“The last time I saw Paris, her heart was warm and gay. Chorus: I heard the laughter of her heart in every street cafe”. Ok so It’s actually Manhattan in August and the weather isn’t warm, it’s hot and humid but who’s counting? There’s an authentic French restaurant in Nolita that’s just waiting for you called Tartinery. This stylish cafe’s main feature is in its’ name. The “Tartine” is an open faced sandwich that is quite popular in France but somehow never made the leap to this side of the ocean the same way that french onion soup, crepes and croquettes have. If you’ve ever tasted a Tartine, you might be surprised, maybe even shocked to find out that the Tartinery is only the 2nd restaurant in NYC to offer this savory treat.
The concept of a Tartine is so simple yet each variety of this sandwich is just so delicious, with so many different choices of content that are willfully rich and tempting beyond reason. Whether you’re in the mood for jambon and oeuf’s on your tartine or a tartine with mozzarella and vine tomatoes -Tarinery has it. How about a Foie Gras Tartine? Check! How about an Arabic influenced Tartine? Check! France and Lebanon have had a long history with each other including the years around World War 2 when France put a mandate on Syria giving the French direct control of the region and splitting Lebanon into its own country, basing the name around the words: “Le Bon”, meaning “The Good”. That’s our history lesson for the day! The Lebanese inspired Tartine features cucumber, Za’tar and Labna -a hybrid of French and Lebanese authenticity! The French owned Tartinery continues to keep things authentic by importing their bread from Poilâne, France’s highly esteemed bread bakery. Although Tartinery’s concept revolves around the extraordinary Tartine, there are many other things to choose from on the menu (including the amazing risotto which is not to be missed) and a full bar to boot.
The space is just about as equally pleasant as the heavenly food with contemporary style interiors featuring a bar area and table seating on the ground floor with an inside open window giving views towards the basement seating area. An industrial style staircase leads down to basement seating with wooden ceilings giving the space a very natural and homey feel. If you’re coming with a group of four or more, try to sit at the cleverly placed center table in the basement which has a real tree growing out from the center. If you’re a people watcher, look up and you’ll see the large windows leading to the street and people shuffling by or looking in and then stepping in to the restaurant. Giving Tartinery that extra unique touch, there’s even a “Space Invader” plaque which could go undetected unless you visually search it out.
There isn’t any reason I can think of to miss out on Tartinery. The prices are reasonable, decor is cool and food incredible.
209 Mulberry Street
New York, NY 10012