SW Tea Lover
I visited here on July 2, 2009. The decor is beautiful, and the service is excellent. While there is a lunch and dinner menu, I opted for the 'afternoon tea,' based on what I had read about this tearoom. The food came in the 3-tier presentation. You got 2 of the same scone--would have been nice to have had 2 different ones. They were heavy and dry. No lemon curd, perhaps because the scones were cranberry and raisin. The savories were tasty and flavorful, but their presentation was pretty much all the same (all cut in triangles). The sweets, of which there were about 9, were average, the kind you could buy ready-made in a box, for the most part. I guess I was expecting more in the quality of the food, given the reputation of this tearoom. You had a choice of only 1 tea (as there were 2 of us, we ordered 2 different teas).I had the house blend, which was excellent (berry flavors) and bottomless. A server refilled my cup (glass in a pretty silver holder) just about every time I took a sip. (Now THAT is service!) My guest had a tea served in a 2-cup pot (no tea cozy or warmer, though). The tea menu was excellent, with many teas that are not often found on the menu at most tearooms. So have some fun and choose one you have not tried before. The atmosphere is truly beautiful, peaceful, and serene; and while there are a lot of tables, I didn't get the feeling of being overcrowded or imposed upon. The service was excellent, and the staff extremely friendly, although not as knowledgeable on the teas as I would have expected. They did explain the food being served, however, quite well. The location is great--across from Grant Park, and within easy walking distance of several hotels, including mine. While the food quality was disappointing, on my next visit to Chicago, I will return here and order off their lunch menu, which looked great (and try some of the Russian food), and order tea with it. Their website is: www.russianteatime.com .