Lunch for One: Tartinery
The best spot for a solo diner to lunch at Tartinery on Mulberry Street are the high stool seats lining the juice bar. Here you can watch dishes go in and out of the kitchen, chat it up with the owner on a summer afternoon, and get a live action view of the juices made to order.
Come for the lunch special—$13 for soup or salad, or dessert, and your choice from a select group of tartines. The Potage De Potimarron is an excellent bet, a pureed pumpkin soup with potatoes. It's plenty creamy, unbashfully rich, and heavily spiced with nutmeg. On the side, thin slices of bread, toasted, that's flown in every other day from the famed Poilâne in Paris. The French rustic sourdough, is a wonderful touch and the only place in the city where you can find Poilâne bread.
There are about twenty tartines listed on the menu, but only a few make it onto lunch special list; I had my eye on the steak tartare, which wasn't included. But I asked the owner if I could have it as part of the lunch special, and he kindly obliged. My Tartare Tartine (pictured at top) arrived shortly, along with Poilâne bread,. The steak tartare coupled raw beef mixed with an egg yolk, capers, and onions. A blend of dijon mustard and worcestershire sauce with a finish of parsley, all piled high over the toasted bread. Potato chips stud the surface—a little silly, but tasty nonetheless.
Verdict? Fresh and seasoned just right. I'll be returning for lunch frequently. The tartine is pricey on its own, but come for the lunch specials and you'll leave with a great deal. On the side, cornichons and a light house salad with tomatoes, dressed in a tangy vinaigrette.
Close your meal with one of their housemade desserts, including a number of sweet tartines as well as the Apple Tatin pictured above. But even better than the desserts are the excellent fresh juices made to order, a light and clean way to finish your midday meal.