Row in Clinton?
(Seems rather fitting that after the Sofers opened the restaurant on their 4th wedding anniversary that I publish an article about it on my own 4th wedding anniversary, doesn’t it?)
Anna and their cook, Brendan, make all of her butters from scratch right at the restaurant. With three 5-quart KitchenAid mixers and one “big boy” mixer nicknamed BJ, they are able to make several batches at once. The flavors range from expected – cinnamon, garlic & herb, truffle – to creative – fruity pebbles, raspberry white chocolate macadamia nut, and honey garlic sriracha. Brendan even put together a video to show how they make the compounds – check it out!
The Compound’s regular menu is based around . And not your average, plain jane grilled cheese. These grilled cheese are made with the housemade compound butters and filled with a variety of ingredients. Even better? The cheese and bread are also made locally. Specials change every few days, which they post in advance on Instagram.
Here are some of their latest creative creations: “Ain’t No Thang” – grilled cheese with ranch butter, cheddar cheese, blue cheese, cream cheese, chicken wing dip and jalapenos. “Guac Your Socks Off” – grilled cheese with guac & roll butter, guacamole, cheddar, mozzarella, bacon, and tomato. “The French Kiss” – grilled cheese with house butter, cheddar, brie, bacon, caramelized onion, and green apple.
The restaurant also features a dessert case, with fresh pastries from The Toast in Cazenovia. Croissants, macarons, half moon cookies and more are waiting for you after lunch!
High Tea at The Compound
Seriously this is the best part of The Compound. Anna and Sharrone have taken the traditional English high tea and modernized it with grilled cheese and butter! Sound amazing? Because it is.
Reservations are required for high tea, and available for groups of 2 or 4. And when you go, make sure you go hungry! There will be so much incredible food to devour, that you’ll want to savor as much as you can.
Start with toast and tea
High tea begins with what else – tea! Choose a flavor from a long list of choices – one for 2 people, two flavors for 4. While the tea is steeping, enjoy a butter flight. That’s right – a flight of different flavored butters with a plate of toast to taste them on. The flavors vary, but I can assure you that they are all delicious.
Tiered platters of cheesy, carb-loaded goodness
Are you ready for it? Because here is the motherload. The exact elements of each high tea vary, but here’s the gist. The top tray is filled with the sweets: fresh berries, chocolate covered strawberries, and a pot of honey. The middle tray is The Compound’s signature grilled cheese. The bottom tray features a mixture of s’more grilled cheese and fresh made waffles. Lastly, mini pots of tomato bisque make the perfect addition to the grilled cheese. Dip away and let your taste buds celebrate!
Leave room for dessert
The final part of the high tea is a tray of desserts from The Toast – along with the strawberries and s’mores of course! Don’t worry if you run out of tea, as they will gladly refill the pot. And if you overindulged and are too stuffed to eat any more, just ask for a box to take your desserts home.
Can you get food to go?
The newest bright spot along Village Row in Clinton
Yes! That’s the best part. All of the menu is available for take-out, including the tomato bisque! Their butters are available for sale in small glass jars. And like most small businesses in Clinton, they work closely with their neighbors. That means you’ll also find their coffee butter served at Utica Coffee and their butters available at local stores and pop ups.
Trust me, you want to take some butter home to cook with, I bought three jars! The peanut butter and jelly butter is perfect on my morning toast. And just last night I used the bird bath butter to fry chicken breasts, mixing the leftover from the pan into my mashed potatoes. Seriously incredible.
Plus, The Compound features a mini market of other locally made food and gifts. With all the chocolates, sauces, pastas, greeting cards, stickers, teas, candles, and more, you’ll have a hard time choosing what to get! Might as well get one of each.
Don’t wait. Make your reservation for high tea at The Compound now!