As part of the continuing restaurant tour, last night we went to Tartine with our friends Michael and Susan. Michael suggested we have tee shirts printed up for the tour! Tartine has been a perennial favorite of ours for several reasons. It has really good food, its fun, its BYOB, and its really cheap.
Weve probably been to Tartine several dozen times. Almost every time Ive gotten the spicy chicken and frites. The same goes for Allison. I was debating whether or not to deviate from this path, but decided that I would try the Beef Mignonette another time. Allison and I both ordered the spicy chicken and as always it was wonderful. The chicken is marinated in a red pepper sauce and comes served with crispy, golden frites. There is a mound of guacamole on the plate to cool the tongue after taking a bite of the chicken. For dessert we shared the chocolate macaroon with ganache a la mode. One macaroon was more than enough for the four of us! Tartines portions are relatively big and sometimes its tough to save room for dessert. However their desserts are great and deserve to have the proper amount of room allocated to them.
Its a BYOB, and thus we brought two bottles of wine. Since my wife wasnt drinking and Susan only had a glass or two, that left more than enough wine for Michael and me. I am still feeling the effects of the wine this morning. We opened the 1996 Huet Clos du Bourg Vouvray Demi Sec first. Demi Sec means off dry and I was expecting a touch of sweetness. The wine had a ton of acidity to offset the sweetness and showed plenty of lemons and minerals. Initially I wouldnt have picked this wine as a demi sec. The sweetness showed more after having a bite of the spicy chicken. This is a great bottle of wine that will easily age for years. We also opened a bottle of the 1999 Clos du Mont Olivet Chateauneuf du Pape. It was a bit tight, but showed some floral notes along with some lavender. The southern Rhone has had a great run for the past three years from 98-00, but from what Ive heard and the few that Ive tasted, the 99 CdPs will need more time to mature. I would put the 99 Clos du Mont Olivet in the needs time category.
Tartine is one of those restaurants that could cause someone to eat out every night. The food is good and the price is right. Its tough to cook at home and beat the value. Actually I blame Tartine for putting me on a diet about 18 months ago. The frites were too good!
One more night to go but only if the stomach can handle it .