No Garlic No Onions

No Garlic No Onions

A couple of weeks ago, visiting La Cour Saint Michel, I discovered Bar Tartine by pure coincidence. A new place which was still closed at that time. I couldn’t but stand in awe in front of this unique concept that has quickly become a point for many in just a little time. Tartine Bakery gave me an idea of what the Bar concept would entail. The group behind this concept has a promising potential – creating a nice ambiance, offering good food all in the honor of friendship and good times.

I reached at 1pm on a Thursday afternoon to find the little village filled with guests. Wow! What a pleasant ambiance. Women, men, businessmen, friends… All gathered under the sun, chit chatting and enjoying their time. I dove into their ambiance. Choosing to sit inside, I had a unique view of the over all exterior and the general action which simply put a smile on my face through out my stay…

The place’s relaxing architecture:

  • An individual house with colorful look
  • One single square room with high ceiling
  • One wall covered with one high leather sofa connecting several tables together
  • A bar on the left side reminds you of European brasseries
  • 13 big white round lamps pending from the ceiling
  • 4 vintage mirrors add an authentic feel making the place look bigger at the same time
  • Chairs imported from Amsterdam – old school chairs refurbished – a unique touch that I liked
  • Leather stools at the bar only found in a big European factories, used by workers to rest
  • The floor is a replication of the old tiles with 5 different squares blending perfectly with the place
  • Five windows, left open in the warm weather connect the interior with the inner court of La Cour Saint Michel
  • Wooden square tables with black glossy feel cover the space
  • In the far corner, a cupboard of bread reminds you that Tartine Bakery is just downstairs
  • The terrace is just great. A summer feel of freshness and colors. Covered with black sunshades, you escape Beirut’s chaos

bartartine_terrace

 

White paper place mats, black table, relaxing leather sofa and a simple menu… and cool summer breeze… It was time to have a look at the kitchen’s potential.

The menu:

  • Count Me In (they say sharing is caring, and at Tartine nothing beats a chat with a good friend over a delicious bite to eat. These delightful little starters are perfect for sharing between two so maybe just for one if you are feeling puckish)
  • Artisan Pizzas (Choose one of three different choices)
  • Soup Time (Three different soups)
  • All That Fresh (Garden fresh salad recipes. 9 different choices to satisfy all your cravings)
  • The Tartine Scene (The signature Tartine you will only find in our kitchen! Custom bread recipes, lovingly baked in our oven with ingredients you will fall in love with every bite. A delicious experience, down to the last crumb.)
  • The Main Act (Main dishes, burgers, fish and pasta)
  • Project Sweet Stuff (You can chose from what’s available at Tartine Bakery)
  • Drink Up
  • Soft and Juicy
  • Coffee Break
  • Tea Party

We ordered:

  • Majestic Margherita Pizza (A classic margherita recipe, with fresh tomato, basil, buffalo mozzarella and Parmesan on a crispy artisan bread crust) 16,500L.L
  •  Summer Shrimp Avocado Salad (A luscious green mixture with avocado, sun-dried tomato, fresh kumquat, artichoke with juicy shrimp, served with Tartine’s cider vinegar dressing) 18,000L.L
  • Seared Tuna Wasabi Sandwich (Pain de campagne bread, seared fresh tuna steak, cucumber, boiled eggs, potato and avocado, seasoned with wasabi sauce and sesame sprinkles) 22,000L.L
  • Labneh Tradition Sandwich (Tradition aux olives bread, creamy local labneh, roasted tomato in balsamic vinegar, seasoned with fresh coriander with spicy Tunisian harissa sauce) 12,000L.L
  • Lean and Mean Burger (Juicy ground beef homemade patty, traditionally grilled and served with caramelized onions, creamy Camembert in toasted Brioche bun, side salad, and portion of golden crunchy fries) 28,000L.L

The great food:

  • Majestic Margherita Pizza: As it’s name suggests, the Pizza is just majestic. A thin dough with a crunchy crust. Juicy on the upper level and super crunchy on the lower one! Unsophisticated, this pizza is rectangular in shape and generous ingredients that makes you says ‘wow’ after every bite.  Simply delicious. I really loved it and will make it part of my Top10 list. It’s a shame that they only propose three choices. We love it and need more.
  •  Summer Shrimp Avocado Salad: Many have been asking me lately where they can have a generous and delicious salad. I now have the answer for you guys. Here it is; Tartine Bar has it all. Fresh, juicy, colorful, generous and mouthwatering, their salads are just fresh. This salad is great for those who crave some fresh seafood. Great choice for summer days…
  • Seared Tuna Wasabi Sandwich: That is a piece of heaven brought down to earth to please the ‘hard to please’ guests. Just imagine fresh ingredients, cut in thin slices and layered majestically on a crunchy bread. Every bite is a story of amazement. Please have a look at the picture that says a thousand words
  • Labneh Tradition Sandwich: I really don’t know what to say, but this sandwich is more of a piece of art on all levels. The labneh sandwich has been reinvented… Imagine the mix of ingredients: Harissa sauce, olive bread, labneh, coriander, balsamic vinegar and cooked tomatoes. Have you ever taste something like that? Harissa on another hand, a mix I already reviewed and adored in Tunisia, is a Tunisian hot chili sauce whose main ingredients are chili pepper, serrano peppers and other hot chili peppers and spices and herbs such as garlic paste, coriander, red chili powder, caraway as well as some vegetable or olive oil. I immediately felt the garlic taste and I would suggest you kindly train the waiters to mention it when people order this plate. This sandwich is a must try
  • Lean and Mean Burger: Aren’t you all fed-up of eating thin dried pieces of meat in the same Prunelle bread in all restaurants around the country? The change has landed in Beirut: A thick 180g juicy piece of ground beef explodes in little chunks of wonders in your mouth. The light sauce and Camembert cheese adds finesse to this extraordinary experience. Most importantly is their homemade premium fluffy high-end bun that’s adequately cooked with premium yeast, making it so light that it doesn’t mask the important ingredients of the burger. I will let you be the judge of this burger. The burger comes with unpeeled homemade fries which tastes and feels the same way you would expect your mum to do them at home. I welcome Bar Tartine’s burger to my Top10 list of Burgers

bartartine_seared_tuna_wasabi

The food was simply perfect. I honestly didn’t expect that from a place like Bar Tartine. Food that so called premium restaurants still don’t know how to produce.

The Pluses:

  • The best plus is that they serve Coca-Cola as well as Pepsi, giving the customer the choice to choose: Thank you, Thank you, Thank you
  • The place just looks great, very European
  • The outside terrace makes you forget Beirut’s chaos
  • The food is just perfect, offering a variety of choices that you can enjoy at reasonable prices
  • I liked the professional steak knives by Robert Welch
  • The waiters and staff are always smiling and over-attentive
  • Two items on the menu made it in my Top10 list of 2013

The minuses:

  • Although the labneh sandwich is a piece of art, I would suggest they make it look less complicated…It requires some changes to make it look better – maybe smaller pieces of tomatoes where the labneh will show more
  • The Labneh contains garlic. Something which made me sick later on. That should have been mentioned in the menu

Some fine tunings on the menu and the place would be perfect:

  • Only three choices of Pizza is not enough. I would expect to see a minimum of eight choice
  • The desserts are not written on the menu. Please add the variety you have, entice us to want to order some desserts
  • Consider integrating ice cream to the menu. It’s summer and the ambiance you offer calls for it…
  • The menu should be richer in signs, notes with maybe a picture or two

It’s summer time and the living is indeed easy at Bar Tartine… head there today and indulge in a whole new experience – in food and ambiance. 

1 Comment


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