Justin and I had a whole wide open weekend – something so rare. So we decided to be spontaneous and check out this place: The French Tart Chez Laurent for Saturday Brunch.
The French Tart, located on North Railroad Avenue in New Dorp, is about 3 minutes away from our house, and BYOB. So it sounded like a real win-win. We collected our chilled champagne, and headed out at about noon to find the place empty – though they filled up by the end of our meal.
Pictured below are just two of, what seemed like, one thousand menus.
So that stressed me out a little bit. I don’t understand why there were two separate brunch menus, in addition to a full breakfast menu and full lunch menu, where choices were repeated under various headings multiple times. This made me very anxious, but I powered through.
I decided that I was just going to find whatever items I wanted, on whatever menus they were on, and just list them. Disaster averted. Justin and I both ordered croissants (a must have on any French adventure, in my opinion).
The croissants were fresh and buttery and delicious. They were served with softened butter and a homemade apricot jam which was great. I’m a sucker for a pastry or danish, so this simple little thing was actually the highlight of my meal.
I wanted to try their escargot, and also ordered the Croque Madame Crepe. Justin went with a Crepe Merguez (it’s not on either of the menus pictured above – I don’t even know where he found it, but it did exist).
The escargot was great. It had tiny crunchy croutons mixed in to the actual dish to eliminate the very stressful (sarcasm) step of having to dip your own bread. The snails themselves were super fresh, and the whole dish (with the croutons and cheese and tomatoes all combined) worked perfectly – every bite flavorful and interesting.
The crepes were good, too. I preferred the unusual flavor of Justin’s Merguez crepe over my, more traditional (ham and cheese and béchamel) one.
Our table looked beautiful, with all of this food and our mimosas bubbling away:
It was a simple meal, nothing outrageous, but perfectly fresh and delicious and reasonably priced: they BYOB thing makes such a huge difference when the bill comes, and they’re so hard to find on Staten Island.
And don’t worry, just because it’s brunch doesn’t mean we skip dessert. Justin and I were overwhelmed by the delicious house made tarts, pastries, chocolates, and cookies that sat in a display case just a few feet away from us. So we sampled a variety of items: raspberry and vanilla macarons, a milk chocolate truffle, and chocolate suicide cake:
Yum, yum, and yum.
Overall, The French Tart Chez Laurent earned a three star Baconboozer rating. It was nothing so outrageous or unusual. But it was a very good, super local BYOB option. It felt like a simple, but authentic French cafe. Plus, in addition to the dine-in selection, the little hole-in-the-wall also sells some hard to find French items, like foie gras, pates, cheeses, and duck fat. My biggest recommendation for management is to consolidate and organize their menus, and to spruce up the dining area just a tiny bit: I’m all for cozy and casual, but it could use a tiny facelift (maybe just some fresh table linens and candle holders or flowers?). Good job, Chef Laurent; we’ll most certainly be back soon!