MMMMM: Bar Tartine, San Francisco, CA
Some of my favorite meals in my life have been consumed standing cozily, amongst a group of friends and family within the atmospheric confines of the dimly lit kitchen of my parents or grandparents homes in Chicago. The chatter of conversation, a bit of music lingering in the air, and the smells of delicious savory and sweet treats wafting from the stove. All the while, my father keeps wine flowing and sets a jolly mood for all, as we snack and sip away.
There is one place that I can now call my home away from home, where I feel as comfortable, well taken care of, and superbly fed as I do when home. Bar Tartine. As the softly illuminated space fills with the sounds of laughter and utter pleasure of its diners nightly, I fall easily into relaxation mode. I take in the décor and friendly stature of its wait and bar staff happily from my always selected place beside its’ beautiful granite bar. What better way to see what you want for dinner than to watch the chefs cook, and plate, everything as you sit attentively awaiting your next course! Service is attentive, knowledgeable, and arrives with fresh-baked Tartine Bakery Country Loaf – the best bread I have tasted this side of the Atlantic: perfect crust and delicately chewy inner layers MMMMM – and real European style butter upon your arrival. Perfecto!
Although the menu runs along a smaller selection, every dish uses incredible local produce and meats, and will satisfy your hunger in more ways than one. A house made country pork pate was rusticly presented on a wooden board, with house-made mustard and pickled veg, toasted bread, and was a thing that transports one back to a Bistro lunch in Paris in seconds. The Sirloin with Marrow – marrow being a new thing toadd to my food forte – was sumptuous. Pan seared to perfectionh its tasty, flavorful juices ran onto the plate and were ready to be mopped up with our extra bread. A side of slow braised greens revealed a new level of appreciation for chard. And the Tart. Oh, how wonderful is perfectly crisp, fresh made crust, filled with custard reminiscent of England, and fresh apples, still slightly warm enough to cause the not too sweet cinnamon ice cream topper to shed a bit of spicy flavor into every bite. Talk about food heaven. I personally find it best to share with your fellow diners here, and get a few dishes, so that key dishes off the handwritten menus are not missed. On that same note, neither is their reasonably priced wine list, with not your every day run of the mill selection. Don’t hesitate to ask for recommendations, for the bartenders are happy to make them based on your tastes, as did mine with my Verdicchio. So whether you are out for a night on the town, or just hankering for that cozy, slow environment of your favorite little local, Bar Tartine is ready to step up to the plate of being your impeccable go to, and for me, it already is.