60cents-$5 Microdesserts @ Three Tarts, NY

$5 Chai Greek Yogurt Cup trying not to eat it too fast ...

My folding bike experiment, tikit on Trial, included this visit to the Three Tarts:

I visit the Three Tarts almost as often as the bathroom but I can assure you there's no direct causality ...

The antithesis of supersize me, ThreeTarts is 'microsize me' with its tiny, utterly original, coin-sized cookies, tarts, muffins and parfaits, meticulously baked and priced to empty the small change in your pocket.

You will find concoctions here that you will find nowhere else. Here are the absolute standout numbers in my book:

1. The Chocolate Lovely - two superfine, super thin, super dark (almost black) chocolate cookies with a dark ganache filling. There is a delayed reaction as the chocolate hits your palate then creeps slowly over it, intensifying as it goes. Wow. What a way to spend 60 cents. Shape changes from bat to penguin to megaphone depending on the whim of the Japanese patisserie meister. You'll probably eat two.

2. Greek yoghurt cup. This breakfast/lunch/dessert is a total knockout. Creamy Greek yoghurt topped with pistacho, pumpkin seed and walnut something or other and bottomed with a sweet and spicy chai syrup something or other. Phenomenal combination. Not a single person who has tried it at my insistence has reacted with anything other than 'oh wow.' $5 but worth every spoonful.

3. The fig, caramelized onion and goat's cheese tartlet. An unbelieveable taste combination. The sweet of the fig, the salt of the cheese, the sweet and salt of the onions, and the buttery crispness of the short biscuit base. $3.80.

4. My everyday favorite (and because I couldn't afford to eat 2. and 3. every meal although I could give it a damn good swing) is the little apple tart. A tiny, poker-chip sized tart with high sides filled with good old fashioned, perfectly spiced fresh apple puree. Three little bites of heaven. $1.55

5. Outstanding biscotti - Just the right amount of nut, sweet, break and crumble. 60 cents.

6. The hot chocolate - very good, and on par with the well priced (under $4.50, NOT the exorbitant $8 kind) rich hot chocolates offered by the likes Amy's and Fairway. It's basically solid chocolate melted into hot milk.

Then there are other items like the jewel panacottas, the delicate marshmallows and more regular trufffles. The banana and green tea ice cream sandwiches were my initial favorite but I find the cake sides are a bit too cakey for me, and the wrapping unwieldy. $4.50

The co-owner told me that when they first opened, the owner of the equally impressive (for different things) La Bergamot came over and said, "I consider this war" on account of the truffles that both establishments offer.

My reaction: "Did you lean over and say 'and we're about to make a killing'?"

This is the indulgence food of a modern age: highly creative, right-sized and right-priced.

The Three Tarts
164 9th Ave
(between 19th St & 20th St)
New York, NY 10011
(212) 462-4392


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