Coup des Tartes: French-inspired restaurant serves up delectable dishes

Coup des Tartes

French-inspired restaurant serves up delectable dishes.

By Andrew Leach

Take a trip to a more refined era at Coup des Tartes, Arizona’s longest running, award-winning French-inspired restaurant. Here, the food is delicious and the atmosphere is warm and welcoming.

Housed in a 1922 house situated on a one-acre lot, it has a quaint, romantic outdoor patio cooled by old shade trees and lush greenery. Inside, each of the restaurant’s dining areas features different elements like hardwood floors, vaulted ceilings, crystal chandeliers, and eclectic décor. Indeed, part of the charm of this restaurant is that you may dine in a different room each time you visit.

White tablecloths and warmly lit dining rooms offer an intimate feel that makes Coup des Tartes an excellent choice to celebrate a special occasion or to have a romantic dinner, like their famous aphrodisiac Valentine’s menu, which they’ve been hosting for 21 years in a row. Available this year on Feb. 11 and 12, the four-course prix fixe is a delectable treat to share with your sweetie.

Coup des Tartes’ regular menu, while not overwhelming, is filled with lots of tantalizing options. On our visit, we started with the French onion soup ($9). A hot bowl of caramelized onions and French bread croutons submersed and enhanced by tasty broth and served in a soup crock with melted Gruyere cheese over the top, it’s everything you’d expect and more. The onions don’t overpower, as is common in many other versions of French onion soups and it features just the right amount of cheese. This is a delightful starter to enjoy, especially on colder Arizona days.

For an additional starter, we selected the Brie brûlée ($12). This is a large wedge of Brie cheese served with fresh fruit and toast points. To accentuate the dish, slices of apple are brûléed atop the Brie. The fruit selection the day we ordered the dish included strawberries, sliced pears, and red seedless grapes. The cheese was warmed and spread easily across the toast points. When followed with a bite of fruit, the flavors all came together nicely.

Next, we moved on to the salads. We chose two salads to sample. The first was the Taleggio salad ($11). This is a base of mixed greens that is then tossed with raspberries, apples, red onion, and prickly pear vinaigrette dressing. It’s then finished with sugared pecans to add extra texture and flavor. We also sampled the Roquefort ($12). This also utilizes a base of mixed greens and is adorned with roasted apples, warm hazelnuts, dried figs, and then finished with premier cru Roquefort cheese. Roquefort is a sheep’s milk blue cheese from the south of France and has quite a pungent smell and taste. This salad really comes together with the cheese mixed in with the sweetness of the apples and the earthiness of the hazelnuts and figs.

As a group, we decided on three entrées on this visit. While we had a difficult time deciding on what to finally select, we didn’t have trouble narrowing it down. The first entrée we ordered was the duck a l’orange ($28). This is a delicate roasted duck breast, which is prepared in a candied-orange glaze and cooked to a perfect temperature. They slice it into medallions upon plating and spoon some of the glaze sauce on top of the breast. To accompany the duck, they take some butternut squash bites and roast them with garlic, rosemary, and the rendered duck fat. It’s also served with sautéed kale. The dish was as amazing to look at as it was to eat.

We also opted for the chicken cordon bleu ($22). A traditional French favorite, it’s composed of a breaded stuffed chicken breast. At Coup des Tartes, they opt to stuff it with prosciutto and Gruyere cheese as opposed to the more common ham and Swiss version. The alteration is a nice change, as the saltiness and flavor of the aged Prosciutto adds an extra depth to the dish. While Gruyere is also a Swiss cheese, it’s aged longer and has a sweeter, nuttier flavor. This dish comes served with an arugula cream sauce and roasted red potatoes and steamed asparagus.

The final entrée we enjoyed was the short rib pappardelle ($23), a delicate and delicious dish. Coup des Tartes uses freshly made pappardelle pasta that is mixed in a creamy pancetta sauce with short rib meat that is slow cooked to perfection. Trust me when I say, each bite gets better. The only bite that was disappointing was the last bite, because there were no more left.

The food and ambiance of this restaurant is really amazing. The feeling of driving past the home’s gates on a cement paver driveway and entering an old residence is something that I wish more restaurants had the ability to offer. It’s a warm, comfortable feeling and really adds an extra degree of wonderment to your experience. And, while the wait staff was especially busy on the evening we dined at Coup des Tartes, they were still polite and efficient. So when you are ready to say, “Quel grand repas” or “What a great meal,” I recommend you head here.

 

IF YOU GO

Coup des Tartes

nicetartes.com

(602) 212-1082

1725 E. Osborn Rd, Phoenix

 

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