The Palm Court at The Plaza is arguably one of the best hotel afternoon teas in New York City I’ve had in the longest time.
Chef Geoffrey Zakarian re-launched the iconic Palm Court at The Plaza hotel with a renovation by Master Architect Thierry Despont almost a year ago. The renovation does result in bringing natural, floral elements inspired by Central Park (and it has the classic English elements that reminds me of another landmark, The Ritz in London, UK).
Despite the fact it sounds quite touristy but you should go there once just to check out the scene. This is fancy and maybe a bit too feminine (for some people) but food and drinks are very good.
We had the Champagne afternoon tea ($105 per person), started out with our Veuve Cliquot bubbly, both the Brut and the Brut Rosé. The Brut Rosé is elegant with lush fresh red fruit (raspberry, wild strawberry, cherry) flavors leading to biscuity notes of dried fruits. The Brut is a classic Champagne; balanced with vibrant acidity framing hints of blackberry, white cherry, biscuit, honey and candied lemon zest.
Not too soon, our teas arrived. All of The Plaza’s teas are sourced from one of the premier tea brands in the world, Le Palais des Thés (and as you might know, a favorite of mine too). My friend had the woodsy, earthy Pur eh Imperial tea. I had the Silver Needles Grand Cru ($8 supplement) white tea; much lighter but slightly musky note to make it interesting enough, to pair well for both the savory sandwiches and the sweet pastries.
And our food arrived… It’s stunning tier for two people and there’s plenty of food for the both of us.
The savory sandwiches and crostini of the Champagne tea offerings were definitely luxurious (besides its price). We had confit new potato topped with American Sturgeon caviar, foie gras torchon topped with cracked hazelnuts and fig jam on toasted brioche, Hudson Valley smoked salmon on pressed cucumber, thyme roasted prime rib sandwich; Peekytoe crab salad crostini, and a mini lobster roll with daikon sprouts in buttered brioche. All were freshly made since none of the rolls or crostini were cold and soggy (my biggest tiff with afternoon tea sandwiches) and they were delicious and made with high quality ingredients.
For the dessert tier, we had the salted caramel ganache tart, Paris brest, Tahitian vanilla éclair, Opéra cake, mixed berry tart, chocolate passion fruit macaron, and apple tart tatin. All of the pastries were delectable. The salted caramel tart’s crust was quite moist than expected but otherwise, it tasted good. The best of the bunch was the Paris brest with the delicately crisp choux pastry and decadently creamy hazelnut pastry cream.
The warm, fresh baked scones tucked in heavy cloth napkins were divine. Flaky, not too sweet and a light crumbly texture, it was fantastic with the in-house made lemon curd and raspberry jam.
We were curious about the tea-based non-alcoholic beverages ($11 each) since not many places have creative tea beverages (bubble teas don’t count here). We opted for the Tropical Garden Strawberry Basil and Lemongrass Verbena Rooibos. Both drinks have subtle carbonation from the GUS dry fruit sodas and we adored that they aren’t too sweet at all and the teas’ fruit flavors are still the focus besides the fact there’s several other ingredients besides the tea and dry soda.
Our server was so kind to give us the cotton candy on a pretzel stick since we’ve eyed a couple of people’s tiers that flew past us that had these happy pink confections (it’s from the Eloise afternoon tea). The pink cotton candy was sweet cotton candy as what childhood would recall but the edible stick (the pretzel) added the crunch, malty saltiness that I adore about the pretzel. It’s a fun, sweet and salty ending to a great afternoon at The Plaza.
To view photos of this visit, please CLICK HERE for the full photo set or view the gallery below:[alpine-phototile-for-flickr src=”set” uid=”26389565@N00″ sid=”72157655352652734″ imgl=”flickr” shuffle=”1″ style=”gallery” row=”4″ grwidth=”1200″ grheight=”800″ size=”640″ num=”30″ shadow=”1″ border=”1″ align=”center” max=”100″]