Saturday, June 9, 2012

Slice of the Week - Once Upon a Tart

I'm working in the tony neighborhood of New York's SoHo this week, and amongst the cobblestone streets, colorful buildings, stunningly overpriced boutiques and even more stunningly overdressed tourists, I snacked at a tart shop I'd been dying to try.

Charmingly named Once Upon a Tart, this quick-bite restaurant gives good face. It's cloyingly cute, there are the requisite cafe tables and chairs set for streetside dining, and the menu is handwritten on chalkboards above the counter. The allure ends right about there, however. I had perused their online menu beforehand and knew they served both savory and sweet tarts, and was going to decide which to get when I got there. The sweet tarts were presented beautifully on display trays in the window and on the counter, but the savory tarts were wrapped in plastic, piled inside a case, and left to look like they were made three days ago. So...I went in the sweet direction and ordered a blueberry walnut tart.

Forgive me for sounding like a broken record, but a restaurant's charm will only get you so far if a.) you serve your food on a paper plate with a plastic fork and b.) you don't offer to heat up said food. I'm ordering a pie (tart). Some people like warm fruit pie. I am one of those people. I would like the option of choosing whether or not my pie is to be heated.

That being said, it was a decent tart. Not the greatest, for the blueberries were most likely frozen and re-baked at some point in their short little lives, but they had a pleasantly sweet and tangy taste, they paired wonderfully with the bitterness of the walnuts, and the tart's crust was great - flaky, sweet, and completely complimentary to it's supporting contents. It was also incredibly rich, and I made it about 3/4 of the way through the 6" tart before calling it a day.

I can't say I'll be back for another tart anytime soon. At $6.50 for one tart, I should be getting silverware, table service and a glass of water (but I'll settle for any of the three). There are a zillion cute and overpriced cafes in SoHo, and I think I'll see what they have to offer.

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