Hey, Polk Street, you’ve got a couple cute new spots on your drag! Who knew a former sex shop and smoke shop would transform into the très charmant MAISON DANEL, a French-style salon de thé (tea salon) and patisserie? There are exposed brick walls, tiled floors, a cobalt blue tufted banquette, upholstered Louis-style chairs that encourage you to sit and linger, a huge sparkling chandelier, and lots of natural light. The classic style is well-appointed and welcoming, without being too fussy.
It’s from husbands Danel and David de Betelu (the owners of Baker Street Bistro), who have wanted to open a pâtisserie/tea salon for years, and have brought on pastry chef Adrien Chabot, fresh from Paris. The extensive pastry case is full of viennoiserie—from all kinds of croissants to chausson aux pommes (apple turnover)—while the pâtisserie options include delicate macarons that actually made me like them again, tartes, and a version of pot de crème made with milk (pot de lait) that was lighter and lovely. I look forward to trying Chabot’s Saint Honoré. You can also have items packed up in cute boxes—perfect host gifts.
They have also made their own creation: the crioche, a dough that is a combination of croissant dough and brioche, which makes for a bready, buttery, layered (laminated) roll, which they are filling with savory combos, like smoked salmon and herbed cream cheese, and ham and cheese.
You can book a table for tea service (from 2:30pm-6pm), with towers of finger sandwiches, pastries, and mini viennoiserie, with the option to add Champagne, caviar service, and more.
Weekend brunch features eggs Benedict, Florentine, and oeuf cocotte (eggs baked with cream and cheese “en cocotte”), plus tartines, croques, soups, and salads; don’t miss the quiche Lorraine, what a decadent, eggy treat. Some lunchtime mains will include vol-au-vent du jour (puff pastry filled with chef’s choice of the day), steak tartare, and a burger Maison Danel with wagyu beef patty and truffle mayo.
There’s Champagne, wine, and beer, all kinds of tea, full espresso and coffee service, floats, kombucha on tap, and fresh juices. Hours are 7am-7pm: breakfast from 8am-11am, lunch 11am-2:30pm, and Champagne and tea from 2:30pm-6pm. Weekend brunch is 8am-2:30pm. Closed Mondays. And: you can make reservations. 1030 Polk St. at Post.
A bit further down Polk is another spot that will be a hit with the brunch crowd, SON & GARDEN full of floral displays, wallpaper, flowery plates, and tea cups. It’s from Kasem “Pop” Saengsawang and his Farmhouse Thai group (and Daughter Thai), and is softly open right now (they’ve been working on this project for two years!).
While the brunch offering includes creations like matcha mochi or ricotta pancakes and deep-fried French toast, there’s also bibimbap, a crabby omelet, and a beastmode, bone-in short rib Benedict and a lobster Benedict (these last two items will put you back $32, while the other items are more around $16). High tea will also be offered, with a house blueberry scone, bacon-goat cheese biscuit, smoked salmon sandwich, and club sandwich paired with your selection of tea and a drink.
And it’s not just a brunch or tea or lunch spot: there’s also dinner service that starts at 5pm, with an eclectic menu that includes fried calamari, pasta carbonara, a flaming bird (really), whole branzino, and a fried chicken doughnut with potato wedges and mushroom sauce. I feel like I just took some LSD while reading this menu.
The space is totally over the top—it’s full-on Instagram bait, but it looks like a lot of fun, and there’s a secret tea lounge designed for high tea that is already booked up through mid-March, with pink velvet scalloped chairs, gilded mirrors, and more delightfully vibrant floral wallpaper, plus a private bar.
It’s pretty wild when you consider the space was formerly Ken’s Kitchen Chinese Cuisine, what a transformation. Anyway, the grand opening is March 12th, but you can come by during their soft opening 9am-2:30pm and 5pm-9pm, and up to 10pm on Sat (closed Tue). Wine and shochu cocktails are available for now. 700 Polk St. at Eddy.
The sleek pastry counter and shimmering chandelier at Maison Danel. Photo: Emily Martin Events.