Just around the corner from In Pursuit of Tea on Crosby Street, the newly opened Harney & Sons in Soho may be yet another destination for tea aficionados, but it's also a spot ideal for delicate lunches. Tall ceilings and walls lined high in teas make for a quiet, peaceful space. Make your way towards the very back of the shop, to the "tea lounge," with a small bar and a few tables. Tea, of course, is the focus, with food tailored to complement the diverse variety of teas offered on hand. (A small pot of hot tea runs $6, and a large is $8.)
Start with housemade Vanilla Scones ($6), served warm with a golden sugar-crusted top. They're light and buttery inside, served in sets of two with little dishes of clotted cream and a tart berry jam. Gluten-free sweets from Tu-Lu's Bakery in the East Village are also on the menu (including the sweets we've reviewed in the past ), and goodies from David's Biscotti and SoCo Creamery's tea-flavored ice cream will be offered soon.
The dishes are tiny, so you'll want one sweet and one savory dish to make for a full (albeit very light!) lunch. Pictured above is the smoky Gravlax ($8), with ground lapsang souchong tea leaves and a smear of matcha whipped cream cheese on rice crackers. Sounds like a mouthful? It sure is. Five pieces per order, full-flavored single bites, with matcha proving to be a surprising and complementary match to the ribbons of gravlax. The same dish with sliced cucumbers in place of gravlax is available for $6. And don't forget about the savory scones ($7)—think honey-mustard compound butter with cheddar and chive scones, or dijon mustard with ham and gruyere scones. The complete menu isn't available yet; in addition to the sweets mentioned above, they're also waiting on tea-infused cheeses from Hudson Valley Cheese. I'll be back once those are available!