Restaurants / Openings

Highly-Anticipated La Tarte Tropézienne Opens First U.S. Outpost in Downtown Dallas

The French Bakery Finally Brings Its Divine, Namesake Dessert, Specialty Sandwiches, and Caviar Beyond French Borders

BY // 09.08.20

Amid the gloom of closures prevailing in the restaurant industry, we’ve seen some beacons of hope with the opening of new ventures. La Tarte Tropézienne has finally debuted after a stalled start due to Covid-19. Located just a few doors down from The Joule hotel, the first United States outpost for La Tarte brings the longstanding European tradition to Dallas.

Owners Jan Marien and Rebecca Velázquez met in Chicago while Velázquez was head of the research department for the Oprah Winfrey Show. They found their way to Dallas after marrying, where they felt sure La Tarte would catch on immediately. Marien shares that he has eyes on locations around Texas (Houston and Austin specifically), Miami and various cities on the West Coast. But of course, due to the current slow economic pace, they are looking at late 2021 before launching in any new cities.

La Tarte Tropézienne
La Tarte Tropézienne in downtown Dallas.

On my recent Saturday afternoon visit, their first day officially open to the public, the small Parisian-inspired shop was buzzing with activity. Quaint cafe tables had been set-up outside on the Main Street sidewalk. I sampled a variety of things, including a selection of their caviars (my favorite being the imperial white sturgeon). If you are looking for some fun date night ideas, all of them would be perfect paired with a few glasses of champagne.

After bubbles were poured (I sampled the Moet Imperial, Brut, NV), I moved on to their spinach and feta cheese croissant and their pan bagnat sandwich, a specialty of Nice, France. The first is an utterly light and flaky crusty croissant filled with spinach and melt in your mouth feta. The second is Albacore tuna which is marinated in red wine vinegar dressing and then harmoniously layered with chopped Kalamata olives, boiled eggs, red onions, tomatoes, and green peppers. Heaven in a sandwich form.

On to the sweet stuff. Desserts are in abundance at La Tarte Tropézienne. From the croissants lineup, the winner was a tie between the hazelnut chocolate and the almond filled. Both simply melted in my mouth and felt thoroughly indulgent. The star of the show will likely be the namesake item: the tarte tropézienne. It’s a light, creamy dessert conceived at a St. Tropez bakery in the 1950s.

A glass of wine pairs well with the jambon beurre.
A glass of wine pairs well with the jambon beurre.

The glamorous story behind the dessert includes Brigitte Bardot, who was in the French Riviera town filming And God Created Women with her then-husband, Roger Vadim. The starlet was enamored with the cake and came up with the idea of naming it after the town. Seven decades later, the sweet treat has landed in Dallas. Perhaps as a good luck charm, a mural of Bardot gazes down at guests in the quaint Dallas Main Street cafe.

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If the monotony of day-to-day (the wake, Zoom call, bedtime cycle similar to wash, rinse repeat), treat yourself to a trip downtown. La Tarte Tropézienne is now on my go-to list for date nights or a quick lunch with a girlfriend (perhaps before a private shopping appointment at Forty Five Ten).

La Tarte Tropézienne, 1604 Main Street Suite 110, 972.645.7879, latartetropezienne.com

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