This restaurant sister to the Tartine Bakery & Café opened in 2005. It has been through one relocation and a few head chefs since then. Yet the food is very good at this long space with an open kitchen and scattered lighting.

Inside Bar Tartine Bar Tartine's Faema E61 - formerly at the bakery/café

Bar Tartine inherited the classic two-group Faema E61 machine from the bakery since opening this separate location (the bakery replaced it with a higher-output La Marzocco). But instead of Mr. Espresso here, they use Blue Bottle Coffee. They pull shots fairly high in classic brown Nuova Point cups with a dark brown, thinner crema (that looks much richer than it really is) — often with lighter spots at the pours. It has a mellow pungency suggesting herbs (some thyme, etc.), but it lacks the acidic brightness typical of fresh Blue Bottle Coffee.

Are they letting James Freeman’s coffee sit on the shelf for long periods? Or is this another example of Tartine’s skills at coffee making never measuring up to the reputation of their baked goods? Perhaps the weakest effort I’ve yet experienced for a place using Blue Bottle beans — they could have just as easily used Martha & Bros. beans for a similar result. But for restaurant espresso, this is good stuff.

Read the review of Bar Tartine.

Low light photo of the Bar Tartine espresso