Friday, February 3, 2012

A Book Club Coup

This month our book club met at Coup des Tartes, a mostly-French restaurant on 16th Street in Phoenix, just south of Highland.  Coup des Tartes is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year, and is the oldest BYOB (bring your own bottle) establishment in the Valley of the Sun.  You bring your own wine (no hard liquor or pre-mixed drinks) and open and serve it yourself.  They do charge a $10 corkage fee.

I had never been to Coup des Tartes before but I had heard good things about it.  The building is a converted residence, so the eating areas are small, intimate rooms.  Our group of nine filled a tiny former bedroom, so we were able to carry on an animated discussion without disturbing the other patrons.  The decor is also bistro-ish, featuring reproductions of fin de siecle French advertising posters. 

The food was superb.  We shared three appetizers (the Brie Brulee, the Three Onion Tarte, and the Chevre / Tomate) and three desserts (Banana Brulee - the special of the evening, Chocolate Lovers Tarte, and a Cherry Tarte with vanilla and vodka in the crust).  I ordered the signature Roquefort salad as my entree.  Parts of my salad were a little saltier than I would have preferred, but I can recommend everything else without qualification.  I understand why tartes of various sorts are their namesake dishes; I've never tasted better crust than the one on that cherry dessert.  The next time I go back I will definitely order the Three Onion Tarte and keep it all for myself.

During the evening, the owner stopped by, helped one member with an iPad sign into the restaurant's wireless network, and told us about the charities (including the Susan G. Komen foundation) that the restaurant supports.

The evening wasn't cheap, but it was definitely one of the most memorable venues our group has visited.  If you live anywhere in the greater Phoenix area and are still looking for a place to celebrate Valentine's Day with your sweetie, check out their special menu for that night and give them a call; if they still have room for you, you may get lucky twice.  Just don't forget to BYOB.

The Mad Hatter: "Would you like some wine?"
Alice: "Yes..."
The Mad Hatter: "We haven't any and you're too young.” 

~Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

No comments:

Post a Comment