tartine and the big reveal

We went to Tartine for dinner on Tuesday night to find out the sex of our baby.

No, this isn’t a new service offered by the newly opened Rocky River wine bar and cafe. Instead, we had the technician at the ultra sound earlier in the day write down the sex and seal it in an envelope for us to open at dinner later that night. We wanted to find out the sex in a way that was more us, and this was definitely it.

Tartine itself is rather simple, small and narrow, but a great space overall. I especially liked its location nestled on Old Detroit Road, the tin ceiling, brick wall and wine display above the bar. The patio out front is charming, too, and I liked it even better when they opened all the doors separating the restaurant from the patio.

We started off with drinks: prosecco for Jamie (which turned into three) and a very enjoyable glass of Barbera d’ Alba for me.

For our meal, we started off with the medjool dates with goat cheese, lardons and port wine; the grilled pita served with chickpea and kalamata olive spreads; followed by the roasted mussels with white beans, moutarde Dijon and wine for me and the roasted chicken sandwich with apples Swiss cheese and raspberry aioli for Jamie. For dessert, he went for the flourless chocolate cake with port wine syrup while I opted for a selection of three cheeses: Taleggio, Saint Andre and Prima Donna.

Overall, everything was incredibly delicious. Hands-down favorites would be the spreads and easily the dates. The dates were so good that we both acknowledged that they might be better than “the” dates at Avec – but both of us were hesitant to actually state that out loud. So we settled with the fact that they are both winners, but each offers a very different taste and overall approach. These dates were incredible though, and the goat cheese is what made is memorable. My only complaint is that the dates were too small.

I also really enjoyed by mussels, about a pound in total. The sauce and beans were tasty and you could clearly taste the Dijon, but it wasn’t overpowering. Jamie also liked his sandwich, but he was a little disappointed that the apples didn’t have more of a prominent taste.

As for our desserts, again both winners. I did manage to sneak a bite of his cake and it was unbelievable. Again, the only compliant here was that it was too small. As for my cheese, I enjoyed all three, especially the Taleggio. And a nice presentation overall with the grape salad, candied nuts and several cracker choices.

This place will surely do well and we will gladly be back. In fact, we joked about going last night just for the dates! And I did manage to say hi to Chef Nolan on our way out and he seems to be doing really well in his new digs and by all the smiling faces in the packed restaurant, they seem happy to have him there, too.

By the way, we are having a girl!


  1. Alexa
    Posted July 24, 2008 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    congrats on the baby girl!! i give you permission to name her alexa.

    anyways as for tartine, i didn’t realize it was open yet. i must go!

    i just looked at the menu, must check it out even MORE now.

  2. Mel
    Posted July 24, 2008 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    I heard a somewhat flat review of Tartine from an acquaintance, so I’m excited to have a better opinion from you. I’m so excited about all these cute wine bars opening by me in River.

    Congrats on the girl!

  3. Hayley
    Posted July 24, 2008 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    Congrats! Very exciting…

    Sounds like a good place to celebrate.

    We went to Pier W this past weekend and were extremely surprised with how good the food was….

  4. Skeezix
    Posted July 24, 2008 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    Aw, little girl!! YAY!

    Dinner sounds amazing. AMAZING.

  5. mamabiz
    Posted July 24, 2008 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    Oh congratulations on the girl! What a great idea to save it and open over a good meal.

    And yes, dinner sounds great.

  6. lifeinrecipes
    Posted July 24, 2008 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations on your news – it is a win-win whatever the outcome.

    I had a fantastic night at Tartine a couple of weeks ago. We started out with a perfect bottle of rose recommended by the bartender – wish I could recall which one. Not too sweet with soft melon-y tones. Food was exceedingly well-executed for having been open only a couple of weeks. Can’t wait to return while we still have patio weather.

  7. rockandroller
    Posted July 24, 2008 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    I didn’t even know you were expecting! congrats and how wonderful, a baby girl.

    Also good is the news on Tartine – I too heard a mixed review from friends but it was RIGHT after they opened, and I like to give a place a little breathing room for awhile so they can get their sea legs.

  8. danielle
    Posted July 24, 2008 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    O M G! i didn’t even read your blog, i skipped directly to the last line!!!!!!!!!!!!!! CONGRATS!!!! that is so amazing! looking forward to seeing you this week!

  9. michelle v
    Posted July 24, 2008 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the well wishes (and name suggestion, Alexa :)

    Danielle – we are looking forward to Wednesday, too!!

  10. markymark
    Posted July 24, 2008 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    congrats on the baby…great idea on the sealed envelope!

  11. CB
    Posted July 24, 2008 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

    Congrats on your baby girl! And not to steal Alexa’s thunder, but you also have my permission to name her “Cleveland Bachelor.” Or Bachelor. Or Cleveland. Or any derivative thereof.

    Seriously, that was a pretty cool way to do things.

  12. Rosemarie
    Posted July 24, 2008 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations! Such exciting news and such a fun way to suprise yourself with it!

    I was over in that area today and tried to find it, but I didn’t see it. I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  13. TraciJ
    Posted July 25, 2008 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations on finding out that you are having a baby girl – SWEET! ;)

  14. Kristen
    Posted July 25, 2008 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    Congrats to you! Since you mentioned the mussels I thought I’d pass this onto you (you might already be aware of it, but I figured why not share the info just in case). I found it really helpful during my pregnancy since I love seafood and couldn’t always remember what was safe/not safe. Mussels aren’t on the list, but I’ve been told they fall under the “Lowest” level with clams, oysters, shrimp etc. Best wishes and good eats during your pregnancy!


  15. AdamX
    Posted July 27, 2008 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    It sounds like a wonderful night. Your baby girl will definitely have a taste for fine living with a fanfare introduction like that.

    Just whatever you do, don’t name her “Tartine”. ;-) I doubt seriously that any young girl would like to be named for a sandwich.

  16. michelle v
    Posted July 28, 2008 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    Kristen – thanks for the link. I try not to have them a lot just to be safe, but am glad they are low on the list!

    Adam – I promise you tartine won’t be the name! Can you even imagine???

One Trackback

  1. By Cleveland Foodie on February 24, 2011 at 10:59 am

    […] throughout the entire duration of a pregnancy to find out the sex is simply baffling to me. So just like our last pregnancy, we had the technician write down the sex of the baby and seal it in an envelope. We took that […]