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?


Anonymous said...

I still think you should write reviews. You are a natural. One thing we don't have here is tea rooms. Would love to visit some in NYC.

Anonymous said...

Sounds good - esp. the creme brulee - YUM!
We gots to do a teatime soon.

Anonymous said...

Sounds WONDERFUL. Would love to have a tea room around here. I don't even think there is any in Albany. I don't think I have ever had creme brulee either. You have such wonderful choices where you live. I bet there is even flowers blooming already. Sandy

Catherine said...

I saw this place on teamap:


I don't know if it's any good, but it's close to the Albany area. Otherwise, yeah you'd think with that Irish town near you guys there'd be more tea rooms but maybe they don't list online?

Actually, it's still kind of cold over here, but things are starting to bloom.

Anonymous said...

I checked out the website for the whistling kettle. It is in Ballston Spa which is about 1 and a half hours from us. Too far too go for tea. Their menu looked good but not cheap. Nothing is cheap anymore. I guess. Just be glad you don't have to pay for gas to go to work or drive 20 miles one way to get there. Perks of city life.

Sanikdotes said...

Girl--this is an amazing blog entry--well written and descriptive--you've sold me--esp with the celery root soup and creme brulee...yum yum for me tum.