Lilli Pilli: Fronting Westchester’s Healthy-Food Movement
A health-conscious café on Main Street in White Plains offers (insert health-conscious related items here: juice, etc)
Adjacent to Lilli Pilli Health Bar (240 Main St, White Plains 914-230-0064; lillipilliberribar.com), an organic juice bar and natural foods café open not quite a year, is burger and fries bastion Five Guys. A few doors down are a deli and a Chinese restaurant. “These places are the antithesis of what we do,” says Kylie Cappelli, who, along with others, including Anthony Goncalves of 42 The Restaurant, is a partner at Lilli. “Eating at Lilli Pilli, you’ll feel energized, not sluggish. We make healthy versions of what people already like.”
On the menu are organic wraps (turkey-apple-Brie, Thai chicken); smoothies (the Paradise with banana, mango nectar, raspberries, and mango yogurt); baked sweet potato meals; seasonal salads (roasted veggie, broccoli vinaigrette); soups (chicken veggie, chilled pea, gazpacho); stir-fry made with organic brown rice; and breakfast items like steel-cut oatmeal with brown sugar and fruit and smashed avocado toast. “We use ingredients with a variety of colors in each menu item,” Cappelli explains. “The whiter the food, generally the less nutrients it has.” Produce is mostly organic; the turkey and chicken are nitrate- and hormone-free.
Cappelli’s signature items are the 20-plus varieties of cold-pressed, 17-oz juice drinks. “I did a 21–day juice and clean-food cleanse in 2009,” says Cappelli. “Everything tasted pretty awful—the juices were especially horrific. When I had the concept for the juice bar, I knew we had to make them taste good.”
Cappelli, along with Chef Goncalves, created flavor combinations that were healthy and delicious—flavors like Green Lemonade (lemon, apple, Swiss chard, coconut nectar, ultra-filtered water) and Refresh (pineapple, bok choy, apple, mint).
The juices are not from concentrate and are not put through a juicer. “We use a cold press for all the fruits and vegetables, which keeps enzymes in the produce from oxidizing,” she says. “The heat from a juicer can result in some of the nutrients dissipating.”
At $9.75, the juices aren’t cheap. “Paying a little more for what you put in your body daily will save you on health costs in the long run,” says Cappelli. “With the Absolutely Everything juice, for example (Swiss chard, celery, cucumber, kale, parsley, apple, lemon, ginger, cayenne), you’re getting about six pounds’ worth of fruit and veggies.” When you’re 25, she notes, “you can get away with unhealthy eating habits. As you age, it becomes harder.”
The WiFi-friendly café is open Monday to Thursday 8 am to 8:30 pm, Friday and Saturday 8:30 am to 10 pm, and Sunday 11 am to 8:30 pm.