My wife and I ate at Talula's this past weekend. The restaurant is tucked into a little corner off of 7th street just South of Chestnut St. across from Washington Square Park. It's not a high pedestrian traffic spot, so you might not even realise that its there, but it's worth looking for.
We each had a cocktail at the bar while we waited for our table. My wife had "The Lover" A Grey goose Martini with a Bleu Cheese Stuffed Olive that she was moaning how good it was. I had the "Treehugger" A maple and Black Walnut infused Manhattan. Tasty, but a little weak.
We started with a selection of cheeses from around the world, all of which were delicious. I am not a cheese lover, I tend to shy away from really strong cheeses, and all of these were unique, creamy, crumbly, buttery, milky masterpieces. Each was paired up with dried fruits, or jams and a basket of breads and crackers. We cleaned the board of all remnants of goodness.
For appetizers, my wife had the Pear salad. It came with 2 types of pears and some of the best Bleu Cheese I've ever tasted. Yum. I had the Torchon of Foie Gras. We are huge Top Chef fans and Josh had just made this dish 2 weeks ago on the show. I couldn't pass it up. Both were superb. But the Torchon was a bit skimpy even for an appetizer.
For Main course, she had the Farro Risotto with an assortment of squash, walnuts and Escarole. It was OK. The Farro was really just Farro, I don't know what made it a Risotto. It wasn't creamy and didn't pool nicely the way a real Risotto should. I had the Duck Breast and Chick Pea Crepe. There was Delicious crispy skin duck breast, and a stellar confit wrapped in the crepe. Pure heaven.
For dessert we split the Ricotta Doughnuts and the Chocolate parade. The doughnuts alone were worth the whole trip. Light, just the right amount of sugar, deep fried perfection served with huckleberry jam to drag them through. The Chocolate parade was delicious but, not unlike any assortment of fine chocolates and nothing overtly memorable jumps out half a week later as I write this.
The atmosphere and decor are lovely, and quirky. I kind of felt like I was in Uncle Owen and Aunt Berus house back on Tattooine. Whitewashed walls and exposed wooden plank ceilings, mixed in with a bunch of farm/garden bricabrac. But it worked. Kind of a modern meets rustic thing.
The service was fantastic from both the bar staff and the waiter.
My only gripe is the same one I have about every Steven Starr restaurant. The place is just too noisy. I love all of them for different reasons but he really needs to address the acoustics in these places. The Continental is loud. Buddakan is louder. El Vez is Fiesta level loud, but you can get into one of those big round booths and shut some of it out. Talula's is obnoxiously loud. We sat in the last row of seats before the elevated dining area, we were sitting maybe 3 feet away from each other and we had to struggle to talk to each other. Not very romantic. My throat was actually sore from shouting, and my ears were mildly ringing when I got home.
Great Meal, but I don't know if I'd go back.
If you own or manage Talula's Garden, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.