Monday, October 29, 2012

DarTEAling Lounge

Our second afternoon tea hotspot is DarTEAling Lounge. It's been a while since our last visit here. We think it was when they began their partnership with the Flying Llama girls (Socola Chocolates), serving their confections. (We were first introduced to their product at a Chocolate Salon, most tasty!) Located a bit off the beaten path in SOMA, you could easily miss the entrance to this lounge. If you persevere, you will be rewarded with soft decor and  a menu which will give you a variety of afternoon tea choices (you can also choose a la carte).

Socola, Poco Dolce and other sweets are available for impulse purchasing.
Our table awaits with paper napkins... not linens.
We chose the Afternoon Tea for Two (they also have a smaller option "Taste Tea for Two, but we Go Big or Go Home on team Tea Time) and got 3 types of sandwiches with our mixed greens salad. The Turkey Pesto Cream was our number one favorite! The sun-dried tomatoes made a great flavor and texture contrast to the turkey and creamy pesto. We both love Mediterranean style food, and the Roasted Red Peppers with Hummus on wheat hit the spot. Our last choice, Smoked Ham with Horseradish Cheddar on white bread sounded delightful, but didn't have enough porky flavor in our book.

Sandwiches, salad and bottomless pots of tea.
After we were done with the salad and sandwiches, a tiered plate featuring scones and desserts appeared. The waitress also topped off our teapots with more hot water. We were drinking Purple Gems, a premium black tea blended with wild blueberries. It was light and flavorful. Our second choice (this service comes with two bottomless pots of tea) was an herbal Rooibos, called Caramel Carousel which was warm and rich definitely something that you could enjoy on a chill fall day. Dartealing has a tea menu with 4 categories: Black, Green, Rooibos/Herbal, and White/Oolong/Premium.

Housemade scones and desserts on a tray. Lemon Curd and Raspberry Jam.
  The scones on offer to us were Banana Cinnamon and Cranberry Orange. We overheard another table asking for gluten-free options. She was told they had a traditional vanilla gluten-free scone (for a higher price). The Banana Cinnamon lived up to it's name and also had some toasted nuts on top. The Cranberry Orange also had some banana flavor. Maybe some bananas jumped in with the cranberries and that scared away the orange flavor? Perhaps our tastebuds long for stronger flavors than their regular customers? We really enjoyed the tart lemon curd and fruity raspberry jam. Possibly housemade as well? Tea Time has been spoiled over the years and we're always a bit confused when we get whipped cream with our scones and not Devonshire Cream.

Cranberry with Orange on left. Banana Cinnamon on right.
The desserts on offer included a lush dense petit four, a small chocolateish cookie and a pate a choux  filled with more light whipped cream (light as in it could be floating) and a bit of kiwi that gave it a citrus kick. We stayed to on a while after the sweets were gone to sip some more tea and while away the afternoon.

The Tea Time girls always save room for dessert!
We arrived with no reservation at 1pm on a Friday and while it was pretty busy, the hostess was able to seat us promptly. There was a nice mix of customers including tables of two and three, men and women, plus a large table of grandmotherly ladies having a good time. If you'd like to visit Dartealing make sure it is not on Monday or Tuesday, as they are closed on these days. They do offer catering so if you'd like something special for the office, I'm sure they would be happy to oblige. The below message is from the Dartealing website, and thanks to them for helping us have a nice experience at our lunch date.

"Dartealing is about 
personal rituals and 
celebrating life.  
We are about finding time 
and a place for rest 
during a busy day, or 
to catch up with those
 important people in our
lives.  We open our doors

and welcome you to
our creation.
If we can get a
“that was a very nice
experience” from you,
it would be a most

 rewarding compliment."

We hope you're enjoying the Afternoon Tea we're slaving to bring to you from SF! Next stop on our list is a new to us restaurant. Tea Time can't wait to take you on our next Afternoon Tea Adventure. Maybe at the end of this we'll host our own afternoon tea, just to show you how easy it is to do at home.