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When the owners of one of the city's most beloved bakeries open a full-fledged restaurant, expectations inevitably run high -- sometimes impossibly so. Like Tartine Bakery, Bar Tartine has no exterior sign, but the warm glow of the dim-but-not-too-dim lighting and the pleasant bustle within beckon passersby from off the street. The interior that owners Elisabeth Prueitt and Chad Robertson created is comfortable and classy, familiar without feeling stale.
A chandelier fashioned from a jumble of antlers casts a friendly glow over a large communal table, creating an inviting vignette in the front window. Walnut tables nestle together, and the bar's white marble countertop has a reassuringly rounded edge. The restaurant seats a maximum of 45 people and hums with the cheery clamor of a bistro -- an agreeable backdrop for catching up with old friends or perhaps the ideal setting for a second date. -- Sidra Durst