Quaint, dainty and cute are three words that come to mind when I think of Alice’s Tea Cup. Located on the upper east and west side, this is the perfect place for weekend brunch, weekday tea time, a baby shower or your daughter’s birthday party.
The restaurant’s whimsical and colorful theme is Alice in Wonderland. There are pictures of characters and quotes from the storybook tastefully placed on the walls and the 3 locations are aptly named Chapter I, Chapter II and Chapter III. There is also a winding staircase, mismatched tea sets, and colorful paint lines the walls. You’ll immediately feel like you’re at high tea at your Aunt Bessie’s house.
My husband and I were up for an adventure one Sunday. We brought our daughter to Alice’s Tea Cup’s East 64th Street location (Chapter II) to meet friends for brunch. Our friends, very considerately, requested a table earlier so a table was ready when we arrived. (It is a fairly small location with a very long wait – they only take reservations for 8 or more on the weekend.) This was very helpful as there’s little room to wait inside – especially with a toddler with inquisitive hands.
The staff was attentive and obviously familiar with children and dining. The hostess led us to a spacious table next to large, beautiful windows on the second floor (which I liked better than the first, with its airy, whimsical feel.)
Alice’s Tea Cup’s claim to fame is their scones, which vary and are baked daily. A pot of tea and two scones cost $12.50, so we got 2 pots for the four of us and split the four scones. My favorite scone was an earthy pumpkin with a yummy sugary glaze on top. And, as I feel bananas make all things tastier, I really liked the banana chocolate scone, too. It wasn’t as dense as scones typically are, but it was very sweet.
We sampled Alices tea blend – a mix of fruity Indian black vanilla tea with Japanese green tea and rose petals – and the Chocolate Chai. Both were very smooth. Their selection of teas is quite extensive. Do not pass up a nice pot of tea for a cup of coffee here! Based on their website, the owners take pride in their tea selection and tea preparation, having sampled teas around the world.
On top of all that, we also ordered brunch. I had the scones benedict; poached eggs over a savory scone, rosemary hollandaise sauce. It was just decadent, although I could have done away with the scone part of this. I was sconed out by this point and I, personally, like the English muffin with my eggs benedict. This also came with Alice’s Tea Cup’s potato-chicken hash, which had salty, perfected cooked potatoes with little cubes of chicken.
My husband ordered Alice’s Curious french toast: “Bites of brioche infused with apricot brandy tea and baked bread-pudding style, served with raspberry couli, vanilla crème anglaise, maple syrup, and fresh berries”. Wow. Perfect combination of crispy exterior cubes of bread with moist centers… a perfect dollop of clotted cream that accompanied the scones. But it was on the sweet side, so if you feel like something more savory, stick to the eggs.
Besides the delicious food and story-book atmosphere, the bathroom was a highlight of this experience for me. Perhaps I’m just being a tiresome mom or perhaps I’m admitting my practicality, but, yes…the bathroom. This bathroom had a full size changing table in it! Yes, like the one in our house. There were also mirrors from my waist to the ceiling on all the walls, which mystified my daughter long enough to avert any cries of defiance.
Although I feel like one can’t go wrong in the world of tea and scones, Alice’s Tea Cup has made dining in their restaurant a very enjoyable experience. There are 3 locations and they host private parties. They also have a cookbook and have teas for sale. Visit www.alicesteacup.com for more information.
Theresa Gentile MS, RD, CDN is a dietitian at Maimonides Medical Center, adjunct faculty at CUNY Brooklyn College and counsels adults and children using sound science and holistic approaches to eating. Check out her website at www.theresagentilenutrition.com and like her on Facebook www.facebook.com/TGNutrition.
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