Bar Tartine, SF
Drawing influences from Eastern Europe and in particular Hungary, Chef Nick Balla assembles a Californian menu that is spiked paprika, sour cream, savoury seeds and pickles. This meal was interestingly different in a good way. We don’t get much of these Hungarian/Eastern European flavours in our part of the world, so this was a delectable introduction into this spectrum of flavours.
The dining is casual and communal. The plates are all meant to be shared and bread is meant to be enjoyed on its own, slathered with lard, tapenade, dipped and eaten with pickles.
We started with the roasted kale and rye seeds and yoghurt, which was a good start but were quickly distracted by the next dish, the potato flat bread. When you do come, you have to order the potato flat bread, it is ridiculously delicious – fried dough + fried potato, a crunch and squish, then spread some cool tang with sour cream, altogether is very good. The meal continued with pickles, more bread and we finished off the green chili fisherman stew that was surprisingly greener and lighter than I thought it would be and the very heavy handed paprika spiced tripe. All in all, some of the flavours were unfamiliar to me but it was all good in a new exciting way.
What we ordered:
Mangalica Lard with onion and paprika
Assortment of pickles – creamed beets with green horseradish, brine dill pickles, green beans with aspic and herbs
Potato flat bread with garlic and sour cream
Beef tartare on koji toast with bottarga
Smoked potatoes with ramp mayonnaise
Roasted kale with rye, seeds and yoghurt
Grilled tripe in paprika broth
Green chili fisherman’s stew with collards
561 Valencia Street
San Francisco, California