Sanctuary T is a slightly misleading name for a restaurant with the sound and energy found in this bustling Soho teahouse during weekend brunch. The concept aims to combine a serene, removed setting with the full-service experience New Yorkers have come to expect. This works during the week with thinner crowds, when you can really appreciate the restaurant’s clean yet warm design. But on weekends, it is difficult to distinguish Sanctuary T from any other overcrowded Soho bistro.
There is no false advertising in the focus on tea, however, which is an ingredient not just in drinks. Along with an extensive hot and cold tea menu, Sanctuary T offers a selection of tea-infused cocktails along with delicate tea accents on some savory menu items. From the a la carte menu, we recommend the Sanctuary Eggs Benedict with pear-cinnamon tea infused hollandaise sauce ($12) or a lighter option of Grilled Tofu seasoned with Tahitian green “T-dust” and served with red quinoa ($13). Both the Smoky Steak ($15) and the Duck Confit ($14) salads are a hit as well.
Sanctuary T offers a decent prix fixe option – the $25 Cozy Brunch – but we wish it offered a larger selection of the items that are available on the a la carte menu. The brunch includes a choice of the three most basic items on the menu – French Toast, Farmer’s Omelet, or a Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Sandwich – along with a Bloody Mary or Mimosa, Earl Gray tea, and ice cream. Fine, but we have seen prix fixe brunch options that offer more exciting options for the same price or less.
Speaking of price, everything on the menu is just a tiny bit more expensive than we think it should be. Everyone loves a nice cup of soothing tea, but at $4 (or higher, for a specialty tea like a Mate Latte) it feels a little bit high maintenance. Still, many of the ingredients on Sanctuary T’s menu are locally sourced, organic, and even biodynamic, which may account for the slightly elevated price
In warm weather, Sanctuary T is an open-air café with diners spilling into the sidewalk – a perfect place for people watching, but not a good place to escape them.
Brunch at Sanctuary T – $25/$40
Sat. & Sun. 08:00am to 05:00pm