Friday, February 20, 2009

Sanctuary T

Sanctuary T
337B West Broadway
New York, NY 10013
(212) 941-7832

Despite being described by the New York Observer as catering to a “more disheveled crowd” (more disheveled than the average Four Seasons customer presumably), a recent visit to Sanctuary T revealed very little dishevelment. Tending more towards tucked in shirts and square glasses, the crowd lacked the clouds of dirt and patchwork clothing of a good dishevelment. The patrons blend in so well with the blonde wood and wicker chairs in fact that it is not uncommon to mistake the place for one of the many similar looking dimly lit SOHO apartments nearby.

As the name suggests, tea is the name of the game at 337B West Broadway. The menu includes a wide selection of tea blends and tea infused cocktails alongside short explanations to dispel any confusion. The Midnight Flower, for instance, is “A string of Jasmine flowers with a lily blossom wrapped in black tea” ($5) while the Rise and Shine cocktail is a mixture of “pear, green tea, vodka, lemon” ($12). Each table features a color coordinated cube with sand timers (available for $18) to ensure proper brewing (an explanation of which can be found on the wall opposite the bathroom). Hot tea is served with a stick of rock candy and at least one hot water refill per cup can be expected.

I went with the Pineapple Sencha cup ($4) which proved light and pleasant however without as much pineapple flavor as I expected. The Cava de Cama ($12) which combines elderflower, chamomile tea, and cava in a wine glass was sweet though hardly distinguishable from any other fruity, bubbly concoction on the market. A dining companion who was feeling under the weather asked our waiter for a recommendation. His advice was the Dragon Well ($4) for its promotion of “general well being”. Did he know what he was talking about, or did he just suggest it because it had Well in the name?

I asked her afterward if she was feeling any better. She said while her condition had not changed immediately, she was confident things were improving.

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