Saturday, April 20, 2013

Afternoon Tea at Neiman Marcus

Welcome to the Rotunda at Neiman Marcus. J.K. had been here many years ago, but it was Angela's first visit. Because of this, Angela took the dedicated elevator up to the restaurant in order to make sure and end up in the right spot. J.K. got an extra look around the shops since she detoured to the top floor before finding Angela under the Rotunda. We were both welcomed into this bright and airy restaurant and given a seat next to the big windows overlooking tourist hotspot Union Square. (Tip: When you reserve through Open Table, you can request a specific table during busy times.)

The waitress ascertained we were there for afternoon tea (they also offer a regular lunch/brunch menu). She then gave us our menus describing the meal and tea options. The Rotunda has a small variety of Dammann Frères teas that cover all the bases. J.K. chose a white tea and Angela picked a green tea. The bottomless tea pot is included with the purchase of afternoon tea. Tea Time was served the complimentary Reduced Chicken Broth (isn't that Consommé?) with a tiny light pastry biscuit along with their beverages.All of it was very tasty.

Welcome to the Rotunda!
The overview, with popover and consommé+tiny biscuit.

Tea Time feels inspired to make these!
They offered chilled strawberry butter to compliment the bread.
white tea from the Anji region exclusively harvested during one or two weeks a year

green sencha basis, bergamot essential oil, kiwi, yellow peach, orange blossom, violet blossom flavor
J.K. and Angela chatted and enjoyed the view while we waited for the tea tray to arrive. You could see Union Square and also get a fun view of the Vera Wang store (mostly wedding dresses) from the table where we were seated. There was a changing of the guard during our meal as well so Tea Time lost a waitress and gained a waiter, but the service remained consistent and thoughtful.

Our tea tray came with five sandwiches (two of each), and they were salmon, cucumber, egg, crab and chicken salad. The crab puff was our favorite! The Rotunda also served us two different scones, and a variety of desserts. A Tea Time favorite, the petit four, put in an appearance, as well as madelines, mini opera cakes, pecan pie and a blondie (brownie). Tea Time baker J.K. complimented the madeline on it's perfect shape; she appreciates the little bump. We also had spreads for our scones. The Rotunda team chose to use a divided plate (similar to the one used at the Oak Room afternoon tea). In addition to the leftover strawberry butter there was honey, strawberry jam, lemon curd and whipped cream.

There were two of most items.

We did split the scones and petit fours.

'Vintage' lunch sandwiches (filtered photo)
J.K. saved room for more dessert, you'll see why in a minute...
A spread of spreads.
Our lemon has clothes!!

The NM rotunda itself is beautiful, and we understand it's a very popular destination during the Holidays when they put up a giant tree that reaches all the way to the 4th floor! Tea Time took a variety of pictures to try and capture the lovely setting where we enjoyed our tea, plus the view outside.

Wedding belles!

Union Square San Francisco.
The Rotunda window at street level.
 San Francisco is ripe with the opportunity to enjoy afternoon tea, and we've still got a few places to check out and share with you. Make a reservation at the Rotunda if you're visiting and don't want to stray from downtown! Oh, remember J.K. saved room for more dessert? That's because we happened to go to tea on "Free Cone Day." This is a thank you from Ben and Jerry's (the ice cream dudes!) that happens once every year. You can choose one scoop, but you can go back and stand in line as often as you like. We know someone who went 3 times! (NOT US!) There's always fun (often free) stuff happening in our Fair City so check it out and let us know your favorite spots!

Butterscotch for Angela.
Always Chocolate for J.K.