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Monday, March 15, 2010

The Village Tart

About three years ago the tailor I went to on Mulberry Street closed.  For three years, I have been walking by this space wondering what on earth it was going to be.  A few months ago, I finally found out.  It is the most adorable little bakery called  The Village Tart. I have now been four times now and enjoy it more and more every time. 

The Village Tart is a bakery, café and wine bar providing rustic gourmet foods paired with adult beverages in a casual lounge setting. The Village Tart is open from 8am to midnight Sunday to Wednesday, and 8am to 2am Thursday through Saturday. The kitchen closes at 11pm each night.

The Village Tart offers a full menu of uncomplicated foods and is open for breakfast, lunch, dinner, brunch and late night. The menu is designed by consulting chef Pichet Ong, a four-time James Beard Nominee who demonstrated his talents at Jean Georges, Spice Market, P*ong and The Spot. The chef's menu focuses on combining delicate sweet and savory flavors with an emphasis on quality ingredients and local producers. The Village Tart also has a full complement of beverages including nearly 50 wines by the glass, 20 beers, gourmet coffees from roasters from around the country, and loose leaf teas. The Village Tart will soon offer extensive food pairings incorporating all the varied selections of food and beverage.

The restaurant is located on the southwest corner of Mulberry and Kenmare in the Nolita neighborhood of Manhattan. The restaurant includes 50 café seats, an intimate lounge and bar, a quick service counter, standing bar areas, and eventually outdoor seating and an external take-out window. 

The Village Tart provides a relaxing lounge environment that will transition easily from morning to evening. During the day, The Village Tart provides light café fare with soups, salads, sandwiches, and on-site baked goods. In the evenings, wines and dinner are featured both in our dining room and intimate wine bar area. The Village Tart will also be available for parties and special occasions. 

Currently my favorite this is their warm, crunchy but chewy, half pound chocolate chip cookie.  I have never craved a chocolate chip cookie more in my life. I also went for dinner one night with a friend and we had an appetizer and side. I believe it was the Curry Meatballs and the Fresh Corn polenta. We had Tiramisu for dessert. 

The Village Tart has a walk up bakery bar for to go items,  they have a dining area and they also have a more loungy bar area.  They serve wines, beers and coffees along with their Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Dessert, and Bakery menus. 

Here are images of the dining area. The interior design and decor fits the food and space very well.  It is very cute, cozy and warm.  There is even a real fireplace.  I love the display of mirrors on the walls. The lights are also very industrial and interesting. The painted tin ceiling also adds an old fashioned feel. 





Lesly Bernard is an accomplished restaurateur, designer, and operator in Manhattan. He is the co-owner and designer of The Village Tart, and he will oversee operations upon opening. Mr. Bernard currently owns Tillman’s, a 70’s Harlem-inspired music venue and lounge in Chelsea, which he opened in January 2007. Mr. Bernard has overseen its success over the past several years, and in 2009 opened two new restaurants: Permanent Brunch & Burger and Cantina Latina, both in the East Village. Previously, Mr. Bernard owned and designed Clementine and Taj, and was the original managing partner at Pravda.

Pichet Ong is the consulting chef for The Village Tart, responsible for developing the overall culinary experience of the restaurant. Mr. Ong is a four-time James Beard Nominee for Outstanding Pastry Chef and was named one of the Top Ten Pastry Chefs in America by Pastry Arts & Design. In 2006 Mr. Ong opened P*ONG, one of New York’s first sweet and savory restaurants, as well as Batch Bakery. Recently, he opened The Spot dessert bar. He is the author of “The Sweet Spot” and has worked in many of America's top restaurants, including Jean Georges, Spice Market, Chez Panisse, and La Folie. Mr. Ong is known for his creative talents, and his work has been featured in Food & Wine, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food Arts, the Wall Street Journal, Elle, Saveur, and the New York Times.

Jerri Banks is the consulting beverage director for the Village Tart, responsible for composing the wine, beer and tea programs. Ms. Banks has considerable experience in the beverage industry, including managing the beverage programs at Cellar in the Sky (Windows on the World), the Matthew Kenney Group, Fressen and Taj. She has been featured in multiple publications including the New York Times, Crain’s NY Business, New York Mag., ‘O’ magazine, Essence, Time Out NY , Modern Bride, Market Watch, British Elle & More Magazine.

Janina Amezcua is the head chef for The Village Tart, working closely with Mr. Ong in the culinary design. Ms. Amezcua is responsible for ensuring the ongoing quality of production and brings her experience at some of the finest restaurants in New York City, including Per Se, Daniel, Del Posto, and BLT Prime. She too has lended her talents in recipe development both at Corsino, and in a future Martha Stewart cookbook due out in 2010. She brings her exceptional expertise, passion and discipline to the Village Tart. 

Like I mentioned in the opening sentence, The Village Tart is located on Mulberry street.  Exactly one and a half blocks North of my apartment.  Which may or may not be good.  I still have not decided.  I am leaning more towards not good since I have specifically gone there three times just for their amazing Chocolate Chip Cookie. Ooops. 

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