Tartine has been on my list of places to eat before there even was a list. Now that list has become as long as the reported wait for this tiny corner bistro, the dreaded line prevented me from actually eating there until now.
Ironically another long wait (an hour at 6:30 at Mary's Fish Camp) brought us to this oddly lighthouse-heavy decorated little BYOB. The quarters are small and cramped and the waitresses' ability to glide through it with arms full of bubbling hot plates wowed me.
Fortunately, since the place fills up pretty quickly, distinguishing between the multitude of annoying conversations at nearby tables becomes something you really have to work at, and we were working much harder on praising the tenderness of the escargot. I was equally stunned by the spicy chicken with guacamole, an entree I'm not used to seeing in French restaurants. I usually don't order chicken except in Asian noodle dishes, but it sounded so good, I had to try it.
Boy, did I pick the right dish to change my ordering habits. Really, really good, flavorful and spicy (photo from I Heart NYC). Jim, unfortunately, faired worse with his pepper steak–a dish I was certain would be excellent here; but it was tough and fatty. But, due to the place's otherwise excellent food and reviews, we are both willing to chalk it up to a freak incident.
The dessert list will make even the most health conscious eater indulge: the Dacquoise (a concoction of chocolate; ganache; praline butter cream; meringue and hazelnut, covered with toasted almonds) was so good the rest of the world briefly faded away as we ate it.