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Tea Time

Revival brings back a beloved tradition

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Tea for two? One lump or two?

Tea menu at Revival
The Prix-fixe menu during To a Tea at Revival in Bellevue. Meg Watt/NoBoNeighbor.com

In American culture, these are cliches for a lifestyle we don’t usually embrace. But a restaurant in Bellevue is bringing back the tradition of tea time, right on Lincoln Avenue.

Personally, I love a tea service. I have enjoyed them all around the world, and will seek out a nice high tea, when available. There are some notable locations around Pittsburgh that offer this service on a by-reservation or special event basis. When I heard that a restaurant less than a minute from my house was doing it, the decision was a no-brainer.

Assortment of delicacies during To a Tea at Revival
An assortment of delicacies served. Meg Watt/NoBoNeighbor.com

So what can you expect at “To a Tea” services from Revival? On Saturday’s menu, there were three tea choices from Tupelo Tea in Millvale. I really loved the Winter Blend, which was decidedly cozy and had a kicky ginger bite. My daughter enjoyed the Vanilla Chai, and they also offered a traditional Earl Grey.

While Revival isn’t delivering cozied tea pots to your table, they are bringing a delicious assortment of finger sandwiches, scones and desserts to tempt every palette. I can say this because I brought my very picky 22-year-old daughter, and she is still raving about it (more on that later).

The reservations-required event appeared to be sold out, with every well-spaced table filled with small groups sipping tea and nibbling treats. Music was kept low and a constant flow of tea was brought around by a dedicated team of teapot mavens.

When our tray arrived, we took a minute to check out all the colors and textures before working our way from the bottom up. Sandwiches on the bottom had a variety of flavors and breads. I will be thinking about the chicken salad with grapes and almonds for a long time to come.

Worthy of note was also the radish with creamy dill on Italian. I didn’t get to try the shrimp croissants; my daughter hoarded them like a hungry dragon.

A scone and tea during To a Tea at Revival
A scone and tea served Saturday. Meg Watt/NoBoNeighbor.com

On the middle level, Revival had thin, small slices of lemon pound cake with basil butter. In truth, those were a solid entry point to the second course of this meal. Round two was a winner, in part because of what came next.

The scones.

Full disclosure: I am not a scone person, except when it is accompanied by clotted cream and jam. Then watch out, world. Revival did not disappoint. While there were a variety of scones in the room, ours were all blueberry and we have no complaints about that!

With a solid structure but a soft break, they were the perfect consistency to support cream and jam. My daughter and I spoke very little while we eating these little morsels of Heaven. I cannot recommend enough.

Finally, we reached the final course, the peak of the tower: dessert. It’s hard to identify them that way as the whole meal had a definitive sweetness, especially the second course. But the top layer consisted of chocolate-covered strawberries and lemon curd wheels with fresh raspberries. They definitely rounded out the meal nicely and the lemon definitely was a nice palette cleanse.

Overall, this is a must-do event for anyone who loves a well-paced meal with a touch of whimsy and a whole lot of tradition. We left full (and with some leftovers) and are already planning for our next time; my daughter also definitely Googled “how to make clotted cream” on the way home. Reservations are $32 per person and are pre-paid when you reserve your seating.

If you missed this weekend’s tea, don’t worry; there are more opportunities coming up! Grab a significant other, mom or your favorite Galentines as their next tea is scheduled for Saturday, February 13th, just in time for Valentine’s Day! Reservations are required and do fill up fast so visit the Revival website to view the next menu and reserve your seating. (They also have a Valentine’s Day dinner available, if you need a romantic option.)


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Meg A. Watt

Meg is relatively new to the Pittsburgh scene but she's already made herself a community fixture through her involvement in community events, boards, and this site. She started her career as a journalist and still writes daily as a Content Director, and loves that this publication lets her come full circle with those skills - and her love of the North Boroughs. You can also find her writing on www.lit.buzz where she waxes poetic about all the books she loves. If you see her around Lincoln Avenue, she likely has her husband, grown daughters or a pack of dogs around; don't worry, no one bites! (And before you ask, yes; that is really her name)

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