31 March 2008

Sanctuary T

My tea goal (there's categories in goals, you know) is to visit every tea shop/tearoom/ in New York. And then....the world! Well, that's kind of impossible. Still, if I can make it here...

When I heard about Sanctuary T, a restaurant that uses tea as an ingredient in many of their offerings, and boasts a rather decent tea selection - and some creative cocktails, I knew I couldn't rest till I'd tried out the place myself. And then I went back to bed. Still, there was a nagging determination as a Tea Queen to make a progress through my lands. So, six months after I'd first learned of this place, I finally hauled my tired rear over there.

Tired and not really in the best condition to sample a restaurant for the first time. I'd been off stomach-wise all week, but there was still an appetite lurking around.

When we got there, I was first of all impressed by its coziness. We had a table toward the back, right next to shelves of tea merch. Not a bad view. The place smelled like a tearoom. I don't know what it is - I guess some kind of fruit tea that permeates every tearoom. It's what I'd imagined fairyland would smell like.

The staff were really accommodating and friendly. I ordered the spring prix fixe, and the soup of the day was tomato. For some reason I thought it would be like the canned variety, which is more like tomato sauce than tomato juice. Sadly, this stuff tasted just like a tomato, which everyone knows is my sworn enemy. Seriously, if I were a superhero, tomatoes would be my Kryptonite. I put the face of death on after just one taste, and the waiter noticed from afar. He offered to bring another soup, a celery root one. Wow. This was more like it. Such a comforting soup, although a bit dangerous for my shaky stomach.

Next came the "main course", which was actually tapas style chicken. It was really good, but not big enough for me (the prix fixe was $33, and I'm not much of a believer in spending tons of money on food unless it's a massive amount of food. Too much dining in Astoria, I guess.) The tea I ordered was an herbal Moroccan Mint. Very nice, very soothing. It was served in a teabag, but a big one of quality. I do prefer a teapot, though.

Daphne had duck, which was delicious from what I hear (I don't eat duck. It's not one of those self-righteous things, but ducks are my favorite birds and I've heard it's greasy anyway.) The chef actually gave her some kind of macaroni cheese with truffle sauce, with his compliments. Gotta love nice chefs.

Finally, for dessert I had a ginger lemongrass citrusy creme brulee. This basically sealed the deal for me. I've always been a fan of creme brulee, and creative ones really rock my world. It wasn't overwhelming, either: the ginger was subtle, just as I like it.

Okay, so 4/5 for me. I think I'd like to try lunch there, as I prefer tea places in the afternoon. Brunch wouldn't be a bad idea either. It's not a tearoom in the traditional scone way - but if they all were, I wouldn't need to see them all, now would I?

16 March 2008

Live With Disappointment

I'm not writhing with disappointment, but there are two things that I look forward to every year that aren't happening:

Jasper Fforde isn't coming out with a new book until 2009. I'm going to have to find something else to make me laugh this July. Well, it's been a good six summers (not really, but the books helped.) Maybe this year I'll have to re-read a Fforde.

Then there's Tartan Week. For the past couple of years, the first week of April tourism to Scotland is promoted with all kinds of events in Midtown. The one I've seen is the Scottish Village in Grand Central Terminal. It was a fun place to see during the hectic lunch hour, and I personally thought it was a positive thing - yes, even the shortbread. Now I read that it's being shelved this year. Am I going to have to actual visit Scotland myself? Maybe I'll just curl up with some Robert Burns and a bit of haggis. How cliched is that?

Well, as they say, it's not the end of the world.

Fun with Liquor

Yeah, I'm a lush. No, not really. I just played around with my ingredients and managed to produce two of my favorite items on any menu. First, I made penne a la vodka a la Gata. It came ridiculously close to what I've enjoyed in Italian restaurants - and mild enough to suit my sensitive palate. Next, Jay came bearing mint and lime (a little comfort gift for my having a surprise visit from my favorite thing about being female during an unexpected weekend). Well, I have one word for you all - Mojito! My favorite drink since 2005, I've never actually made it myself. If I must say so myself, it was quite nice - and of course much cheaper than what I'd get outdoors. Seriously, someone's gotta bring a karaoke mike over (you know you want to, Marie), and it's party time!

Warning: this post is for all my readers 21 and over, or 18 and over in Europe and Canada. I don't know the age in Cuba...

09 March 2008

The Puffy Brat is 3

According to her certificate, today Zenobia turns 3. I'm sure she's thrilled. Amazingly, she came out and jumped up next to me just as I started typing this.
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