Famed Parisian tearoom Angelina — best known for its rich hot chocolate and historic past patrons like Coco Chanel and Marcel Proust — will debut its first U.S. location at 1050 Sixth Avenue, near Bryant Park, on Wednesday.
Spanning 3,000 square feet, the massive new patisserie features three distinct sections: A dining/tearoom that has socially distanced tables and is currently operating at 25 percent capacity; a bakery section that serves Angelina’s signature pastries, sandwiches, and cold drinks, all available for takeout; and a retail shop that will sell the tearoom’s popular hot chocolate in bottled and powder form, along with mixed teas, caramels, jams, and more.
The Parisian original’s biggest hits — the hot chocolate that’s made with beans from Niger, Ghana, and the Ivory Coast, and the Mont Blanc pastry that’s made with French meringue and topped with chestnut vermicelli — are the highlights at the NYC location as well, but there are also extensive brunch, lunch, and dinner menus. Items include French toast-style caramelized brioche, roasted salmon, and risotto with mushrooms. A special tea-time menu is expected to be added in the near future.
The dining room here resembles the Belle Epoque-style interiors of the original in Paris with its beveled mirrors, decorative molding, and cornices, all a nod to Parisian architecture from the early 1900s.
The NYC outpost was initially set to debut last September but got pushed back to the spring, and then ultimately delayed even further due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet following the prolonged wait and the constantly evolving restaurant landscape due to the pandemic, Angelina is pushing ahead with the opening. “The pandemic situation is not the best moment to make an opening,” says Isabelle de Bardies, the CEO of the patisserie. “We had to manage the situation. We had no choice.”
Austrian confectioner Antoine Rumpelmayer opened the original Parisian cafe in 1903, naming it after his daughter-in-law. In the subsequent century, the tearoom has expanded to more than 30 locations around the world, including outposts in the Middle East and Japan. The establishment has plans to add a couple of more locations in the U.S., based on the success of the New York outpost.
Angelina now joins more than a dozen top-notch tearooms across the city. The Bryant Park location is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and on Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
— Additional reporting by Bao Ong