How did CLAIRE'S CORNER COPIA get its name? 

In 1975, we held a year long contest to name the restaurant. From the hundreds of suggestions submitted, the one we liked most was submitted by Jeff Hall, a Yale undergrad. The prize? A hot fudge sundae for four people every week, for a year.

What is the history behind our signature Lithuanian Coffee Cake? How is it Lithuanian? 

This wonderful cake started out with the name, Sally Tessler's Mother's Coffee Cake. The base recipe started out as our beloved employee's Mom's family recipe. Claire added coffee and vanilla to the batter and added coffee grounds, brown sugar, and walnuts to the filling. After a short while, we realized the name was a bit lengthy and I wanted to name it after the place Sally's Mom's family came from. Sally told me that her Mom's family came from what was Lithuania, and at the time that was part of the Soviet bloc. Claire suggested we help the "revolution" with the cake and declare it Lithuanian Coffee Cake. We wish democracy came that easily, but Sally loved the idea and years later when Lithuania became  an independent country once again, she called to ask "So what do you think, did the Lithuanian Coffee Cake have anything to do with the freedom?"

Why choose organic ingredients? What's the difference? Why are they so good for us? 

Organically grown foods simply taste better and are often higher in nutrition than their conventionally grown counterparts. When you buy organic foods, you help to promote biodiversity, cut down on the pesticides that pollute our soil, air, and water, and you help to support natural systems that will ensure the integrity of our farmlands for future generations. That’s the best inheritance we can ever offer our children.   Biodiversity is crop diversity. Growing a variety of crops is one of many ways to reduce the incidence of disease, and the need for pesticides and fungicides. Many giant, corporate farms, will often take the easier, cheaper route and plant one variety, often determined not by flavor and disease resistance, but rather on ability to travel long distances. This method often relies on higher pesticide use, and further damage to our soil, our earth, and health risks for us.

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What are directions to CLAIRE'S CORNER COPIA?

From Hartford: I-91 South, to exit 1, downtown New Haven to first exit. Make a right at the light, this is Church St. Go to your third light and make a left on to Chapel St. The Chapel Mall is on your left and the lower Green on your right. Proceed two lights and we are on the corner of Chapel and College Streets. You can make a left  on to College Street and locate parking.  

From New York City: I-95 North, exit 47, Downtown New Haven to exit 1. Go to the first light and make a right turn onto Church Street. Proceed to your third light and make a left onto Chapel Street. The Chapel Mall will be on your left side and the lower New Haven Green on your right. Go to your second light and we are on the left hand side corner of Chapel and College Streets. You can make a left turn onto College Street to locate parking.

How do I get a job at CLAIRE'S CORNER COPIA? 

We always welcome people who are enthusiastic about life and the possibility of sustainability, social justice, and peace. Those who enjoy preparing and serving organic and sustainable foods to others, and are bright and energetic make a perfect fit here. This is a tall order we realize, but our standards are high and we help others to reach up to them. Please e-mail your resume to <> and we'll review it and get back to you as positions open. 

Why aren't salt shakers on the tables in the restaurant?

We want people to taste their food before they add additional salt.

Yogurt Recipe:

If you eat 2 cups of yogurt a day in your family, you will save $1,000.00 a year by making your own - and, you’ll save hundreds of plastic cups a year, too.

Makes about 16 cups

1 gallon organic whole or 2% milk 

2/3 cup plain, organic yogurt

Heat the milk in a large, uncovered 8 quart pot over medium-high heat, without stirring, until the milk foams and rises about half way to the top of the pot, about 10 minutes. When the foam reaches about half way to the top of the pot, remove from the heat. Pour the heated milk into a large bowl (a tempered glass or pottery bowl is best). Set the bowl on your counter to cool until you can insert your "baby" finger into the center of the bowl of milk, just comfortably, for 10 full seconds. This will take about 20 minutes or so, depending on how cold it is in your kitchen. Measure the 2/3 cup yogurt into a separate bowl. Measure 1/2 cup of the heated milk into the bowl of yogurt. Stir well to mix. Pour this yogurt mixture into the large bowl of heated milk, using a rubber spatula to scrape the bowl clean. This is the point when Sadie said a blessing over the bowl, so I always do, too. Cover the bowl with a dish large enough to fit the bowl without touching the yogurt. Cover the bowl with a clean dish towel, then a thick bath towel. Leave the wrapped bowl on the counter for 8-10 hours, (you can make your yogurt before you go to bed or before you leave for work) whichever is more convenient for you, without disturbing. After 8-10 hours, remove the towels but leave the dish on. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours, but it's ready to eat after 8 hours. Before enjoying, remove about 2/3 cup of the top layer and spoon this into a jar. Cover the jar and refrigerate for up to two weeks. This will be your yogurt "starter" for your next batch. You may now begin eating and enjoying.

Below, is my recipe for cleaning just about everything. 

And, the cost is less than $8.00 for 4 ½ quarts of solution - it’s all natural and much cheaper than buying other cleaners - and you’ll get to feel like a chemist when you are mixing it - I love mixing up a batch or two. 

Cleaning solution for windows, counters, cabinets, and other things that need to be cleaned, by Claire Criscuolo

1     Gallon white vinegar 

1     16 ounce bottle peroxide 

½   Ounce Tea Tree Oil (Trader Joe’s sells it for the cheapest price I’ve ever seen) 

2 Drops of essential oil, peppermint will help keep ants at bay, or use lavender, lilac, for a lovely scent 

Pour half of the gallon of white vinegar into an empty gallon container, giving you two half gallons of white vinegar. Pour 1 cup of peroxide into each half gallon of  white vinegar. Pour 1 ½ teaspoons of Tea tree oil into each container. Put one drop of essential oil into each container. Shake. Label and date each bottle.


Fruit Flies Be-Gone, Claire's all natural way to your fruit fly problem:-)

set out a bowl or two on the counter by your fruit - which is where the fruit flies like to be

fill the bowl (an individual soup bowl is fine) half way with apple cider vinegar and just about half with water, then squirt a little bit of liquid dishwashing liquid into the bowl. The fruit flies dive in and don't come out. 

All natural and inspired by our old friend, Sherri. xx