When Philip Shum and chef Stephen Clausell began building the menu for a new breakfast place in Patchogue, Rise & Grind Kitchen and Coffee Bar, a divergence in styles arose. "He's used to fine dining," said Shum of Clausell. "I'm younger and maybe more whimsical."
And so it came to be that the breakfast menu at Rise & Grind, a cheerful new spot on the eastern edge of Patchogue, has both candied chile-bacon hollandaise sauce atop eggs Benedict as well as orange-crunch brioche French toast crusted with cornflakes and served alongside an orange-liqueur custard, for dipping. "We started out very fancy [with the menu]. It turned into breakfast with a twist," said Shum.
Shum partnered with entrepreneur Anthony Santiago, a co-owner, to create Rise & Grind's look, a vaguely farmhouse-like space of warm woods and aqua blue accents with booths separated by etched glass partitions, an outdoor patio, and a foyer coffee cafe that stays open after the kitchen closes for those who want to work on laptops. Before COVID-19, Rise & Grind was due to have 100 or so seats; currently it has about 50 inside.
Shum, 26, grew up on the island of Jamaica, where his family has long owned restaurants; he also studied hotel management in Switzerland and spent time working for Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, which deepened his passion for hospitality. Shum moved to Long Island a year ago and signed the lease on what was formerly the Country Kitchen just days before the coronavirus-related lockdown. "It was definitely rough. I had put everything I had into this," he said. He scrapped plans to open locations elsewhere on Long Island, at least in the short term, "and decided to focus on Patchogue. It's up and coming."
Santiago once owned 7T8 European Fusion in Northport before a 2017 fire closed that restaurant and other businesses on the same block. Clausell, who trained at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, was also a chef-owner there and is a partner in Rise & Grind.
Rise & Grind's breakfast menu is somehow both focused and wide-ranging, segueing from eggs, omelets, eggs Benedict and corned beef hash ($10.99 to $13.95) to oversized skillets piled with various combos of eggs, vegetables, herbs, chorizo sausage, pulled pork and cheese arranged over chunky roasted potatoes, which top out at $16.95. "Someone is cutting potatoes all day," Shum said.
On the sweet front are irreverent takes on pancakes, French toast and waffles, such as choco-mia pancakes made with cocoa batter, chocolate chips, toasted coconut and a caramel drizzle, for $12.95. Among the plates on the brunch menu, which debuted this weekend, are maple-honey-lemon fried chicken and waffles ($13.95) and an avocado BLT on rye ($13.45). Shum tried coffee from over a dozen roasters before settling on beans from Georgio's Coffee Roasters in Farmingdale, but frappés and a rainbow-cookie latte lend the coffee menu some Instagrammable bling. The cafe also serves beer, wine and mimosas.
Rise & Grind, which Shum said is the first of a franchise, is open for breakfast from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily, with the cafe portion staying open until 6 p.m. While muffins, Danishes and other baked goods are not yet part of the mix, they'll soon arrive daily from an off-site bakery.
Rise & Grind Kitchen and Coffee Bar, 240 E. Main St., Patchogue. 631-730-8000. risegrindpatchogue.com