Flammekeuche, or tarte flambée, is a French dish that’s basically flatbread pizza with a cracker thin crust. It’s typical of the Alsace region and something I ate all the time when I lived in France but haven’t had since…until now.
La Tarte Flambée is a cute little restaurant in my Murray Hill neighborhood. In the year or so since it opened, I’ve been wanting to go, but my beau kept veering towards other restaurants whose names he could actually pronounce. We finally made it there on Friday and it was a lovely evening. It was a lovely Spring evening so we walked right through the dark stone interior and out into the garden. There, we enjoyed a glass of wine next to a fountain, under a string of lights.
I remember tarte flambée as the meal my French parents would prepare and leave out when they spent a night out and left us kids to more or less fend for ourselves. My French père was from Strasbourg, home of the tarte flambée, so it was a go-to for him. Though the crust could have been just a liiiiiiittle bit crispier, it was a very close approximation to the ones I used to eat abroad. I ordered the gratinée (bacon, onions, and gruyère) and added mushrooms. The flavor was perfect. Albert ordered the poulette (grilled chicken and basil) and it was good but not as good as mine – the bacon/onion combo is standard when it comes to flammekeuche toppings and is such for a reason.
The only thing I would change would be to have an appetizer or two to share, maybe small salads? What they do have that’s perfect for sharing are dessert tartes flambées. After eating my entire lil pizza and drinking three glasses of wine, I was too full to get one, but I will definitely be down for one of those strawberry chocolate ones in the future.
When half of the staff is French and they stay true to traditional tarte flambée goodness, you know this place is a good one to have around. Add in that garden and their bottomless mimosa brunch deal and you’ve got yourself a neighborhood gem.