After three months, one polar vortex and too many snow storms (it’s only pretty the first time), we’re ready for spring. But seeing as it’s March 26th and another blizzard is on its way, it looks like we’re going to have to put those dreams on the back burner for now.
Luckily, The Green Teahouse opened up last month on Chapel Street, helping us survive the last of this harsh winter. Conveniently located across from Old Campus, the new locale is the second of its kind- the owners also have a successful teahouse in West Hartford. The cozy and authentic vibe sets The Green Teahouse apart from most places in New Haven with its warm lighting, plush seating and soft music that makes for a perfect escape from the snow. By the time you’re done here, you really won’t want to leave (more tea please).
The menu takes some getting used to as the focus is on the wide array of teas with the food options meant to complement each flavor. But… since we’re foodies at heart, we ordered from all over the menu whether or not our dishes were recommended as accompaniments to our tea. For the teas, we ordered the Honey Roast, Strawberry Slim, Gentle Sleep, and Blueberry Silver. I’m a coffee addict and in no way a tea expert, but we were all happy with our choices. The tea comes elaborately presented on a tray with a personal pot of tea, strainer, honey, and dessert (mochi the day we went). The waiter regularly refilled our teapots with hot water so we had an endless supply of tea throughout our meal.
The food comes in small and large portions, so we ordered many of different dishes to share and I would definitely recommend doing it that way.
Our friend Gabby ordered the peanut noodles and edamame dumplings. The peanut noodles were a bit disappointing, served cold and quite bland- nothing like the peanut noodles from a Thai restaurant we’d expect. The edamame dumplings were a great option for anyone who’s vegan or vegetarian, with a crispy shell and tasty filling.
Carolina got the Strawberry Turkey Panini that went with her Strawberry tea. The panini was tasty but could’ve used more turkey and better bread than the sliced store-bought kind it came on.
We also ordered chicken dumplings, one of my all-time favorite dishes. I know it seems boring but it’s hard to mess up this classic and they definitely knew what they were doing. The dumplings were warm, flavorful, and not too oily.
My favorite item on the menu was the Akiko-san noodles. The noodles had a flavor unlike anything I’ve had before, and the sauce was so good I came close to slurping it down when the noodles were gone. Incredibly flavorful and not too salty, these noodles were exactly what I needed that day (and every day).
We tried a small dish of curry noodles that were satisfying but not as spicy or flavorful as curry tends to be.
Lauren got the Okra rice with tofu, tomato, edamame, quiona brown rice, and black tea-infused soy sauce which was a nice dish if you’re looking for something light, but we preferred the noodle dishes.
To wrap up our meal we got a small dish of steamed broccoli which was exactly what it sounds like: plain steamed broccoli.
The Green Teahouse offers a relaxing atmosphere that’s a perfect escape from campus life. The food is good with a few outstanding dishes (Akiko-san noodles!) and they are truly experts on tea, serving every blend imaginable to suit your mood. The service was excellent and our waiter was patient and helpful while we sorted through all the different tea options. They also sell tea and tea sets, so you can take the experience home with you.