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Mar 18, 2008 01:45 PM

Tatte's Cookies Brookline

Savoy had gone to you know where in a handbasket so i was thrilled to see this new bakery emerge in its place on beacon near St. Marys. It is pretty and has mostly jewish-style pastrys, heavy on the nuts, biscotti, cookies, light on the chocolate frosting type stuff, with lots of nice-looking 'morning' pastries. I tried a box of walnut cookies, both because i like them and they looked like they would represent the style of baking typical to the place. The cookies were 16.00 a box and the clerk couldn't tell me whether they were a pound or not, but my guess was about a pound. They were good but not great and, in my view, at that price they should have been dynamite. Think I'll stick with Athans, the rugelach from Rosies, and Watertown bakeries for my cookies but I'll probably go back and try the breakfast goodies. anybody else have a take on this place? Japonnaise, across the street, has excellent pastry but isn't a "cookie" place so this little place could really fill a niche. If you don't charge these prices, how do you survive Brookline rental rates? it seems a conundrum to me.

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  1. Which Watertown bakeries for cookies?

    2 Replies
    1. re: heypielady

      I like Tabrizi in the Square.

      Tatte is pricy. Tried a hamantashen ($1.75 - same price as Clear Flour). It was very buttery and good.

      1. re: lergnom

        Yes, Tabrizi, and I like Sevans baklava and sesame cookies as well. For not too sweet and old-fashioned, i like the kichel (sugar sprinkled bowties made with a light egg dough) that come in bags at the Butcherie and I think are baked in Brooklyn

    2. I agree. I've been to Tatte several times and really want them to do well...but I've been so shocked at the prices for some items that I wonder how they'll survive. I got a pear tart that was pretty good, nothing outrageous - it was about 5 inches across and it cost $20. I thought it was a mistake but I got it another time to bring to a friend (and I was assuming it was going to be rung up cheaper) and it wasn't. They told me that is the correct price. I had a little cellophane package of cookies for around $8 that was pretty overpriced as well.

      But I love that they've taken an old bakery and put something beautiful and fresh in its place and I hope they find a market out there that allows them to stay in business. Unfortunately I don't think that market includes me.

      2 Replies
      1. re: tumbledrylow

        Same here to everything you said. Last Sunday afternoon we stopped by and chatted. I asked if they were considering adding some croissants or other breakfast pastries and the answer was no, They had a breakfast 'special' of 2 brioche and a coffee for 10 bucks! I tried the brioche earlier and was not happy with the style.

        1. re: ginnyhw

          Unfortunatly, I have to agree too. I asked them the same thing about adding other items like croissants. After being in sticker shock the first time I went, I stopped in again and planned to be a bit more selective with what I got. I got a piece of cheese cake. Nothing great. I really want them to survive too, but don't think I'll be back either unless they add more breakfast type things....and adjust their prices.

      2. I haven't been to the new bakery yet, but I don't think you can just blame the high prices on storefront rent. They were at the Copley Square farmer's market last summer, and I cruised the booth every time I went but could never bring myself to try anything because of the crazy prices.

        8 Replies
        1. re: Allstonian

          I did the same thing. I was drawn in by the packaging every time but the price was completely nuts. I'm glad to see the Savoy gone to tell the truth (as many times as I went in there - I did love their croissants - that woman was always rude to me) but not sure those high prices will serve that end of Beacon Street very well.

          1. re: jsjs09812

            The woman you may be referring to (depending on how long ago your reference is) died years ago after a long and painful battle with cancer. She had a reason to be rude. The guy who owned the place back then however, did not have an excuse.

            Their croissants were good...I enjoyed their muffins too, but after reading all these posts I don't think I can afford to try the new incarnation of this place.

            1. re: Ralphie_in_Boston

              She was a sweetheart if you took the time to be nice and if you enjoyed acerbic wit. I miss her. The place was the same in name only after her passing.

              1. re: lergnom

                Absolutely correct. And if you happened to have a dog with you, well then she'd have a treat (or three) ready for the pup!

              2. re: Ralphie_in_Boston

                That is a sad story, although I don't know that it's the same woman as my visit wasn't "years" ago.

                I also don't happen to consider illness a reason to be rude. My father is suffering a similar battle and at no point would he nor I consider it a reason to be mean to anyone.

