There are some Fridays when you want excess in order to celebrate the end of the week, and then there are some Fridays when, anticipating the excess of the weekend, you want moderation, or at least a suggestion of it. And on those Fridays, Three Tarts beckons.
Although we’re not typically fans of desserts that could be served at a doll’s tea party, we’re partial of the Chelsea boutique’s diminutive wares. What they lack in quantity they make up for in quality: You can finish most of them in three bites, but they’re a very flavorful three bites.
Case in point are the eponymous tarts. You can buy three for $4.50, and on this visit we got two lemon meringue and one kumquat. The lemon meringue was our favorite, thanks to the intense tartness of its silky lemon curd, perfectly browned, crispy crust, and ethereal little cap of meringue. We could have popped several, one after the other, like Altoids, but instead enjoyed its kumquat counterpart. Although not particularly kumquat-y — oddly, it was more reminiscent of pound cake — it was certainly tasty enough.
It also left plenty of room for a Yumball ($1.50; pictured below), another of the bakery’s signature desserts. It’s basically a cake ball/truffle hybrid, the kind of thing typically dreamed up by radically premenstrual women with spare time on their hands. And it does indeed fulfill a chocolate craving: The one pictured below is a mush of chocolate and almond cake, Amaretto, and dulce de leche. It’s a potent creature, yet more definitive proof that good and habit-forming things often come in small packages.
And while their size obviously puts everything we ate on the skinny jeans end of the Fat Pants Spectrum, keep in mind that they’re like snowflakes: on their own, not a big deal, but taken en masse, a storm of daunting dimensions.
164 Ninth Avenue