I used to visit the iconic soul food restaurant Pink Tea Cup when it was still located at its original location in the West Village. I’d treat myself to heaping servings of buttery grits at brunch or their signature fried chicken at dinner. Until this weekend, I hadn’t tried the Fort Greene outpost – the restaurant’s fourth location since its original owner, Charles Raye, closed the West Village space he opened in 1954 and sold it to Lawrence Page. After a handful of moves around Manhattan and Harlem, Pink Tea Cup finally settled in Brooklyn at 120 Lafayette Avenue (at Cumberland Street) in 2013.
The corner spot is warm and intimate and the service on point. Upon entering, we were warmly greeted by the hostess who seated us immediately for an early dinner. Our bartender/server was also friendly and efficient – quick to refill my water glass, offer another round of cocktails, and take away our empty plates.
For my entrée I opted for less hearty fare than I used to get and ordered the Glazed & Grilled Salmon while my dated ordered the Pan Fried Salmon Croquettes. While the grilled salmon was cooked a little too well-done for my liking, the glaze helped to keep it moist. The croquettes were fried to a perfect balance of crisp exterior and flaky center.
The true standouts on our plates were the two sides that came with our orders. Not comparing our choices beforehand, my date and I both ordered the Collard Greens (with smoked turkey) and Baked Candied Yams. The greens were tender and bursting with flavor and the yams were reminiscent of pie with generous amounts of cinnamon, nutmeg, and brown sugar. Next time we will coordinate and try some of the other side options such as the Bughetto Corn Bread, Baked 5 Cheese Mac, and the Homemade Potato Salad.
The two dessert options included chocolate cake or cheesecake. We shared a slice of the cheesecake which was not the typical, light and fluffy Golden Girls type of cheesecake. This one was dense, rich, and gooey with a pleasant slight taste of condensed milk.
As we were wrapping up, our server mentioned that Pink Tea Cup will be featured on a WE reality TV show in March. Titled Hustle & Soul, the six-episode series documents the restaurant behind-the-scenes as owner and head chef, Lawrence Page strives to earn Pink Tea Cup a Michelin Star (it would be the first soul food restaurant with this honor) and manage the in-house drama of his staff.