Ooh, my favorite!

Tartine Afterhours
October 13, 2010, 2:05 pm
Filed under: Food, Restaurants, San Francisco

Sometimes I’m embarrassed at my blogging habits. There I was, bragging about scoring two seats to dinner at Tartine Afterhours, and here I am, two weeks later just posting the review. It was a lovely dinner, and most certainly post-worthy the very next day, but I must admit that I am slightly embarrassed at the quality of the images. I need a new camera, but even then I don’t want to be that annoying person that uses a flash and offends everyone else trying to enjoy their dinner. In this family-style setting especially, a big flashy camera would not have been the most appropriate addition to the table.

So in a pinch I used the flashlight app on my phone as lighting and my Lova took the pics. We must have looked ridiculous, but at least I didn’t attempt to employ this tactic to take pictures of the community appetizers and mains. Bottom line: these pictures don’t do the food or the dinner justice, but because Tartine bread, and beautifully fresh vegetables were involved I must share with you all.

We arrived a bit early and sat out front on the bench, and to be completely honest, we shared a cup of Bi-Rite soft serve while we waited. (I didn’t have lunch, so there.) Once the space was ready we got our table assignment and happily I think we got the best seat in the house: a smaller table in the small nook by the coffee bar, away from the commotion of the main thoroughfare of the small dining room. Cozy candle light and small bites were waiting for us.

Gazpacho and tomato granita with bread croutons

The first course was a perfectly seasoned tomato gazpacho.  So many different textures, temperatures, and flavors this dish was a delight. The tomato granita was gorgeous, and with the addition of the fresh crunch from the cucumber and shallot, and the hearty croutons, it was a wonderful start.

Family style – halibut with romesco, roasted vegetables with arugula

I’ve always loved romesco, actually I’m nearly obsessed with it but have been disappointed by half-assed versions so I’ve taken to making my own. This version, however, was not a disappointment and was a great accompaniment to the perfectly cooked halibut. And the vegetables. Oh, how I loved the vegetables. To be honest there was a pretty name for the dish, but I can’t for the life of me locate the menu I brought home. I believe is was a spanish name (eek!), but essentially eggplant, squash, zucchini, and onion were roasted until they were almost creamy and tossed with a light vinaigrette and topped with a peppery arugula and served chilled. I’ve been dreaming of recreating this ever since that night. Once I receive my copy of the Tartine Bread cookbook I’ll check to see if it’s there so I can try it out.

Affogato with toasted coconut ice cream, caramel sauce, and candied bread

When I saw affogato as the dessert I was so excited (even after having a Bi-Rite snack just before). Ever since the affogato at Blue Bottle I’ve been hooked. This version had a nice twist with the toasted coconut ice cream and caramel sauce. The ice cream wasn’t quite set, so it was closer to its custard form, but I know how hard it is to make from scratch so I’m not saying a word, and it was still really good. The little bits of candied bread were a nice touch too, a little tough on the teeth, but still very tasty.

Once again, another wonderful culinary experience with my Lover. I’d love to go to the next one but figure I should give others the chance to enjoy a lovely night with new friends and good food at Tartine Afterhours.

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