When the 55-year-old Pink Tea Cup closed last year, manager Lisa Ford blamed the city, but the new owner, longtime regular Lawrence Page (who previously owned J’Adore and now owns the Actors’ Playhouse), is confident he can make a go of it. “It was mismanaged,” he says of the old location, “and that’s coming from Charles Raye himself.” Page says he’s been working hand-in-hand with Raye (the original owner, who is now in his 90s). “Charles was pretty upset that he built a legacy that just went out of the window, so it was important that I get the Bible thrown at me.” On Raye’s advice, he hired back a former longtime cook, known as Dot, to restore the original recipes. “A lot of stuff was altered and changed over the years,” says Page. “We’re bumping it up a notch to where it used to be.
The old staples like macaroni and cheese, collard greens, fried chicken, shrimp-and-cheese grits, and gravy-smothered pork chops will remain on the menu at similar prices (“a few things might go up a bit to $25 but the prices are overall in the same area”), but health-conscious dishes have also been added. Also new: A full liquor license that will allow for “Pinktinis” (Raye believed the original location was too small for a bar), an outdoor-seating area, and a stage (left over from when the space was Sweet Basil) that will host jazz, soul, and rhythm and blues for no charge. And along with that, the 125-seat dining room will now close at 4 a.m. on weekends (and eventually at 5 a.m.).
The new Pink Tea Cup is still under construction (it opens for breakfast, lunch, and dinner on June 2), and the full menu is still in the works, but here are some new additions you can safely expect:
Salmon Croquettes, Sirloin Steak, or Fried Fish with a choice of Grits, Home fries and Eggs
Fried Chicken and Butter Pecan Waffles with homemade Pecan syrup
Almond & Oatmeal crusted French toast
Miss Daisy’s poached eggs on a warm biscuit with honey peppered ham topped with BBQ Hollandaise sauce
A selection of seasonal fruit, yogurt w/ granola and fresh berries
B-Mo Style” crab cakes
Fried catfish Po’ boy’s served with “Fries-N-Slaw,” and homemade Bayou hot sauce
Turkey Meatloaf with smothered onions and garlic mashed potatoes
“95 South” chopped BBQ sandwich on toasted cornbread
Spinach and grilled salmon salad, among other selections.
Herb-crusted rack of lamb with roasted shallot au jus served with lobster mashed potatoes
Crispy fried duck drizzled w/ pecan sauce served with collard greens and sweet potatoes
Grilled pork chops stuffed with an apple, sausage and spinach cornbread stuffing drizzled with Apple brandy sauce
Sweet Potato Bisque with herbal Crème Fraiche and smoked walnuts
Roasted beet salad tossed and topped with pickled Apples, smoked walnuts and crumbled goat cheese
Blackened BBQ Salmon over Garlic Mashed potatoes and charred succotash topped with wilted Kale on a nest of Red Pickled Onions
Seasoned seared Shrimp
The Pink Tea Cup, 88 Seventh Ave. S., nr. Bleecker St.; 212-255-2124