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one heck of a fabulous meal at Bar Tartine

escargot3 Sep 25, 2011 03:43 PM

We went back to Bar Tartine last nite. This time we had reservations ahead of time -- and needed them. Simply put: it was an impeccable meal.

Started with duck pate on housemade rye bread -- still warm from the oven with slivers of pickled ramp, strongly flavored to stand up to the duck. And a side bed of arugula. It was sensational.

Followed by brussels sprouts with bits of carrot and a lovely presence of mint, anise and -- oddly enough -- some serrano chili. If you like the brussels at Perbacco or Barbacco-- RUN to taste these. They were like nothing I've had before.

We also couldn't resist the side of blistered padron peppers, dotted with goat cheese, and --of all things -- whey. Again, it was fun to compare this version of padron peppers with a dish we had at Barbacco last year.

Of course, I couldn't resist the house specialty: buckwheat grated egg noodles. An earthy offering from the gods of the carbs. After enjoying this dish, why would anyone want to go back to plain old white flour noodles?

For the main dish, we shared a most delicate preparation of Chicken Paprikas, with king trumpet and baby shiitake mushrooms, and a side of kale. Smokey, yet light. Rich, yet a perfect symphony of flavors.

Yes, we enjoyed dessert, but I don't recall the name: a layered chocolate with hazelnut something or other with a side of whipped cream and a generous splash of house preserved cherries.

It was outrageously delightful.

230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

Bar Tartine
561 Valencia Street, San Francisco, CA 94110

230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

  1. grayelf Sep 26, 2011 05:27 PM

    Bar Tartine is on my list for a revisit next trip, but I read somewhere that the menu is to change again in October, away from Hungarian influenced. Anyone have an update?

    5 Replies
    1. re: grayelf
      Thomas Nash Sep 26, 2011 05:51 PM

      The last I heard from a waiter was that Bella was in Hungary in August gathering new ideas. That would suggest more rather than less Hungarian influence.

      Can you remember where you read of a planned change from Hungarian? Perhaps it is related to some rumors about a name change for the restaurant, which apparently is not happening.

      By the way, there is another long thread on this restaurant:

      1. re: grayelf
        escargot3 Sep 26, 2011 07:26 PM

        It would be important to note the entire phrase "Hungarian influenced" in thinking about the dishes they are preparing, because it is very much a departure from traditional Hungarian presentation. Indeed, maybe it's more accurate to say it's "Hungarian influenced contemporary cuisine".

        The chicken paprika was totally NOT traditional Hungarian. Instead of a stew with all the ingredients simmered together, I think the chicken was perhaps first grilled (giving the skin a yummy crispy burnt-y texture and flavor), and then given a sauce that is NOT a stew, but an exquisite melange of flavors without rich cream. In the end, it was a unique and really delicious dish that had very little fat.

        And the kale which was served on the side of the plate was cooked with really light flavors, but still had its integrity as kale, and was not bathed in any sauce.

        Kinda the way Crixa -- an extraordinary bakery in Berkeley -- is an amazing Central European bakery that emphasizes the light and delicate at leaves by the wayside the heavy or goopy options that one might find in a traditional bakery in the region.

        1. re: grayelf
          Robert Lauriston Sep 27, 2011 11:11 AM

          What I've read is that they hope to open the adjacent bakery and sandwich shop in October, and they might change the name to better reflect the Hungarian influence. We'll probably see some new buckwheat and spelt baked goods as well.



          1. re: Robert Lauriston
            grayelf Sep 28, 2011 03:48 PM

            It was on eaterSF http://sf.eater.com/archives/2011/08/... and I seem to have missed the "mostly Eastern European identity" part. Colour me intrigued, regardless of what the changes are!

          2. re: grayelf
            mariacarmen Sep 30, 2011 08:03 AM

            i want in on that grayelf. unless it's your romantic night with hubby.

          3. Mission Sep 25, 2011 06:46 PM

            The food sounds fantastic!

            What were the prices and service like?

            2 Replies
            1. re: Mission
              escargot3 Sep 25, 2011 07:05 PM

              service: excellent
              my water glass was never less than half full, and I'm quite a water guzzler. but I never noticed anyone doing it, really.

              prices: also excellent
              chicken paprika was something like $22 for a LARGE serving.
              i think the brussels were something like $7
              buckwheat noodles maybe were $8

              1. re: Mission
                Robert Lauriston Sep 26, 2011 08:56 AM

                The sample menu on the Web site has prices: http://www.bartartine.com/dinner.pdf

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