Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Afternoon Tea at Cafe at the Frick

Recently SP & I went to see the Faberge exhibit at The Frick. I love Faberge and have been to Faberge exhibits at the Cleveland Museum twice. This was a very nice exhibit, although there are not any of the Imperial Easter Eggs on display. Photo frames, cigarette cases, brooches and other jewelry, bell pushes, silverware, and so much more... so many beautiful items. After enjoying the Faberge exhibit, we went to afternoon tea at The Cafe at the Frick.
On their site, it says that members only can make advance reservations. Non-members may only make same day reservations. I thought that was a bit odd, and a little inconvenient, but, whatever. So I called around 9:30 am the morning of our planned visit. A woman answered and transferred me to the cafe. And I got voice mail that instructed me to leave my name, number, desired reservation time/number of people, etc., and they would call me back to confirm if that was OK. Umm... what?! The Cafe opens at 11 am. Did that mean I would be receiving a call back after 11 am? But we were planning on leaving around 11:30 am to drive to Regent Square from Robinson and we wanted enough time to see the Faberge exhibit and the antique autos and walk around. I wasn't sure if we would still go if we couldn't also enjoy afternoon tea. What if there were no available reservations? What if my time had to be shifted?

Yes, I am a planner.
I did receive a call back around 10:15 am. My desired reservation time wasn't available, but we could have one a half hour later. So I said OK.

The cafe is smaller than I expected inside. The tables are closer together than I would like. You can hear everything your next door table neighbors say. It makes you very careful about what you say!!
SP chose Black Currant tea and I chose Earl Grey. I think they use Harney & Sons teas, which are quite good. We both really enjoyed our teas. The Cafe at the Frick afternoon tea arrives on a 3 tier server:
The top layer was the savory tea sandwiches. Scoops of salads on a mini toast rounds:
Chicken salad, egg salad, beet & ricotta, and mushroom & cream cheese:
They were all very tasty. I enjoyed the beet salad much more than I expected because it was not as beety as I expected! The chicken salad was my favorite. SP said the egg salad was one of the best egg salads he's ever enjoyed.

The second tier was scones served with homemade strawberry jam and cream (yes, cream, not a feta cheese spread as we overheard our table neighbors speculating when they couldn't identify it - ?!):
There were several flavors of scone: plain, lemon-poppy, and apple-cinnamon. They were very tasty. The jam was amazing, such good strawberry flavor. I think we ended up just eating the leftover jam plain because it was so good. I really liked the apple-cinnamon scone. It seemed so fall-like and warming. SP really liked the lemon-poppy scone.

The bottom tier was the sweet treats:
Chocolate thumbprint, madeleine, mini cranberry muffin, and a lemon-ricotta cheesecake round. There were blackberries and a small bowl of melted chocolate. I dipped my blackberries in the melted chocolate! The thumbprint was very rich. It was like a brownie base, not a cookie base, and a rich icing center. I want to say I liked the madeleine best, but I think I liked the mini cheesecake round best. It was a little too soft by the time I ate it, but I think it was the best afternoon tea treat.

Our check arrived with these teeny weeny sugar cookies:
The Cafe at the Frick has a very nice afternoon tea, I just wish there was a bit more space between tables and that the reservation policy was bit more non-member customer friendly. I wouldn't recommend trying to go without reservations as they were quite busy when we were there. Our server was very efficient and friendly enough. She did a good job keeping hot water in our teapots - no small feat since SP drinks quickly and he went through 3 pots of tea!
Café at the Frick on Urbanspoon


  1. Sounds yummy, and so close to my work! Any idea how much it was per person?