Magazine article The New Yorker

Village Tart

Magazine article The New Yorker

Village Tart

Article excerpt

This new restaurant may have the name of a strumpet, but it has the mien of a prim maiden aunt, with its marble-topped tables, dusky pink seats, cut-glass lustres, and ornately framed mirrors. In a neighborhood often known for being image-conscious, Village Tart is remarkably unassuming; it may be the only place within a mile radius that amiably deploys Jack Johnson as background music. The other night, the mellow decorum of a crowded dining room was disturbed only by a boisterous conversation that touched on, among other things, the iPad, the relative beauty of two sisters, and female anatomy. "Let's be honest," asserted one voice. "I'm a really smart guy who knows a lot about a lot of things, but that's one thing I've never figured out."

While the menu may lack the culinary pyrotechnics the consulting chef, Pichet Ong, one of a cohort of pastry-makers gone savory, has displayed elsewhere, most dishes succeed through a careful attention to detail. Bacon-wrapped dates countered sweetness with red-pepper flakes, and a supersized pig in a blanket--a Kobe-beef sausage wrapped in delicate phyllo dough--was rich in flavor, though, a server admitted, a bit intimidating in its heft. …

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