Delicious, trendy and reasonably priced are three descriptions that hardly find its way into the same sentence. Tartinery in Nolita embodies all three, creating interesting interpretations on favorite flavor combinations in a gorgeous setting, perfect for a night out with friends or a date night.
I hustled down Mulberry Street after work at 9:15pm to meet my friends who had all gotten off at a reasonable hour. Upon entering, i was directed downstairs to a small, but open room with dark, exposed brick, simple black and white paintings, and wine bottles decorating the walls. My friends were seated at a square table, with a large, lit tree in the middle. The table was surrounded by four long wooden benches with the perfect seating arrangement for eight people.
I joined my friends who had ordered moments before and glanced over the extensive menu. The restaurant is named for their Tartines, open faced crostinis on Eli Zabars’ bread of your choice with a variety of toppings. I ultimately decided on the Steak Tartare version and ordered a glass of red wine to accompany the dish.
My friends were served their dishes almost immediately after I placed my order, despite ordering only minutes before me. I gawked at their meals, extremely excited for mine to arrive.
Moments later my dish was placed in front of me, overflowing with steak tartare. This place did not skimp out on portion size.
The tartare was mixed with mustard, giving it an earthy, spicy and almost Parisian feel. I always associate steak tartare and mustard with Paris and a dish I had there a few years ago and still dream about. I now know where to find it in New York. The multigrain crostini added an element of rich sweetness, something you only get with really good bread (and Eli’s is the best). Then the sharp bitterness of the arugula added to the rich, over flowing steak. I found myself very willing to share only a few slices in, already full despite my grumbling stomach on the way over. Don’t be deceived by the idea of a tartine or crostini, this really is a whole meal.
All of the other variations my friends ordered looked equally amazing. I tried the croque moiseur which melted in my mouth; cheesy with the sharp, saltiness of the ham. The bread was slightly soggy, but it was the flavor was still there. My friends also ordered the ricotta tartine with prosciutto and the ratatouille, perfect for vegetarians, seemed out of this world.
I also tried the butternut squash soup, which might have been the best version I have ever tried. The subtle sweetness and lingering taste of the pureed squash proved to be the most wonderful fall soup. I would love to sit on my balcony with a hot bowl of this on a crisp fall day and watch the leaves change colors. Corny, I know. But you haven’t tried this soup.
When the bill finally arrived, we were all extremely satisfied and didn’t have any looks of hesitation when putting our credit cards down. That’s when you know it’s a truly successful group meal.
Major shout out to Allison, my amazing friend for planning this meal and introducing me to a place where I will definitely return. Wonderful meal with even more wonderful people.