Sometimes a casual lunch calls for fine china, dainty doilies, gold-rimmed teacups and floral-print linens.
Located across the street from historic Sun-Ray Cinema, Cozy Tea's family-owned-and-operated tea room feels like it could be your grandmother's parlor: charming, familiar and cozy.
They serve several varieties of tea sandwiches including shrimp salad, smoked turkey, egg salad, cheese spread and cucumber; I enjoy the curried chicken salad on wheat with golden raisins and almonds and the vegetarian sandwich of cheese spread, organic mixed greens, English seedless cucumber, tomato and carrots. Side items are available for an additional charge.
Other lunch offerings include warm quiches, a savory lentil and vegetable pie, vegetable samosas (an Indian pastry stuffed with spiced potatoes and peas), salads and an assortment of soups — tomato herb, roasted corn with butternut squash, sour cream baked potato and spring vegetable with fresh ginger. A hot cup of soup pairs nicely with a salad or sandwich.
Portions are relatively small yet satisfying and reasonably priced. Everything is made in-house, down to the handmade gourmet truffles. Peruse the case dedicated solely to truffles, scones and dessert offerings like fluffy vanilla cake over a creamy English custard with berry compote, bread pudding with vanilla bean ice cream, carrot cake with caramelized pineapple and white chocolate frosting — and several other drool-worthy choices.
The warm lemon-glazed cookie, with pieces of white chocolate and almonds, drizzled with the most perfectly citrusy lemon sauce, is sure to please. Craving something more? Try sour cream blueberry butter cake studded with blueberries throughout and dusted with powdered sugar.
Scone varieties include blueberry, pineapple lemon, cherry coconut, apricot cream, vanilla sugar and cranberry orange. Heighten your experience by asking for sides of freshly whipped cream and jam.
If you're into tea, study the bookshelf with seemingly infinite flavors and varieties. I usually order a pot of the aromatic jasmine green tea but occasionally try one of the chai choices. (If you don't finish your pot of tea, ask for a to-go cup for 50 cents.)
Open Monday through Saturday for lunch, Cozy Tea is large enough for a big group outing and fast enough for a quick, healthful lunch or tea with co-workers.