Food + Drink

A Delicious Visit to Bar Tartine

Last week, we talked all things technique from the Bar Tartine cookbook—if you missed that post, you can read it here. This week, we’re excited to share our visit to the Bar Tartine restaurant, located in the heart of San Francisco’s Mission District.

Bar Tartine. Photo by Irene Kim.

We walked into Bar Tartine with hungry, ready bellies and were met with exquisite dishes that easily exceeded our expectations.

Decisions, decisions. Our visit to Bar Tartine. Photo by Irene Kim.

After hemming and hawing over the menu, we decided to go the route necessary at Bar Tartine: try a little of everything. Everyday dishes were elevated by a dedication to the quality in ingredients and a study in layered flavors.

Yogurt and bread to start at Bar Tartine. Photo by Irene Kim.

Our enthusiastic waiter promised “the best yogurt we’ll ever taste,” and yes, it was every bit as thick, creamy, and tart as promised.

Our feast at Bar Tartine. Photo by Irene Kim.

We knew we had to order a trout smørrebrød (a Scandinavian-inspired open-faced sprouted rye bread sandwich), as well as the smoked potatoes with black garlic Bar Tartine is known for. Both did not disappoint. In fact, those potatoes are probably now on our “favorite things to eat in San Francisco” list.

Baked Cod Roe Dip at Bar Tartine. Photo by Irene Kim.

Our last dish: baked cod roe dip with garlic, lemon, and parsley, served with flatbread for dipping. Divine!

Preserved ingredients at Bar Tartine. Photo by Irene Kim.

We had the chance to say hello to Nick Balla, co-chef at Bar Tartine, who busily worked the line while inviting us to take a tour of the back kitchen. Bar Tartine uses traditional preservation and processing techniques found across the globe, represented by these jars of mysterious powders, pickled everything, and dried ingredients—this is where the magic happens.

Smoked Rainbow trout at Bar Tartine. Photo by Irene Kim.

Here, we have racks of smoked Rainbow trout, which we got to enjoy on our open-faced sandwich earlier.

Preserved black garlic at Bar Tartine. Photo by Irene Kim.

This black garlic is a key ingredient to the tasty smoked potatoes that we had earlier.

Bar Tartine. Photo by Irene Kim. Bar Tartine. Photo by Irene Kim. Bar Tartine. Photo by Irene Kim.

Bar Tartine’s interior is just as gorgeous and inviting as the food it serves.

Bar Tartine's light-filled nook. Photo by Irene Kim.

We’ll certainly remember our light-filled nook with fondness, as the meal we had there was unforgettable. Trying the dinner menu at Bar Tartine is next up on our list, and we definitely recommend you visit this beautiful restaurant as soon as possible! And if you aren’t from nearby, fear not—the cookbook is an excellent passageway to experiencing Bar Tartine’s masterful dishes.

Irene Kim Shepherd

Assoc. Manager of Visual Content at Chronicle Books, photographer, and overall aesthete. See more of her work at
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