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Coffee & Tea 24

Tea at Clementine - report

Cicely | Mar 22, 200502:20 AM

I stopped by Clementine last week for afternoon tea, mentioned by someone on this board. Unlike the normal casual, fend-for-yourself atmosphere, they had two servers assigned to the upper seating area, and white cloths on the tables.

First up: a trio of finger sandwiches, smallish triangles. Of the first, I can only say that it was egg salad... I devoured it before remembering that I was supposed to be taking notes. Oops. Well, I normally hate egg salad, so make of that what you will. Second sandwich was gravlax with shallot creme fraiche. The cured salmon was silky and luscious, a nice and simple combination with good white bread. Lastly, chicken salad with grapes on pecan raisin bread - a great combination of flavors and textures.

Second: the scone. MARVELOUS. I love scones, and am often saddened by things that are too doughy, too moist, too much like a muffin in disguise. This was just right, buttery and almost flaky. They have scones in their bakery case normally, but this one was HOT. Studded with currants, and unfortunately on the small side. Moreover, the clotted cream it came with was the real deal - like the love child of cream and butter.

Finally: a plate of cookies and little cakes. Thumbprint cookie was almost purely ground pecan. The sweet, nutty flavor made me forget about gnawing my way to the dab of jam (usual method). My petit four was a tiny, tender cake holding a sliver of pungent apricot jam, topped with a creamy, not particularly sweet frosting. Chocolate macaroon (or macaron, for the nitpicky) was a fine exemplar. My only disappointment was a nut-studded crescent cookie that was appropriately crisp-tender (all the pastries were wonderfully fresh) but tasted of little but sweetness. Oh well.

So here's the thing. I had a lovely light meal - tea should be refreshing, and often they give you so much you just want to end your day right there - but the tab was $19! For four tiny cookies, one smallish scone and three mini-sandwiches. And a pot of tea - the only generous thing, it was big enough for three cups. I love Clementine, especially for breakfast or an afternoon snack, but I just don't think that's right.

But that scone!! Yes, I'm glad I went. Month of March only, Weds-Fri. Definitely reserve; when I called to do so (day of), the woman told me just to walk in. When I did, the good tables were "reserved" and I was proposed a table in the back, toward the loo. No way! I had to insist a bit, but got a "reserved" window seat in the end.


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