Tartine brings a taste of Belgium (and, yes, waffles!) to Cabot Street
If you’re looking for an authentic “Continental” dining experience you have to travel to Europe, right?
Nope. You head to Beverly.
That’s right, Beverly, Massachusetts, where a full European-style all-day café is closer than you think.
Tartine Kitchen & Eatery, which opened its doors last spring, is owned and operated by Monika and Alexandre Simon. Alexandre’s Belgian family has a long, successful history in the restaurant business, and that certainly helped when they decided to open their own space.
Monika, who graduated from Endicott College, grew up eating fresh, high-quality ingredients with her American mother and Belgian father, and that’s exactly what you’ll find on the restaurant’s menu.
The space is bright and inviting. Depending on your preference, there are plenty of casual seating options available including two high-top counters, a row of tables and chairs along one side of the restaurant and bar window seating overlooking Cabot Street.
During the warmer months, guests can sit outside where Monika and Alexandre have transformed a small piece of sidewalk into a beautiful extension of the restaurant.
One of Monika and Alexandre’s main priorities is to provide a welcoming space where guests can sit back, relax, and not feel rushed. “We wanted to open a neighborhood place where people could gather and linger,” Monika shares, which is why the eatery is a “no tipping” establishment.
Guests place their order at the counter and then pick a seat where their drink and food is brought to them. “After you place your order there is no pressure for you to go anywhere,” Alexandre says. The atmosphere transports you across the Atlantic to a café in Paris, Rome, or Brussels — you’ll almost forget that you’re still stateside.
Each dish on the menu is composed of simple, quality ingredients that have been sourced from farms all throughout New England. All of the tartines — a Belgian open-faced sandwich — are served on a slice of sourdough bread from A&J King Artisan Bakers in Salem.
Choose from a variety of toppings like goat cheese and fig, and Gouda and French cooked ham. Many of the components are made using old family recipes like the pesto that Monika adopted from her grandmother.
The color combination of each dish is bright and the presentation is so stunning that you’ll feel as if you are eating a piece of art.
Another popular item is the Belgian waffle, which is crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. “We have some regulars that come in every single day for the waffle,” Monika shares.
For the coffee, the couple serves Illy, which is a staple in most European cafés. There are a variety of hot and cold options to choose from, and chocoholics won’t want to miss the velvety Belgian hot chocolate.
Since Tartine’s whole menu is served all day, it’s a place guests can rely on whenever they feel the need. Enjoy a cappuccino and pastry in the morning and then a glass of wine or beer and charcuterie board after work.
“We wanted to offer a small selection of wines including a Prosecco, which is very popular with mimosas on the weekends,” Monika says smiling.
The beer selection is Alexandre’s department as his parents have had relationships with many of the brewers featured for over 50 years. The beer is served on a platter with cheese, the tradition in Belgium.
This dynamic duo is very hands on and they are so thankful for the support they’ve received from the community.
“We want to know people by name and we want to know what they like,” they both share. So come in, grab a seat and stay awhile.
■ Tartine Kitchen & Eatery, 192 Cabot Street, Beverly, (978) 998-4907. Mon-Wed: 7am-7pm, Thu-Fri: 7am-7:30pm, Sat: 8am-7pm, Sun: 8am-4pm.