The Kronner era has commenced at Bar Tartine. Five days in and the ex-Serpentine and Good Evening Thursday chef is now installed at the Mission restaurant, filling the shoes of former chef Jason Fox (who, it should be noted, is a very fine chef who we hope will end up someplace good, and soon). Chris and I are old friends, so I paid him a visit last night to see how he's settling into his new post. In the last few weeks the restaurant, which has always been one of my favorite spaces in the city, has undergone a minor makeover—now, groupings of framed art (including some by owner Elisabeth Prueitt's father) hang from the walls—the overall effect is bistro-like and charming.
The menu, now a single sheet with the dishes handwritten in cursive, already bears a handful of Kronner signatures—his savory bread pudding, for example, is available here as a side dish, the bone marrow that he served at Good Evening Thursday can be ordered as a first course. There are other, new reasons to go: a three bean salad is a masterful blend of three types of fresh shelling beans, expertly cooked and then generously doused with vinaigrette and studded with sungold tomatoes. Beans should not be this good. Should you make it all the way to dessert, you'll be rewarded with a scoop of Concord grape sorbet drowned in Moscato D'Asti, sided by a Tartine shortbread, or a raspberry trifle that combines buttery whipped cream with raspberries, cake and a garnish of raspberry granita.
This is all exciting, to be sure, but more exciting are the plans for the future—more synergy between the bakery and the restaurant (which hopefully means, for those who are wondering, that they'll be serving Tartine treats at Bar Tartine brunch), a new bread cookbook, the possible addition of weekday breakfast at the restaurant (the words "homemade English muffin" were uttered) and, someday down the line, later-night hours so that industry folks can sit at that gorgeous white marble bar and finish their day properly, with a burger and a glass of wine.