Saturday, January 18, 2014

Bar Tartine, Mar Mikhael


   Bar Tartine is a restaurant facing SUD, behind the street of Mar Mikhael and at the very top of the stairs to the left of Tartine Bakery, which is next to Blackrock Steak Lounge.
So far as I know, I would definitely choose Bar Tartine for a breakfast or a brunch from all the competition (It opens at 8 am). Yet, Bar Tartine is also a good choice for lunch or dinner, as it serves a variety of dishes other than sandwiches, like pizza, soup, and steak, as well as burgers, fish, and pasta (It closes at midnight).
Main dishes, burgers, fish and pasta
Main dishes, burgers, fish and pasta
Main dishes, burgers, fish and pasta

   I first knew about Bar Tartine through the pictures on Facebook shared by friends. They were pictures of well loaded and heavenly decorated sandwiches with a hearty bread, slices of anything, perhaps lettuce and avocado, or french cheese, accompanied by meat, eggs, tuna or poultry...  already mouth-watering just by sight.

   It's not until a couple of weeks ago, a few days before Christmas, that I got the chance to eat there. I was with my friend Tamara I met at Esmod this summer. While I was waiting for her, I managed to find a place to sit indoors--the terrace was fully occupied. Since Tamara has already been there, she could advise me on what choice to make. Finally, I chose the Seared Tuna Wasabi Sandwich, which turned out a pleasant risk, not unbearably hot by the way. Tamara had a tomato soup instead. There was no way I pass on dessert because I could bet it was the best part of it all--and I wasn't wrong. So I had for dessert both a vanilla eclair and the mellow chocolate cake all for myself.  Surprisingly, I was able to finish both so much it was delicious.

   Besides this, the service was really charming. When I came in, I had my new camera (coolpix S9500, I love it because it's small) and I was snapping pictures of the room for my review, I'm going to say, a bit indiscreetly. Then, when the waiter cleared the table for me and I sat waiting for Tamara, I saw the waiter opening a chat with a young woman across the room. He was throwing occasional looks on me, perhaps the subject of their conversation. The waiter looked a bit frustrated and the woman was nodding her head. Then, the woman turned and looked at me with a huge smile and she was walking towards me. "Are you a photographer?" "No, I'm a blogger". She nodded back and she showed me her beautiful sincere smile on her face again before she disappeared. On her way back, she spoke to the waiter again. He showed up at the table several times after that asking us if everything was going fine. He was so anxious every time he came to us and Tamara would make fun of me, she said I scared the waiter because I was judging. I was laughing but nothing evil, really. Everything was almost perfect, if I don't want to give it a full mark. I'm definitely coming back soon to eat there, and try different things from their menu! I have been thinking a lot about the Camenbert Kumquat lately!

Good food, happy face!
I remember the bread was a bit hard to cut and in particular the extremities, I would suggest them to toast it less. Everything else was positive. For instance, the side salad is actually goood and I wouldn't leave it just like I would do with coleslaw and mayo at a diner or fast food restaurant. Eat the whole thing!
The Mellow Chocolate cake is actually made with dark chocolate, but it didn't bother me since the chocolate wasn't bitter at all. It was rediscovering dark chocolate. However, I think that Bar Tartine should mention that the chocolate in the cake is dark because what most people would expect is sweeeet milk chocolate instead--There's not much description for the dessert on the menu.
Nevertheless, what I loved most about this dessert is the consistency of the cake; at every bit, it melts in your mouth.
A fluffy eclair puff pastry, just slightly crispy on the outside, a natural vanilla flavored pastry cream, and strawberries (I love strawberries!)
Grains of vanilla are visible in the pastry cream, a wink at the premium quality of products that Bar Tartine offers.


Danielle said...

Excellent snapshots! Food looks delicious. However, I'm surprised the restaurant owner/manager & waiter behaved suspiciously when they saw you with a camera--I thought it'd become virtually commonplace for diners to snap photos of their food and then display on social media sites. What were they thinking?

Elsa Abi-Khalil said...

Thank youu!! Just the waiter (not surprised), the manager was really okay with it!! I guess it is because she's confident enough abt her restaurant, she is not scared about the feedback but perhaps looks forward to it to make any beneficial changes!