Monday, March 8, 2010

Tea and cookies at Bouchon

The other day, I met up with KS at Bouchon Bakery in the Time Warner Center for afternoon tea. Even at 3:30 on a weekday there was a short wait (damn you, Thomas Keller!), but we managed to snag a table without too much trouble. Our enthusiastic server didn't seem put out by our desire just to have tea and desserts, even though some others around us were having late lunches-- I spotted their signature grilled cheese with tomato soup and a couple of nice-looking salads.

But back to us. The tea: KS ordered Earl Gray, I ordered green with milk on the side. Our teapots and teacups arrived, and I sadly discovered that their green tea has weird accents of "lemon myrtle and ginseng," which means it doesn't go with milk. I'm sort of split on this front--as a server, if a customer orders green tea with milk, and your restaurant's version of green tea has citrus notes in it, should you alert the customer that it's not straight-up green tea? Especially if the menu just says "green"? I don't fault our server, but I wonder what the right path is here. Deep thoughts.

The offending Buddha Blend

Regardless, we drank our tea. And KS ordered a cookie, debating between the chocolate chunk and the double chocolate chunk and eventually going for the extra-chocolatey version. It usually comes with ice cream, but KS just wanted the cookie, and so our server graciously brought just the cookie and only charged her the to-go price. A nice touch. The cookie itself was huge and more like a brownie-- dense and fudgy on the inside, studded with chocolate chunks that almost melted into the batter. KS ate half and took the other half home, an Olympian feat of self control that is not even in my frame of reference. Half a cookie? Does that even exist? That's like the serving sizes of packaged muffings: "1/4 muffin." Really?

The cookie. Half was eaten.

Anyway, despite my private green tea travails, we had a lovely time at Bouchon. I admit I have an irrational soft spot for the Time Warner Center, which some might argue is just an anonymous commercial mall but I find to be a bastion of calmness and civility. Plus it has a Whole Foods! But I also really like Bouchon, especially so since my epic dessert-and-wine tasting there over the holidays. I've always wanted to come for real food, but golly it's just so expensive (salads cresting over the $16 mark...). Someday, Bouchon, someday...

Bouchon Bakery
10 Columbus Circle

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