PROVIDENCE, RI: When a charming eating establishment serving High Tea calls itself a snuggery, the first thought might be that it’s a British invention, but ‘The D&B’ is also a chic French crêperie, a wine bar, cupcakery, cigar bar and outdoor café! In true snuggery fashion, these selections come together perfectly to create a retreat far from worldly cares. Could this be the elusive place that is all things to all people?
Small, European chic, friendly, and delish, Duck & Bunny is perhaps the only establishment in town that offers Tea. As in capital T. Gloriously civilized, HIGH TEA SERVICE.
What is HighTea/Afternoon Tea? http://www.afternoontea.co.uk
The cheerful staff and whimsical parody paintings (Van Gogh as a rabbit) keep this stylish white and grey tea room with sparkling chandeliers, marble bistro sets, and banquette seating from being too formal and ill at ease; in fact, the cushioned window seats are about as ‘stuffy’ as it gets here!
My lunch date Cindy and I began with a steaming mug of hot cider for me and a pot of pungent sassafras strawberry tea (with a hint of birch?) for her, (all I can say, is leave it to Cindy to know what birch tastes like), while we took several minutes to read and reread the long list of delectable entrées. The menu remains the same for lunch and dinner, but changes for weekend brunch.
After much debate and changing of minds, we decided on the Tea Service for One ($18.00) for guess who, and The Crèperito ($12.00) por moi.
It didn’t take long for the large portions to arrive. The Tea Service was nicely presented on a contemporary white pedestal with an assortment of traditional finger sandwiches, such as cucumber with herb spread, turkey with dried cranberries, tuna with apple, sundried-tomato spread, smoked salmon with dill, and mini frosted carrot cupcakes, preserves and clotted cream for the scone. Alas, the scone wasn’t what one enjoys in the U.K., but that baked goodness is rarer to find in the States than High Tea. Cindy loved everything and thought the service quantity was more than enough for one.
My beef stuffed crèperito was delish and not spicy, with melted cheddar cheese, rice, beans, bits of onion and spinach served hot, and embellished with dollops of mild guacamole and salsa, drizzled with sour cream. A small side of greens with balsamic vinegar rounded out the meal.
It was a filling and flavorful lunch for both of us. Rather than over indulge (heaven forbid) we decided to make a second visit, perhaps in late spring when the garden seating is open, to indulge our sweet tooth with cupcakes and a sampling of chocolate drinks.
Restaurant Weeks 2013– Join D&B this January13th–26th for pre-fixe specials.
It is so all in the details at this establishment! There are three rooms in total, plus a very large courtyard in tucked in back. The two tea rooms are cheerful with loads of natural light and sparkling chandeliers. The smaller of the two is compact, and probably uncomfortable when every seat is filled and people are up and down to the loo. Yet, the whimsical paintings against a sophisticated soft white and grey color-palette, elegant original fireplaces and original moldings lighten this feeling of constraint.
The largest tea room shares space with a roomy white tiled bar. A large, tufted, white leather banquette, suitable for any drama queen to hold court, adds unexpected interest against the sturdy marble tables, and cushioned window seats in the largest room.
The dark grey interior lounge is a dramatic departure from the other two stark white rooms. The deep-set, tufted white wingback chairs and tiny side tables create a private sophisticated nook for whispered conversations among a small group or romantically entangled couples.
Everything from the white tiled bar to the big chairs and the bistro seating invites people to find their favorite spot—singles can sit and read with a glass of wine, friends are welcome to chat over lunch, colleagues can puff a cigar, and couples are given time to catch up on their day.
The arrangements of furnishings create an ambiance of intimacy within a bright welcoming space, while little cocoons of space can be found without causing a sense of distance or isolation.
All so comfy and cosmopolitan. After all, this is officially known as the Duck & Bunny Snuggery.