restaurants
The Tea Set
235 W 12th Street
646 894 0511

Yes there's tea at Jacques Doassans' delightful little spot in the West Village, called The Tea Set Organic Tea and Champagne Room, but it's also an unusually good lunch spot with a mellower scene at dinner time. Situated across from Equinox gym, this spot is perfect for a midday lentil or homemade chicken soup, or perhaps a smoked salmon and spinach salad plate with fingerling yams, or our favourite, the fall- off- the- bone lamb shank with couscous and tomato. They do breakfast starting at 7AM such as fabulous madras sugar waffles or organic acai berry- soaked granola making them a round- the- clock option but what makes it work are two things. First, the food is never heavy, tasting just like something you'd imagine you'd cook (if you were a French farmer in the South of France....or consulting chef Jean Louis Dumonet, formerly of the Carlyle) and secondarily, you can come here and have finger foods, tea and champagne or a full blown three course meal, and both work. The decor is Brit- mania (in case you wondered who bought up all the Target Liberty of London goods) with books and prints galore, with one room to hang out in, and the other a wall of their various organic, fair-trade tea blends. A myriad of options include the West Village Breakfast Tea, a blend of white, green, and black tea or the Red Peach Vanilla but we liked the Big Apple Mate best, which manages to be Yerba Mate, Rooibos, apple, and cinnamon -- but neither sour nor overpowering. Best of all, whether you stay a short or a long while, or just want tea to go, you can take home a cup or lots in their reusable tins.

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