When I heard Sarabeth’s was coming to town, it was as if the big red-clad man was coming down my chimney with a sackful of delicious treats. Excitement in the air.
Sarabeth’s is one of my favorite New York restaurants. Beyond the tasty brunch fare, the atmosphere is lovely – a mix of Sunday morning breakfast in a cozy home and fashionable cafe. My favorite location is Central Park South in NYC, seated at the sidewalk tables with a view of the park and New York buzz of energy filling the air. Some of my favorite New York memories take place at a Sarabeth’s – lunch with my mother before visiting the MET, reunion brunch with my favorite girlfriends, breakfast with close friends during college days.
Needless to say, Sarabeth’s coming to Tokyo was both a nostalgic and exciting thought. The feeling of home, wherever it may be found, is priceless. Be it Starbucks or a favorite restaurant, I’m there. Add a New York flair and tasty food, and I’m running to the door.
Although I couldn’t attend the opening, I made sure to have dinner at Sarabeth’s last Friday night, the day after its opening. The queue was only about an hour long, whiled away with a mini pre-birthday shopping spree. Who knew Lumine in Shinjuku had such great fashion finds?!
Finally, it was 7 o’clock. Dinner time! We lined up by the door for our name to be called and for a hostess to seat us. I was terribly excited. The menu, though a condensed, moderately different menu than the New York one, still provided enticing options. We had already decided while waiting and couldn’t wait for our Seafood Cobb Salad and Chicken Pot Pie to arrive. Neither disappointed.
The Cobb Salad was very good. I’m not a fan of bacon but the one generously prepared in the salad was good even in my opinion; it tasted like real meat, not the fragments of lard considered to be bacon in most other salads here. The avocado and tomatoes were also perfectly ripe and filling. And finally, the seafood (crab and shrimp) were perfect. Even without much of an appetite (silly cold), I was still eager to enjoy it.
The Chicken Pot Pie, though not my entrée, was amazing. The puff pastry crust was crispy, not overly buttery. The filling – potatoes, carrots, onions, chicken, sauce… – was savory and not oily. I only had two bites but they made me crave many more. My boyfriend devoured it semi-gracefully; after all, pastry crust isn’t mess-free but evidence of a highly-enjoyed meal.
Our meal ended very quickly but not at all in a bad way. In fact, it was quite good. We couldn’t help our quick eating and slower appreciation of the atmosphere; we also felt a small social responsibility to finish up so the next eager guests could enjoy Sarabeth’s in its air of novelty. I was also able to share my foodie love and nostalgia with someone very special to me. Over all, it was a lovely evening at Sarabeth’s. One new memory to add to my Sarabeth’s love — I had yet to add an evening experience to my collection of happy thoughts.