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Saturday, January 29, 2005

For All the Tea in Westport

By Fran

WestportNow Consumer Correspondent
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On a very cold day this week a friend and business associate suggested we meet for lunch at the Saugatuck Rowing Club. Their salads are a bargain, about the same as carry-out at Abbondanza,Ӕ he assured me. Which is why we were both surprised when the bill came to over $35.dunvilles260.jpg
Where the tea is steep: Dunvilles. WN photo

Has this ever happened to you?

HereҒs the culprit we had asked to warm up with a cup of hot tea while looking over the menu. Only after lunch did the check reveal that we were charged $3 each for tea, which if you include tax and gratuity, comes to well over $7.

This got me wondering what Westport֒s other eateries charge for that innocuous cup of tea. Heres what I found. (Note: no information was available for restaurants missing from the list.)

Hot and on the house Җ heres where the tea is free:

Jasmine Restaurant, 60 Charles Street, 221-7777
Matsu Sushi, 33 Jesup Road, 341-9662
Sakura, 680 Post Road East, 222-0802
Ships Corner, 23 Jesup Road, 226-6233
Tengda Asian Bistro, 1330 Post Road East, 255-6115

Didnt know Asian restaurants now charge for tea? Well, some do:

Little Kitchen, 423 Post Road East, 227-2547, $.60

Well-priced Җ well come back for more:

MarioҒs Place, 36 Railroad Place, 226-0308, $1
Peppermill, 1700 Post Road East, 259-8155, $1
Athena Diner, 3350 Post Road East, 259-0603, $1.25
Commuter Coffee Co., 46 Railroad Place, 226-9010 $1.25
Angelinas Trattoria, Post Plaza Shopping Center, 227-0865, $1.25
Sherwood Diner, 901 Post Road East, 226-5535, $1.30
International House of Pancakes, 520 Post Road East, 454-9709, $1.36
Coffee AnҒ Donut Shop, 343 Main Street, 227-3808, $1.40
Black Duck, 605 Riverside Avenue, $1.50
DeRosas, 577 Riverside Avenue, 227-7596, $1.50
JohnҒs Best, 365 Post Road West, 227-7247, $1.50

Still comparatively reasonable, given the menu prices:

Villa Del Sol, 36 Elm Street, 226-7912, $1.95
Chez Stephane, 3 Bay Street, 226-8356, $2
Contes Market & Grill, 540 Riverside Avenue, 226-3474, $2
Tai Pan, 376 Post Road East, 227-7400, $2
TarantinoҒs, 32 Railroad Place, 454-3188, $2
Tartine, 7 Sconset Square, 226-2647, $2
Pane Vino, 1431 Post Road East, 255-1153, $2.25
Bogeys Grille and Tap Room, 323 Main Street, 227-4653, $2.25
Positano, 233 Hills Point Road, 454-4922, $2.50
Mansion Clam House, 541 Riverside Avenue, 454-7979, $2.50
River House Tavern, 299 Riverside Avenue, 226-5532, $2.50
Tavern On Main, 146 Main Street, 221-7222, $2.50
Three Bears, 333 Wilton Road, 227-7219, $2.50
V Restaurant and Wine Bar, 1460 Post Road East, 259-1160, $2.50
Bombay, 616 Post Road East, 226-0211, $2.50

At these prices, the tea is steep:

Saugatuck Rowing Club, 521 Riverside Avenue, 221-7475, $3
SeminaraҒs, 256 Post Road East, 222-8955, $3
Tiger Bowl, 1872 Post Road East, 255-1799, $3
Da Pietros, 36 Riverside Avenue, 454-1213, $3.25
DunvilleҒs, 41 Saugatuck Avenue, 227-0511, $3.50


Posted 01/29/05 at 09:00 PM  Permalink


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It is not fair to compare a cup of tea on price alone—there are too many variables. Is it a cup or a pot? Is it just a Lipton or is it the finest, imported Orange/Black Pekoe?
Do they give choices of herbal, green, Earl Grey and others?
(Though, I do doubt Dunville�s has the most expensive fine tea in a pot.)

Posted by Vanessa on January 30, 2005 at 06:11 PM | #

Isn’t all tea imported….even Liptons? But, I agree that a pot of hot water and one teabag is not so expensive that it couldn’t be given gratis along with a lunch or dinner meal order.

Posted by Wally Woods on January 30, 2005 at 06:54 PM | #

I have just returned from brunch at Dunville’s (always wonderful). A cup of hot tea is $1.50, with free refills (iced tea is $2.00). I have always found Dunville’s both an economical and a perennially fine experience, and I encourage everyone to try it! My apologies to Fran’s calculations, because there must have been some error…

Posted by Lauren E on January 30, 2005 at 08:05 PM | #

I love tea. I want tea service to include a steaming ceramic pot of hot water, heated cup, honey,lemon,milk,choice of Earl Grey,English Breakfast,Chai,Sencha and an assortment of non caffienated fruit teas.I doubt that would be gratis and I am willing to pay $3.50 for it anywhere although i would want a second pot of hot water at no extra charge.I am sure this type of tea service makes waiters groan,so a tip is in order too.

Posted by Steve A on January 31, 2005 at 01:29 PM | #

Re: Dunville’s. I can’t visit every establishment I list in Fran’s List but often rely on phone surveys. And yes, this was exactly the price I was given over the phone when I called Dunville’s to ask their price of a cup of hot tea. When I registered shock at the price I asked him to repeat it - and yes, indeed, $3.50 it was. Could it have been someone who just wanted to get off the phone? Is Dunville’s trying to discourage teetotalers in favor of beer drinkers? Could Fran’s List have caused Dunville’s to rethink their pricing policy and make a hasty change in time for Sunday brunch?

Posted by Fran on January 31, 2005 at 04:12 PM | #

The article says that the establishment was the Saugatuck Rowing Club but the picture and caption say Dunville’s. Which is correct? Bad PR for one or the other ...

Posted by confused on February 03, 2005 at 07:34 PM | #

I’ll bet that whoever answered the phone and quoted the price misunderstood the question. Iced tea, hot tea and Twisted Tea (a very tasty malt beverage) all come at different prices. I recommend all of them at Dunvilles any day of the week. Consistently great food and good fun.

Posted by Rose Tea on February 04, 2005 at 03:34 AM | #

Fran maybe you were drinking twisted tea which is worth 3.50. Also what were youu doing having lunch at a club which claims to be private, for members only. if the “club is not private ” what is going on!

Posted by Joe Carpentieri on February 05, 2005 at 02:19 AM | #

Fran maybe you were drinking twisted tea which is worth 3.50. Also what were youu doing having lunch at a club which claims to be private, for members only. if the “club is not private ” what is going on!

Posted by Joe Carpentieri on February 05, 2005 at 02:19 AM | #