Just-opened Tatte Bakery & Cafe, on New Hampshire Avenue in the West End, offers D.C. its first taste of the breads, pastries and breakfast and casual fare that have made this concept a runaway hit in Boston.
Tatte’s elegant aesthetic — custom black-and-white tiles on the mosaic floor, goodies temptingly displayed on vintage finds, repurposed industrial light fixtures that make a statement — reflects the cinematic eye of its creative owner, film producer Tzurit Or.
An Israeli, Or came to America as an adult, moved to Boston and, as a mother with a young child, began baking the breads and cakes she grew up making on a kibbutz. Her success in selling them at farmer’s markets blossomed into a chain of cafe-bakeries. “Tatte” is Yiddish for “Daddy.” This spacious location is the first outside her adoptive hometown.
Backing up the beguiling cafe aesthetic are freshly baked breads, muffins and pastries — some with Middle Eastern accents, like the cheese bourekas, Jerusalem bagels and pitas. Others, like the brioche-based chocolate or cinnamon “roses,” which blossom as they bake, have a whimsical touch.
The all-day breakfast menu proffers a wide range of savory choices, most notably shakshuka, the popular North African dish of eggs poached in a vibrant tomato and vegetable sauce. Among the other selections are croque madames, filled croissants, garden vegetable bowls and meze platters.
Made on sourdough, Tatte’s tartines feature ingredients such as avocado, roasted peaches and ricotta. The ham and fried egg tartine is gussied up with pesto and goat cheese. Sandwiches, salads, plates and bowls present an array of fresh produce, beans and grains — some spiced up Middle Eastern style, others riffing on more traditional BLTs and prosciutto paninis.
All the menu items and baked goods are made on-site in a kitchen and bakery that can be glimpsed through glass windows. In addition, espresso and brewed drinks are crafted at a handsome coffee bar. Seasonal sodas and juices complete the beverage options.
Tatte is now offering takeout with online ordering and delivery, as well as patio dining with service following COVID-9 safety precautions. For the future, the attractive indoor space includes, besides the coffee bar, a long counter for perching, an intimate alcove for informal meetings and gatherings and a welcoming communal table.