Tatte Bakery & Cafe in Wellesley’s Linden Square will officially open on Wednesday, June 15, at 7am, bringing a little bit of Paris to the former CPK space. We scored a special “friends & family” invitation a couple days ahead of that to try out the impatiently awaited restaurant, which enjoys a rabid cult following at its 20 Massachusetts locations and seven DC outposts.
Israel-born founder Tzurit Or spared no expense in bringing French ambiance to Wellesley, dropping in the area of $1M in construction costs to get the aesthetic just right. The interior includes cafe dining with all the gleaming subway tile and cute bistro seating such a place needs; a pastry counter area; a barista bar; and restrooms; as well as an expansive outdoor seating area. But all of that would mean nothing without the brand’s signature artisanal coffees, pastries, breakfast sandwiches, salads, and sandwiches.
Through a service opening you can get a glimpse of the back of the house as line cooks move with efficient grace, putting up plates of breakfast sandwiches, rice bowls, kebab plates, salads, shakashukas (a North African egg dish), and more. Nearby, baristas are busy at the drinks bar putting together everything from a simple cup of black coffee and always-popular lattes to the new summer drinks menu that includes iced beet latte with roasted beet, cardamom, and maple syrup; beet seltzer; strawberry rhubarb seltzer; and iced chocolate.
We were greeted at the front door by a friendly staff member who checked our name off the “sneak peek” invite list. We then made our way to the long display case to ogle (and order) the baked goods and to choose a meal item off the laminated menu. No ordering from a QR code here. Cafe manager Nick Newman said, “The big thing is we are trying to connect with every customer and make them feel as at home as possible.”
“We want to create an experience,” leadership and development team member Megan Kittinger added.
Here are a few pics of our experience:
The Tatte way
At the register we were handed a table-number flag, and a staff member brought our meal out within a few minutes. It’s a civilized system that feels much more relaxed than an at-table ordering system, and is unlike a fast-food experience. During our visit there were a couple dozen staffers, there to serve the smattering of us allowed in for a sneak peak, so we moved through the process with lightning speed. Especially during Tatte’s early days, I’m told customers can expect lines. I’m also told the staff is up to the challenge.
The opening of Tatte brings Linden Square another step closer to the reimagining of the area. New restaurants Karma and Oath Pizza are expected to open in 2022. Plus a redesign outside of Wellesley Tavern that includes outdoor seating is almost done, as is the addition of outdoor seating at Qdoba. (Both Wellesley Tavern and Qdoba are open throughout that minor construction process.)
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