Searching for just the right place to take your mom/grandma/sister/aunt/girlfriend/fiance/wife/daughter/any important lady in your life? Then STOP RIGHT NOW. Seriously, STOP and look no more. Alice’s Tea Cup is the cutest day date place I’ve been to in the city so far (and may very well be in general), and I’m going to try and convey my love for it in a single post.
My roommates, a friend of ours, and I decided that since moving to New York City in the summer, we had simply not gone to enough brunches. I think the minimum requirement for a New Yorker is to go every Sunday, so yeah, we were falling a little bit behind on this whole brunch thing. We made plans to go to the Alice’s Tea Cup in the Upper Eastside (there’s three locations in Manhattan) for Sunday brunch, leaving the whole day open because we heard about how you have to sometimes wait up to an hour for a table. Well, we got there at noon and did in fact have to wait an hour before we could get seated. The hostess called us when our table was ready, so we were able to head back to the restaurant from the Starbucks we were hanging out at nearby (seriously so much better when they do this instead of standing awkwardly in a small space waiting for your name to be called).
Just as you would expect from the name, the place is decorated total Alice in Wonderland style. There’s colorful, whimsical paintings on the wall, and all the furniture and china is mismatched. Sidenote: one of my roommates was pretty pumped that her chair was all tall-back and throne-like while the rest of us had “normal” chairs. So Madhatter tea party! The restaurant is small, hence the wait-time, but we were all so incredibly giddy about how cute everything looked inside that we completely forgot about the long wait.
There’s a variety of brunch options, with one of the special ones being “Alice’s Mad Morning Tea” where you get a three-tiered stand of breakfast foods like tea, scones, poached eggs, and granola. As if this place wasn’t picturesque enough! Sorry to burst your bubble, but I didn’t go with this option. Part of the reason, that I mightttt have mentioned before, is that I’m not the biggest fan of eggs. When I was reallyyyy little, I ate scrambled eggs all the time, and then I had a 15 year long period of despising them and wanting to gag every time I got near them. Now, I can tolerate them, but ONLY if they’re in the form of an omelet. Ugh, I’m so weird. Want to know something that’s probably going to make me sounds even weirder? I think I can handle omelets because they almost look like cheese. I’m such a freak.
But back to business! While there were pancakes and other non-egg options on the brunch menu, something inside me was chanting, “Just do it Cindy! Today’s the day you’re going to be a big girl and order, eat, and like eggs!” So I went with the feeling and ordered the omelet with cheese (I chose gruyere) and bacon, which came with potato chicken hash on the side. What is this potato chicken hash I speak of? Don’t worry. We were just as confused. We literally asked the waiter what it was to which he replied, “It’s just bits of chicken with your hash. They kind of look the same so you never know which one you’re eating.” Uhh…not the greatest selling line, but okay, you got me at “it’s just bits of chicken with your hash.” And then of course, I had to order a blueberry scone to complete the whole experience. The scone flavors change everyday, and that day there were also ham and cheese and pumpkin options.
Like I said before, I’m no egg-lover, but this omelette was incredibly delicious and cooked perfectly with melty cheese and crispy bacon inside. The mysterious hash was seasoned well and juicy, and there was something about getting that little extra bit of protein (for free!) that made it even more tasty. And now let me talk about the scone. Ohhhhh this scone. I’ve had quite a lot of bad experiences with scones in my life (much like how I’ve had with macarons), but this changed everything for me. Scones can so often be too dry or annoyingly crumbly or hard as rock, but this was buttery while being crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. As soon as I took my first bite of it, I was already saying that I was going to come back just to get more of these scones. Of course, the raspberry preserves and clotted cream, just made an awesome scone even more awesome. And lastly, we ordered a pot of tea for the table. There’s quite an extensive tea selection, so we decided to go with house blend, Alice’s tea, which is Indian black vanilla tea with Japanese green tea and rose petals.
Has my blabbing convinced you yet? I love how even on top of how adorable this whole place is, the place is worth coming back to because food is actually really great. So, anytime you need to bring that special lady in your life somewhere just as special as her, this is the place to go. Actually, scratch that. Who says you have to be a lady to like this place since the food is great remember. I would LOVE to see some bros at a table here. Make it happen guys.
Omelet with cheese and bacon and potato chicken hash, blueberry scone with raspberry preserves and clotted cream, and a pot of Alice’s Tea220 E 81st St
New York, NY 10028 (multiple locations)