When Christmas comes, we’re blessed in that we don’t need anything, sometimes even having trouble thinking of things we’d like, and certainly don’t need more “stuff.” But both our girls came up trumps this year with the gift of experiences.
Our younger daughter had me pencil in a date weeks in advance for a gift shrouded in mystery and we caught an early afternoon train into Chicago a few days before Christmas, the gift still unknown. When we got into our Uber car, she told the driver not to mention the location, as it was a surprise. Rounding a corner near the Chicago Art Institute, I saw the sign for the Russian Tea Time restaurant, a place I’d never been. Was that it?? Hurrah! Our 2:30 pm reservation was for afternoon tea.
The restaurant was the dream of Klara Muchnik, born and raised in Ukraine. In 1967, Klara moved to Tashkent, Uzbekistan but in 1990, she and her family moved to Chicago in search of a better life. This restaurant was the delicious result.
We chose the “house tea”, a Darjeeling Black Current blend served in beautiful cups.
Our small bites came in three layers, the top comprised of scones, whipped cream, and jam.
Layer two was the savory layer, my favorite. I would have been happy if the savory layer had been the largest, bottom plate.
Finally there were the homemade desserts, none overly sweet. After eating all we could reasonably enjoy, we took home two scones and some of the desserts.
Now remember, we were in a Russian restaurant. Still, when our daughter suggested we end with a shot of vodka, I was completely surprised. However, when in Rome (or Russia)… We selected a flight of three, three ounce shots of fruit vodkas, sharing each one. They were delicious as were the pickles and rye bread that accompanied them!! Click on the highlighted link to see an example. I took a picture, but it was out of focus. I hasten to add that was before the vodka. 🙂
As I said, a delicious gift and a wonderful memory. Our older daughter’s gift? You’ll have to wait to find out. In the meantime, cheers!