Bel Cafe

801 W Georgia St. Vancouver, BC V6C 1P7 Canada(604) 673-7000belcafe.com

DELI 2

Just off the corner of the Rosewood Hotel there is a café of cool, because apparently that’s just how the Rosewood rolls. Average don’t play in these walls. Granted the Bel isn’t quite as refined as the hotel it calls home, but what it lacks in posh, it makes up for in vibe, with young, hip, attractive shoppers huddled around the lattes and noshes.

Of the lattes, I tried the chocolate chai latte and sadly it was a far cry from the one at Bread and Cocoa in San Francisco, but to be fair, that’s the best latte I’ve ever had in my life. On the upside, the blueberry scone was mighty good. Fresh and not too dry, which is the bane of scone existence.

Can’t say much beyond that though, but from my limited sample of eyesdropping (eavesdropping with the eyes), I noticed quite a few lookers on the plates of my fellow patrons, not to mention in the glass case (pictured). Enough to feel comfortable with giving this place an assumptive three knives.

3 teeth

 

Gryphon Tea Room

337 Bull St. Savannah, GA 31401 • (912) 525-5880 • scad.edu/experience/gryphon

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Savannah is no stranger to stunning, historic architecture, but when you combine that with the skilled eyes of the interior designers as SCAD (Savannah College of Art & Design) you wind up with something truly special. And so, this apothecary from the early 1900’s has gone through an extraordinary transformation to become a lunch destination not to be missed. From the leather bound library encircling the dining room, to the rich, ornate, hand-carved wood moldings, to the original stained glass windows you can’t help but fall in love with the setting.

But what makes the Gryphon truly worthy is that it doesn’t rest on its traffic-stopping decor, although it easily could. No, just like its overachieving owner, the Gryphon delivers in spades. My onion, apple and leek quiche was excellent, upstaging a rather good goat cheese salad which I ordered to accompany it. And equally impressive was the smoked salmon club sandwich. Fresh and perfectly balanced, I honestly don’t know which I liked better. Plus, the cucumber salad as a side was a great choice next to the salmon.

Our lattes of both coffee and chai lineage were also delicious, but I suppose that should be expected from a place entitled a “tea room.”

Dessert was the only thing we had that wasn’t a “wow face.” The apple and pear crumble with spiced ginger ice cream, while good, lacked the strong contrast of texture and flavor that makes for truly memorable crumbles. But then, as a nice holiday surprise, one of the waiters brought us their own, homemade holiday ginger cookies along with the check, and have to say, those cookies were as good as any I’ve ever had.

So I’m going with a rock solid 4 knives, standing tall… If only they were also opened for dinner too… sigh.

4 teeth

Sherry B Dessert Studio

65 King St. Chappaqua, NY 10514(914) 238-8300 sherryb.com

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Apart from their ridiculously inconvenient hours, this place is perfection. From coffee to chai lattes to brownies so good you’d swear they were laced, like the dulce de leche.

Even the decor is incredibly well done- something you’d expect to see in Manhattan. Sleek, with interesting touches like using muffin pans as a decorative element. Sounds weird, but looks great. And the staff, as well as Sherry, are always very friendly and equally skilled.

The only miss for me is the ice cream. It’s just okay. Wish it lived up to the rest, but that’s a pretty high bar.

5 teeth