A few weeks ago, Bar Tartine welcomed chef Nicholas Balla to its kitchen. Balla is replacing Chris Kronner, but he’s also replacing his French-leaning menu. The former co-owner and chef of Nombe, an izakaya restaurant in the Mission, Balla is Hungarian by decent and went to highschool in Budapest. No, Bar Tartine isn’t sporting the latest izakaya menu in town. And yes, the menu at Bar Tartine is starting to have Eastern and Central European leanings. But it’s hardly this cut-and-dried. Tartine Bakery co-owner Chad Robertson—the man, the baker—gave us the lowdown.
Lovers of Tartine’s legendary morning buns have noticed the recipe’s absence from the pages of the bakery’s cookbook, Tartine (Chronicle Books), published last August. “We didn’t do it on purpose,” says co-owner Elisabeth Prueitt, who’s been surprised at the number of calls and emails she’s had from people requesting it. Although she plans to put the recipe on Tartine’s own website soon, for immediate sweet-tooth satisfaction, we've got the recipe right here.
Tartine 600 Guerrero St., 415-487-2600
If rock stars have groupies, then certain foods in SF have a similarly fanatical following: Tartine Bakery’s bread pudding, for instance. It’s one of those things that people get irrational about. (Case in point: My mother. Last time she came in the city to help me clear out my basement of junk, she threatened to reneg if I didn’t have the bread pudding waiting for her upon arrival.)
Last week, I went to Tartine with my boyfriend. When it’s not busy, I love sitting in there on a weekday morning. It feels very civilized and European.
It did, that is, until he ordered the bread pudding for himself.