For people in the know, it’s no secret that Tart Restaurant on Fairfax Avenue (across the street from CBS and down the street from Farmers Market and The Grove) is a go-to place for drinks and delicious grub in a cool setting. And if you’re not familiar with Tart, chances are you know the Farmers Daughter Hotel, which houses Tart on the ground floor. I’ll let you make your own farmer’s daughter/tart joke.
Ever since its remodel, the Farmers Daughter Hotel has been sporting a chic vibe and Tart is the fun hangout spot for locals and visitors alike to eat aplenty and relax like you’re on vacay. In fact, Tart guests always have full use of the hotel’s game room and ping pong table to help keep the party going. Jump in the pool fully dressed and you’ll get half off your meal—jump in fully dressed with your cell phone in hand and you’re meal will be free.
At Tart, Chef Nick Evers serves only grass-fed meats on his American comfort food with country flair menu. Serving brunch seven days a week, bottomless mimosas are offered daily from 11am to 4pm for $15.
During our recent visit for dinner, we sat outside in the cool and welcoming patio and started with cocktails. I’m a huge Arnold Palmer fan (the iced tea/lemonade beverage) and just had to give the “John Daily” a try. Made with Sweet Tea Vodka, lemonade and a splash of Sprite served over ice, I found the drink too weak for my tastes, which tend to prefer the stronger stuff.
Meanwhile, the Southern Orange Tree made with fresh muddled oranges and a slice of Serrano chili, blended with orange flavored vodka and fresh cranberry was nice and spicy. I doubted it when I read the ingredients but found the drink surprisingly refreshing and tasty.
For starter items from the Snacks side of the menu, we went with the Deviled Eggs (Sunset Ranch eggs with smoked trout, house pickled red onion and watercress) and the Shrimp N’ Grits (beer braised white shrimp with andouille sausage, okra, cheddar grits, topped with a sunny side up egg), both of which were great appetizers. A tad pricey at $11 and $12 a piece respectively, they’re good if you’re sharing.
For our Greens we went with the Kale Salad with baby mixed kale, white cheddar, almonds, cucumber and buttermilk dressing. This is a great salad; very nice and I absolutely loved the cheese, which really added a tremendous flavor.
Looking for a second round of drinks, we ordered the Gin Silk, a refreshing mix of St. Germain, soda water, cucumber and mint leaves, and the Cajun Mule made with Tito’s Texas Vodka, ginger beer and lime, which offered a unique twist on a classic drink. Neither floored me as I don’t like mint and, again, I prefer a cocktail with more bite.
All entrees or as they like to call them at Tart, The Main Event, come with your choice of three side dishes so do come hungry. I can’t say enough about the Fried Chicken. It was hardly what grabbed my attention on the menu but it came highly recommended and boy was it delicious. The buttermilk marinated Mary’s chicken breast was so flavorful.
Our other main selection was the Pan Roasted Pork Chop with crispy sage and brown butter, which was good and hearty albeit a little too dry for me, especially in comparison to the juicy and delectable chicken dish.
All of our sides were hearty and just what you want out of American comfort food. We had the Mac N Cheese with white cheddar, shells and a garlic cream sauce, along with the Crispy Fried Brussels tossed in chili vinaigrette; Fries with herbs and achiote ketchup; Grilled Asparagus with hazelnut-sage brown butter; and Black Eyed Peas with slow cooked collard greens and bacon.
In need of a stiff drink, we went with the Tequila Makes Your Clothes Fall Off—a beer cocktail mixed with tequila, orange liquor and lime. And since I’m not really a beer guy, it didn’t do it for me as I feared would be the case so I broke down and went off menu and enjoyed a savory and satisfying Sazerac. Good times!
With barely enough room to share dessert, the Brown Butter Pecan Tart with whipped cream friache really hit the spot and sent us home stuffed but with a smile.
Tart Restaurant is located at the Farmer's Daughter Hotel at 115 S. Fairfax Ave. Hours: Sun-Thurs 7am to 11pm: Fri/Sat 7am to 1am. Call 323-937-3930.
By: Jose Martinez.