PPX Report: 29B || Counter SErvice
A stone’s throw from where Josh used to live in the East Village, in an old pretzel restaurant (yes… a pretzel restaurant) now stands 29B -- the Tea Dealer’s incredible new storefront. One part retail shop for their tea -- the most distinctive and highest quality tea we've ever had. One part show room for Sugahara -- a Japanese glassware company whose work should be in a museum. And One part all-day tea house and restaurant. The idea is genius -- opening up a space that is so diverse in its offerings and yet centered around a similar concept -- it effectively allows anyone to feel comfortable there.
There to shop? Great. There to just admire? Okay. Sashimi and mind blowing green tea is on your agenda for today ? -- they’ve got you. On top of the genius of the model, is their passion. Talk to Stefen Ramirez for more than three minutes and you’ll be a changed person -- anxiously awaiting the next time you have the opportunity to drink some of their tea.
And, what’s great is: they’re growing. Last Wednesday night we had the opportunity to go to their inaugural dinner series: a tasting menu planned out and executed by Travis Dorsey (formerly of Dirt Candy in the city). Here’s how they pitched it:
As our first collaboration for 29B we are proud to partner with Chef Travis Dorsey for an innovative five course menu and tea pairing. Travis's experience with plant-based cuisine and Stefen Ramirez's expert tea knowledge are combining for a study of the compelling ways tea and food can compliment and contrast one another. Travis Dorsey is a Chef and writer based out of New York City. He has worked as the sous chef at Dirt Candy and, most recently, on tour with Madonna, which means he has cooked in state of the art kitchens, airplanes, hotel rooms, RV’s, and even a bathroom once. Long story.
To us, the night highlighted all things 29B -- tea, intentional cooking, community -- all set out into five courses and a cocktail hour. Throughout the evening Stefen would explain our tea pairings, and astute servers would drop the next course on the pottery (hi, it was stunning) that you could purchase later in the store, and poured wine into the Sugahara glasses (which were, again, a treat in their own right). The evening tied together the culinary achievements of Dorsey as well as education on the teas we were drinking. The energy was amazing, and we're looking to get back asap for their next dinner. And if this menu is their first of many dinners, there, it’s a sign that we all need to keep tabs on these darlings because -- they’re striking gold.