Tea at the Plaza
Has anyone had the tea menu at the Plaza? I'm taking my 16 yr old daughter to New York and thought she might enjoy it--especially since it's "the Plaza." I'm also thinking of taking her to Eleven Madison Park for lunch. She loves good food as much as I do. Hard Rock Cafe is not her thing. Any thoughts?
Just got back from NY and Tea at the Plaza. It was the highlight of my daughter's trip (second to River Cafe). Tea, without champagne is $60--with champagne is $80. The tea itself was the best tea I've ever had--apple spice. Started with tea sandwiches, then scones, then a large dish of blueberries, strawberries and blackberries--with fresh cream, then desert. Truly wonderful. My daughter is 16 and she loved every minute of it.
Just Googled to see if Tea at the Plaza was as I remembered it, from the Holiday season of 1998 ... sigh. At that time, in the Palm Court, you could have either the 'prix fixe' tea, or you could order À la carte . The À la carte selection was excellent, and a remarkable value. A 'ploughman's lunch' of cheeses and breads was very well received by my guest, a vegetarian. I had a more traditional selection of tea sandwiches, but not from the prix fixe. We selected our teas (I'm partial to Earl Grey), and we also had sweets. The À la carte lunch did not cost as much as just grabbing a sandwich and a soda at the Carnegie Deli, and of course the surroundings added a priceless pleasure - plus, for the holidays, they had a string quartet playing carols. We were mid-week, and there was only a brief wait for a table. How sad am I to read that now, (and not even opened, yet, as renovations continue ...), it seems the Palm Court is not offering À la carte. Frankly, I think $60 pp for tea is absurd. I think I barely paid $30 for the two of us - which left me able to leave a very generous tip, what with it being the holidays. I realise there is a difference in dollar values, from '98 to 2009 - but honestly, $120 plus perhaps a tip of 20%, for tea, is prohibitively expensive, imho.
My mother and I have had a tradition of tea at the Plaza every time she comes to NY. It's not that the tea or pastries are the absolute best you've ever had; what you're really there (and paying) for is the impeccable service, luxurious surroundings, and occasional celebrity sighting. I haven't been back since the hotel re-opened after renovations, but I'm sure it's as sumptuous as ever.