Tartine Manufactory is the most ambitious offshoot of San Francisco’s famed Tartine Bakery from chef/partners Chad Robertson and Elisabeth Prueitt in a 102-year-old building that also houses Heath Ceramics. Given the duo’s track record, TM was an instant hit, serving 7,000 people in first 5 days of business. I’m intrigued by the ice cream shop, coffee bar, and bakery, but my first visit was for a family dinner that convened after those stations closed.
Chef Sam Goinsalvos previously worked for Justin Smillie at Il Buco Alimentari in New York City and Mike Lata at The Ordinary in Charleston, two excellent mentors, and presides over the menu. I enjoyed an array of vegetable, meat, and seafood preparations, and of course Tartine’s toast, but left most impressed with their lamb ribs ($18) with yogurt and dukkah.
Goinsalvos found inspiration for this dish from his time at Il Buco Alimentari, where he was enamored with the periodic lamb rib preparation. In San Francisco, he didn’t see lamb ribs on many menus, so he decided to move forward. He said, “We’ve been sourcing them from here, there and everywhere, and it’s been working out well.” That’s an understatement.
This dish is a study in sourcing, as many Tartine Manufactory dishes surely are. Goinsalvos starts with the Denver rack, a breast cut of ribs. He seasons the compact ribs with salt and and a spice blend called izak from Lior Lev Sercarz of La Boîte in New York that combines sweet chilies, garlic, and cumin. The ribs sit for a day, allowing the meat to marinate and cure. The ribs are then braised in olive oil until tender and sear it in cast in cast iron skillet.
Rich rib meat with crusty coats slide easily from stubby bones and pair beautifully with tangy yogurt that’s dressed with lemon juice, lemon zest, olive oil, salt, and dukkah, a spiced nut crumble that combines Marcona almonds, benne seeds from Anson Mills and vadouvan from Le Sanctuaire in San Francisco. Goinsalvos incorporates “groovy spices all over the place” to great effect. Good news: he’s hoping to serve lamb ribs year-round.