Tartine Café is a cute corner restaurant and bakery that looks as if it’s been peeled out of Europe and landed on the streets of the West Village. It’s quiet, calm, not bustling but every seat is always occupied. It’s the reliable fare and appealing BYOB option. It’s perfect for an early summer evening dinner where you can sit on the sidewalk or in a window seat peeping onto the quiet, blooming street. It’s also a nice option for winter when you want to cozy up with a bottle of red wine and stay warm. There are only a handful of tables so go early or late to prevent a wait. Appetizers entail Warm Onion Tart, Broiled Escargot, Warm Herbed Goat Cheese Crouton. The Warm Tuscan Kale Salad with Butternut Squash, Toasted Pine Nuts and Parmesan is one of the most satisfying salads on the market. First of all any greens with butternut squash is a Chek Rec delight. Warm salads are not always the way to go, but here it works. It’s healthy and comforting at the same time. The House Salad with Arugula, Grap Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Radish and Dijon Mustard Vinaigrette is simpler and has a nice basil flavor that wraps around the plate. There’s also a Warm Artichoke Gratin with mushrooms, spinach and goat cheese that could hang you up.
For the main course, go for the popular Spicy Chicken. It’s tender pieces of meat already cut up for you with a spicy sauce but not heavy like Chinese food served with guacamole and french fries. These fries are addicting and the Sir Kensington ketchup really adds some excitement. No, it’s not the best chicken dish you’ll ever have, but it’s simple and the combination of it all is different and good enough. You can go heavy at Tartine with puff pastry filled chicken dishes, Beef Mignonette or light with the thyme roasted salmon and chicken dishes. Whatever you choose, it’s a pleasant environment that slows things down and you can drink whatever you want. There is no corkage fee but there is a $20 minimum per person on food. Whoever has a problem ordering more food though?