For All Things Afternoon Tea and Other Refined Experiences. New York City and Beyond.



Oh, How Civilized contains ad banners and sometimes uses contextual affiliate links. This means that a small commission may be made if a product is purchased through a link. The commission earned goes toward providing original content for this blog. 

I only write about things and experiences that I genuinely like. Anything gifted is noted with a c/o or courtesy of.


Carry On Tea & Sympathy

Love this telephone booth/entrance to the Carry On Tea & Sympathy shop next to the Tea & Sympathy restaurant.


Neue Galerie & Cafe Sabarsky

I didn't know that the Neue of Neue Galerie was pronounced "Noy-ah" until I went on the tour. Just a couple of block up from The Met, is Neue Galerie ("new gallery"), a museum for early 20th century Austrian and German art. 

The entrance is on 86th street, right off of Fifth Ave. Carrère and Hastings, the architecture firm that designed this building in 1914, also designed the New York Public Library and the Frick Collection (my favorite museum). The building was renovated to house the museum in 2001. 

Walking in, it feels very much like you're entering someone's house (albeit a multi-million dollar one), instead of a typical museum. Straight ahead is the admission desk and a staircase that takes you to the gallery space upstairs.

The museum galleries are on the second and third floors. The second floor covers Austrian art and showcases paintings by Klimt and the third floor houses German art with works by Kandinsky and Paul Klee. It's not a huge museum and it feels intimate and manageable. No photos are allowed ANYWHERE on the second and third floors (BOO!), so you'll have to check out their website for images. 

The public tour starts at 2PM and it is offered on Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays. Tours are free with admission. Unfortunately, I did not like the tour. The information was great, but the delivery was not. Our tour guide had a batch of note cards, which she read off of from start to finish for the entire 40 minute tour. It was like she was reading her book report to the class. I guess I've been spoiled by great tour guides who are experts in their field who can rattle off information with ease. I didn't ask any questions since I just assumed she wouldn't know the answer.

However, with that said, I would still recommend the tour since I did learn a few things I would not have learned otherwise. Audio guides are free with admission, so you can take that route instead, if you prefer.

One of the highlights of the museum is their cafe to the right of the lobby, Cafe Sabarsky. Remember my visit to Cafe Kristall? Both places are run by chef Kurt Gutenbrunner. Take a step inside and feel like you're in Vienna. 

During lunch hours, you'll see a line and a wait for a table. It's worth it. 

Started off with a Roasted Bratwurst with Riesling Sauerkraut with Roasted Potatoes & Dijon. Excellent! I cleaned my plate. Completely hearty and perfect for a cold day.

This house-made Viennese Hot Chocolate with Whipped Cream in a double walled Bodum cup lured me away from my usual cup of tea. 

And for dessert, the server recommended this Seasonal Fruit Crumble Tarte, and she was right, it was delicious. Topped with a generous amount of berries, my friend Kelli and I shared this dessert and were making plans to come back to the cafe in between bites. 

Note: Check hours before you go since the museum and cafe have different hours of operation. Museum is closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

INFO: Neue Galerie | 1048 Fifth Ave. (entrance on 86th Street) | New York, NY 10028 | 212.628.6200
TOUR: Free with admission, free audio guide with admission

INFO: Cafe Sabarsky | Menu | 1048 Fifth Ave. (entrance on 86th Street) | New York, NY 10028 | 212.628.6200 


These Weck Jars Are My Favorite

I love Weck glass jars. They're both functional and look great, the very best kind of design. I use them for everything from makeshift vases to storing my loose leaf teas.

I usually get loose leaf tea by the ounce, and they come in small paper bags that are not ideal for storing tea. I pour the tea leaves into Weck jars and cut out the name of the tea from the paper bag and insert it into the jar, with the label facing out. They're easy to stack so it's an easy way to keep my tea organized. Ideally, tea should not be stored in clear glass containers since you want to keep them away from light. This is where my windowless kitchen finally becomes an asset since my kitchen is basically a dark pantry. I also buy the minimum (usually 1 - 3 ounces) so that I'm not storing teas for a long period of time. These Weck jars are my favorite.


Tea at Three: Genmaicha & Matcha Passion Fruit Blanc Manger

TEA: Genmaicha [Harney & Sons]
SWEETS: Matcha Passion Fruit Blanc Manger [Dominique Ansel Bakery]

Green tea pudding paired with green tea. The verrine has layers of matcha pudding and tart passion fruit topped with a green tea butter cookie. The Genmaicha from Harney & Sons brings out the matcha flavors even more. Both, very good.

Pastries in the glass case, including this verrine, at Dominque Ansel's change every 6-8 weeks, so get them while you can.


ChikaLicious Dessert Bar

ChikaLicious in the East Village is a fantastic dessert spot, where they serve expertly made and meticulously served sweets on the menu. 

Best for a party of two, since this place only seats 20. 

I usually like to take a seat at the bar so I can watch Chika, the chef and the owner, prepare the desserts. 

The menu consists of a prix fixe for $16 which includes an amuse, a main dessert dish, and petit fours. You choose one of the seven main dessert dishes, which changes every time I go. The amuse and the petit fours are chef's choice, so you get what Chika serves you.

I ordered a personal pot of tea ($3.50) and that came out first. Adorable tea cup and matching saucer for my green tea.

The amuse was a sorbet with tequilla gelatin. So refreshing.

I went with the Banana Tartare on Crispy Kataifi with Adult Chocolate Pudding and White Coffee Ice Cream. I've never been disappointed by anything I've had here, so this was not an exception. Flavors went great together and I liked the different textures from the banana, pudding, and ice cream. 

Last up, the petit fours. I met up with Kathy, so you're looking at two servings of petit fours. One-bites that were light, delicate and the perfect way to finish off the prix fixe.

I can't wait to go back.

Note: They're open only Thursday - Sunday from 3PM - 10:45PM. They don't take reservations.

LOCATION: ChikaLicious Dessert Bar | 203 East 10th Street btw 1st & 2nd Ave. | New York, NY 10003 | 212.995.9511