                1. re: jsjs09812

                  Never mind. It wasn't the same woman. I am talking over 5, close to 10 years ago.

                  Your principle is solid; both of my parents are in the same boat and they don't take it out on anyone. It's an admirable quality in the face of such adversity.

                  But I personally give a pass to anyone who is somewhat rude (to the degree I recall from the departed lady at Savoy) when they have been dealt a crappy hand like she was.

                  The muffins were good, the coffee was good, she dearly loved all dogs in the neighborhood (a sure sign of a good person in my book), so I kept returning and learned more and more about her before she became too ill to work and finally passed on.

                  It's a shame that Savoy languished in crappiness for several years afterward, and it's good to hear that they are making quality products, even if they are overpriced. Hopefully they will tweak product and price to create a niche for that neighborhood.

                  1. re: Ralphie_in_Boston

                    I remember Carol with affection and she was a masterful baker. Savoy, with Carol and Guy at the helm, was a great neighborhood bakery and deserved its reputation for really good croissants. Its been more like 10 years since they've been gone. I really hope the new person establishes a local great presence and wish them well. I'll try them again though 16.00 a pound for cookies is going to keep my visits less frequent than they might be!

                    1. re: teezeetoo

                      Thanks. My mind had blanked on Carol's name. She was one of the first in the area to make real french breads and my memories of the particular smell and taste of her baguettes are still real.

          2. I live nearby and have stopped by ~4 times. In general, most things have been good (brownies, chocolate brioche rose, butter cookies), but I did not like the savory brioche very much. However, each time I went it was more expensive. I talked to the cashier about it last time I was there (about 2 weeks ago) and said that before it was expensive, but good enough that I could justify it, but that after the latest price increases "I might have to stop coming". She said that ingredient prices were a big factor and apologized nicely (of course there was nothing she could really do about it other than pass on my comments to the person actually setting the prices). I will likely go back for a small treat for myself from time to time, but definitely not for larger quantities of anything.

            2 Replies
            1. re: LauraB

              I haven't been in to Tatte yet, just read along. I hope they are, as well. I think so many specialty food start-ups have this idea that they 'have' to make a certain margin, but if they establish themselves selling 100 at $X, instead of 20 at $XX, they may ultimately prosper...

              1. re: galleygirl

                Very good point - I also hope that they get this feedback and take it to heart, because their goods seem to be different from other things that are available in the area, and I wish them success in their business.

                It's true that there's been much in the news recently about horrific rises in the cost of various ingredients such as flour, and I know that Brookline rents are high. That's why I mentioned that their prices seem to have been high even before either of those issues became factors.

            2. I havent been to the new space, but I've been a Tatte addict for several summers now. I've talked with this gal and been around her table at the Copley Farmers' Market long enough to know she has a FANATICAL following.

              That said, it's serious gourmands who savor these treats. She knows the prices are high but -based on her costs- also fair. She refuses to skimp. The consistency of these desserts is flawless; these are Proust's Madelaines in our very own Boston. To my palate, she does a limited number of things flawlessly - perhaps that's not market-savvy?

              I believe you pay for value: having taken both the butter & pistachio cookies as housegifts to Nantucket, Manhattan, Kennebunk (and abroad), every hostess has raved after these treats!

              A walnut brownie is a full meal, to my stomach. But those looking to gorge themselves on cheap carb desserts may have different standards. Better to inhale a bag of Pepperidge Farm's for 1/2 the price!

              Tatte's isn't junk food - Lord, it's rich!

              2 Replies
              1. re: beacon_hill_boy

                I agree on the quality, however, unfortunately, like myself, not many have the need to "splurge" often enough to keep a shop like this on it's feet as a storefront. Geoff and Drew's Cookies(I'm not comparing quality just business models) use to deliver small quantities many years ago, and had to give it up and turn to corporate marketing, because trying to make it on the individual level was just too costly. There wasn't enough business to make it worth their while.

                1. re: catsmeow

                  i agree, i never understand how bakeries can make their margins without charging way more than they actually do. like $5-6 for a slice of so-so egg pie as in pie bakery in newton. on the other hand (it being easter and all) there was a line halfway down the block at clear flour today.