Village Tart opened last week in Nolita, debuting a bakery menu, with a cafe addition to come in early February. Consultant Pichet Ong seems to have made a comeback over the last few months after the closing of his bakery and restaurant complex Batch and P*ong with the opening of Spot on St. Marks and now this venue, which serves his sweet treats. Ahead, check out the early bacony raves, service qualms and everything in between.
The Great News: Blondie of the food duo Blondie & Brownie proclaimed the Nutella Skillet Torte her "newest favoritest dessert," boasting "a dense moist chocolate cake, not too sweet though, think more cocoa than chocolate. On top of that is a layer of Nutella, sweet nectar of the gods, it slightly soaks into the top layer of the cake. Sealing in the delicious is the layer of marshmallow creme, silky and creamy." Although the torte stole the show in her review, the Stracciatella Cupcake was not to be missed either. While the buttercream was great, "the cake was what makes this cupcake" because she "tasted something else, something different. Buttermilk maybe? I kept thinking that it reminded me of corn bread and biscuits." [Blondie & Brownie]
The Vogue Report: Vogue Daily featured Village Tart on the blog last Thursday, deeming the "whimsical" menu items "all entirely irresistible" and the place "a perfect reason to break from a post-holiday cleanse." Teensy fashionistas may find Ong's indulgent treats "irresistible," but the final word is still out. [Vogue]
The Good News: Serious Eats gave a more comprehensive review of the sweet menu, with a couple of hits and misses. The Mascarpone Tart has filling that's "luxuriously smooth and full in volume," and relies "on slices of blood orange and toasted, salted pistachios for a kick of sweet and savory." Olive Oil Madeleines were dense and "irresistible," and the Grapefruit Tart, albeit "tiny" features a pairing of grapefruit slices and frangipane, and "it works beautifully in this case." Thai Tea Truffles were "too delicate" in flavor, and the Mint-Chocolate Cookies "passable" when compared to the Village Alfajores. Not to be missed is the Candied Apple Galette, which "piles deeply caramelized thinly sliced green apples into some sort of crazy sweet and tart wonder." [SENY]
The Hopeful News: Front Studio sampled some of the sweet treats during their soft opening, reporting that "the bits and bobs we just snacked on are rather delicious," and they're "then we're looking forward to lunch there very soon." @Christimaple reported similar optimism: "Village Tart absolutely worth the trip - BACON JAM....enough said!!! Look forward to the wine bar opening!!" A Facebook commenter enjoyed "excellent quiches and loved the grapefruit frangipani tart." [Lunch Studio, Twitter, Facebook]
The Good Yelps: One Yelper was "skeptical" at first, but overall "loved the savory options and the decor and I think it can only get better." Hits included the Bacon Jam Pizzetta, French Onion Soup Tart and the quiches. Yelps of acceptance also went to the Grapefruit Tart, the "dense" Olive Oil Madelines, and the atmosphere - "a very European feel." [Yelp]
The "Terrible" and "Underwhelmed": Others lamented that the portions were "teeny tiny" and that the staff was "uninformative," and even so far as "terrible." @VerySmallAnna gave readers a visual explanation of her impressions: "Vasily the walrus sums up Zack's feelings towards it (I was merely underwhelmed)." [Yelp, Twitter]
The final rave: From a reader: "I love Village Tart, but I also love Pichet. His desserts are perfect for people who can't stomach too much sugar. I enjoy the little flecks of maldon salt on his olive oil madeleines. The nutella skillet torte is also nicely warmed, not too sweet, not too dense and topped with a glossy marshmallow. He makes an interesting nougat that is baked in the oven for a few minutes to give it a crispy outer edge but keeping the center fluffy." [Eater Inbox]