Time outI was thrilled to see that yesterday’s issue of Time Out New York heralded the results of the Eat Out awards, among my favorite awards for restaurants in NYC. What is great about these awards is that they are not just picked by the critics, whose tastebuds are (and must be) honed to perfection, but also picked by everydaymmm... tea cookies folks. This means that the results are directly applicable to a real person (if you’ve never met a critic, let me assure you – they are not real people).

What is even more exciting is that this year’s winner of the Reader’s Choice 2008 Eat Out Award for Best New Tearoom (which, alas, was not a category when Tavalon opened in 2006!) is Amai Tea and Bake House, started by my good friend Kelli Bernard (and writer of Lovescool). They opened their doors just a few months ago, and already they are blowin’ up!

Among their offerings are Green Tea Cupcakes (yum), Tea Cookies (my favorite being their Red Vanilla cookies featuring Tavalon’s Rooibos Vanilla), not to mention a whole assortment of gourmet loose teas (in fact, this week’s featured iced tea at Amai is After Dark!). I encourage all my readers to check them out now (for address, click here).

Kudos to Amai!