Monday, October 3, 2011

Samovar Tea Lounge (Zen Valley on Page Street)

A cozy nook at Samovar is the perfect place to spend a rainy afternoon either solo or with a good friend. The place is not manicured or staged to the point where you will be walking on egg shells. It is a combination of shabby, new agey and contemporary. The place is quiet enough but conversations and a slightly active kid are tolerated. Instead of pretentious, Samovar on Page is mytical and homey.

There are two levels:
The long tea bar with an ample display of various tea from all the the world is located on the first level. Bistro style tables and chairs are also plenty.

The second level is cozier. A long communal table with floor cushions is available for grazing if you are up for taking off your shoes. A couple of regular tables by the window are available for those who do not want to strip down to their "lucky socks."

Armed with a $50 Living Social Deal, it was like Christmas for me and my foodie pal, Heather.   We ordered the following:

JAPANESE SERVICE $22: Tofu Maki Bowl, Soup, Seaweed Salad with Miso Dressing, Seasoned Brown Rice, Steamed Kale with Sesame Dressing, Toasted Nori.
TEA: Ryokucha (Brown Rice Tea)

RUSSIAN SERVICE $24: Smoked Fish, Tarragon Beets, Horseradish, Devilled Egg with Caviar, Crackers, Fresh Fruit, Brownies
TEA: Zavarka with milk and sugar

As if we still haven't had enough food, I ordered the HANDMADE SQUASH DUMPLINGS WITH SESAME-SOY DIPPING SAUCE $7.

It was Zen! Not because it was quiet in a meditative kind of way but the food was nourishing. Each item satisfied the belly and touched the soul. Aside from the generous portions, the food tasted delicious. They were filling but light.

I was nervous about the Russian Tea Service but it turned out to be a plate of good quality meal. The smoked fish were thick, generously cut, fresh and not fishy. The beet salad was refreshing.

The soup in the Japanese service wowed us--very tasty! The brown rice, tofu, nori combo filled us guilt-free and made us feel healthy. I patted myself on the back for eating healthy.

And the Squash Dumplings were worth the extra $$ despite having more than enough food. Light and delicious!

I stuck with the Russian tea which tasted medicinal at first but Heather and I actually ended up really enjoying it. It was smokey and spicy at the same time. A small pot of cinammony sugar complimented the tea. A cozy pot of tea.

We had the most awesome, most attentive and most friendly server who took care of us yet let us be. They checked on us without ever rushing us.

CHECK: $57 before Living Social, tax and tip.

Samovar Tea Lounge on Urbanspoon


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