Instead of crowded and noisy cafes with tables that are too close to each other, I much prefer the quiet and luxurious setting of hotel bars for tea breaks in the middle of the afternoon, around 3PM.
A reader of the blog, JoAnn, told me she loves to go to Bar Pleiades, Chef Daniel Boulud's bar within the The Surrey hotel for warm madeleines. WARM MADELEINES.
So I'm kind of obsessed with these madeleines. And this obsession goes back to the time I had dinner at Daniel years ago and they were served as part of the dessert course. Freshly baked and warm, fluffy, and miniature in size, the madeleines were so good that I couldn't stop talking about them for months. I was so happy when Dominque Ansel (who was the executive pastry chef at Daniel) opened up his bakery and started serving them. (See my post on the best madeleines.) But the presentation of the madeleines is completely different (and way better) at Bar Pleiades and Daniel. Instead of a dinky little paper tray, they're served like this...
Nestled in a floral origami napkin, they're best when they're eaten as soon as they land on the table. With tea, of course.
Surprisingly, or maybe not surprisingly, tea isn't on the bar menu but they do serve a small selection of teas from In Pursuit of Tea. I got an oolong, which was very good.
But really, go there for the heavenly madeleines in a gorgeous setting with fantastic service.
INFO: Bar Pleiades at The Surrey | 20 East 76th Street | New York, NY 10021 | 212.288.3700