Saturday, May 15, 2010

Downtown Is For Hipsters

And I'm no hipster. Maybe the lack of a truly entrenched "hipster scene" is what left Village Tart empty at eight o'clock on a balmy Friday night. Who knows. Surely it isn't the tasty food that's keeping the masses away.

The food really is tasty. Ok, the parmesan popcorn, served in a wax paper sleeve, tastes little of cheese and a lot of drippy movie butter (and I mean that in a good way). I'll take my butter where I can find it. A salad of golden and red beets comes together with the help of unctuous Greek yogurt. And while the enormous Wagyu pig in a blanket, shrouded in buttery croissant, needs no help, the spicy mustard it comes with would be delicious even on toast.

Brussels sprouts with bacon and honey were too heavy-handed and sweet and not charred enough to my liking. I was hoping for some salt from the bacon, but sugar was the name of that veggie game, and next time I'll pass. I will order, however, the mushroom tart, thin sliced cooked beauties over another flaky open-faced croissant. The arugula salad that joins it, full of lemon and pepper, is just an added bonus.

Village Tart is the handiwork of pastry chef Pichet Ong, so one would expect pastry to reign supreme. We took our strawberry tart to go, and by the time we ate it, over an hour later, the cream had redistributed and the pastry was hard to get at. I'm not sure if that was a reflection of a chef's misstep or ours, so I'll make my way back, eventually, to indulge my sweet tooth.

Village Tart
86 Kenmare Street
New York, NY 10012