At Tartinery, the bi-level industrial eatery on the corner of Mulberry and Spring Streets, an eclectic crowd meets to linger at the street level bar and engage in friendly conversation over meals made in traditional French fashion. With wall of glass looking into a lower brick-walled space caged in iron grids, a dining room with comfy numbered tables for two and four and a community table of rustic wood, Tartinery mixes contemporary charm and old-country fine French food with attentive service.
Tartines are French open-faced sandwiches slathered in a rich or fancy spread. Tartinery Nolita’s authentic tartines sit atop French Poilâne rustic sourdough, which the restaurant has flown in directly from Paris once a week; or a toasted organic multi-grain bread from the Bread Alone bakery in upstate New York.
To drink, we chose a Reisling from Nothern Michigan—a region not known for its Teurtonic wines—that was extremely smooth. It turned out to be the perfect complement to our dinner.
My companion and I chose four tartines to taste, but while we were waiting for our main course, we started with mushroom and chestnut soup and butternut squash soup with nutmeg. Both were bowl-lickers that we wiped clean with the accompanying whole grain bread.
The tartines arrived two by two: our first adventure was not really a stretch: a traditional crotin with goat cheese, frisee, fresh thyme, honey, pine nuts and olive oil. Next up was the labne, a Middle Eastern creation with thick yogurt, thinly sliced cucumbers and olive oil. Cukes are not my favorite, but labne is, so I took a chance—and it was a winner. These two simple tartines were great to start.
Our final two tartines were the poulet roti, roasted farm chicken with herbed mayo, shaved fennel and, of course, olive oil. A welcome warm and hearty offering, the chicken was a savory delight. Our final tartine turned out to be my favorite: shaved raw tuna with wasabi mayo, shaved fennel, scallions, lemon juice and olive oil. The various flavors worked together nicely and the kick from the wasabi and scallions was muted a bit by the lemon and oil. A perfect combination.
We saw all sorts of other dishes being served to other patrons and decided we needed to try the ravioli. Definitely a crowd-pleaser, the ravoiles de royan were smothered with baked traditional French cheese and covered with cream, butter and a bit of truffle oil. A rich, perfect-for-sharing dish, this full-bodied dairy treat was divine.
For desert we swallowed a Columbe espresso and a freshly baked fondant au chocolat accompanied with vanilla ice cream. That gooey goodness was followed by a tarte tatin, the tradition French apple tartlet served a la mode.
From start to finish, Tartinery was beyond a pleasurable experience—from the design of the space to the fancy eats and great wine.
Tartinery, 209 Mulberry St, 212-300-5838, tartinery.com