Tartine - Coronado - San Diego - CA
Tartine 1106 First Street, Coronado, CA 92118 619-435-4323
When you disembark from the ferry that takes you from Downtown San Diego to Coronado you are immediately confronted a mass of restaurants and cafes. Despite our hunger, Fred and I chose to ignore their easy charms and bide our time before deciding where to eat. We sauntered along the Bayside and then up Orange Avenue. We didn't get very far before we spotted a little cafe called Tartine tucked away to the left, with awnings and outdoor seating. It is not difficult to explain the appeal of the word Tartine to a Frenchman, or me for that matter, so our decision about where to eat lunch was made.
Tartine was created in the fall of 2001 by three local women whose dream was to bring a taste of Europe to the Island Community. The setting and presentation is certainly full of charm. When the mimosa I had asked for arrived, I was pleasantly surprised by the delivery. My own dinky little bottle of sparkling wine was accompanied by a generous carafe of freshly squeezed orange juice so that I could mix my drinks (there was enough for at least two glasses) to my own specification. This was a fun distraction that put me in a good mood for the rest of the meal.
From the All Day Menu Fred could not resist the Tartine Charcuterie Plate, proscuitto, duck liver pâté, brie, saucisson sec, cornichons, olives and grain mustard served with baguette $14.95. There was really enough meaty goodness on this plate to serve two people. The portions were generous, especially the pate which could almost have been a meal in itself. Fred described his lunch as average American charcuterie meaning (with the exception of The Fatted Calf) it's about as good as he has experienced in the US. He emphasises, that although Amercian-made charcuterie tastes nowhere near the same as it does in France, he has grown accustomed to what is available here and Fred was therefore satisfied with his plate. Accompanying bread, served with a cool pat of creamy butter was good.
I don't know about you, but I love grilled eggplant. The thought of oily, skin-blackened aubergine is fairly irresistable so I chose Tartine's Grilled Eggplant Panini grilled eggplant, roasted red peppers and goat cheese grilled in a panini roll $7.75. Unfortunately, the kind of sandwich I'd envisioned did not materialize. It was just ok. The panini looked great on the outside, but on the inside it was mushy. They had chosen to use the mildest, blandest goat cheese possible. The vegetables were all watery instead of rich and grilled-tasting. This sandwich needed a hefty dose of salt and pepper to make it even palatable.
I hesitate to make such a negative judgement about Tartine. It was, afterall, a one time visit. Customers on a neighbouring table were raving about the soup they had chosen. The staff are really thoughtful and friendly. The ambience is perfect for a little neighbourhood spot. The cakes on display looked very pretty. The menu had a lot of appeal. Maybe I just chose the wrong thing. Judging by the other, tacky-looking places to eat we encountered on our afternoon walk across the Island of Coronado, we imagine that Tartine is truly a haven in this touristy part of town where an aroma of stinky fried-food is more the norm as you saunter through the more populated areas.
Do you love Tartine? Have you had a different experience to us there? Do you favour a different panini? How do you like Tartine's cakes? Please let us know what you think in the comments section.
After lunch we wandered across the island to the beach. This is the view from the terrace of the famous Hotel Coronado, a great place to sit and people-watch.
This review was a First Impression
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Tartine - Coronado - San Diego - CA