Metro, Food, Newton

All the Talk-e: Tatte Brings Lattes, Long Lines to Newton Center For Opening Week

The chic bakery and cafe chain Tatte opened its newest location in Newton Centre on Wednesday, bringing along long lines with its global pastries and upscale atmosphere to a neighborhood already crowded with coffee shops. 

“I think it’s very popular,” said Newton resident Amanda Yu. “People [want to] come here.”

Tatte is not just another cafe conglomerate. Through the around-the-clock laboring of its founder Tzurit Or, a self-taught pastry chef from Israel who stepped down as CEO of the company in July 2020, the company made its start locally through a Brookline location in 2007, according to its website

Tatte, which has now expanded beyond Brookline, operates out of 18 Boston-area locations, another four in metropolitan Washington, D.C., and as of Wednesday, a new one in Newton Centre, according to the website.

Aside from its made-to-order items, Tatte sells dozens of baked goods, ranging from puffy classics like the croissants to Israeli-inspired items like a Spinach Labneh pita. Its drink menu also rivals the likes of any coffee shop. 

An iced vanilla latte at the bakery is what you want it to be. Espresso flavors, while rich, do not overtake subtle splashes of real vanilla flavors. It costs just 50 cents more than the Starbucks alternative. 

The Newton Tatte is sandwiched between a Sherwin-Williams Paint Store and the ramen restaurant Little Big Diner in an urban nook of the village. The bakery joins a crowded field of nine cafes in Newton Centre. 

While Tatte offers its customers a nice sit-down environment, it is the kind of restaurant where you are unsure how to tip. Customers order their food at the up-front register, then pick up their coffee, and finally find a table where the food is brought out to them. 

“It’s definitely not just a coffee shop,” Alex Thill, a Newton resident who learned about the new location through a neighbor, said. “But it’s also not a restaurant, you know. They don’t necessarily have a … ‘sit down and someone takes your order’ [kind of atmosphere].”

Rich coffee-shop aromas, modern furnishing, and the over 20 staff members flooding the cafe at a time make the space feel mature. Overall, Yu said she liked her experience at the new location but that it might not be the best space for little ones.

“I think it’s good, like without kids,” Yu said. “I don’t know if we bring kids here if it would be the same experience.”

Similar in style to the other Tatte locations, the high top chairs, monochrome black and white paints, and big pane windows make the cafe feel as new as it is. That newness is also reflected 

in the quality of service, Newton resident Elle Nolan said. 

“They’re super busy,” Nolan said. “It felt slow, but kind of methodical.”

Nolan said she fell in love with Tatte’s food long before the new location’s grand opening. 

The Mezze breakfast plate exemplifies Tatte’s global menu with Israeli influence. (Victor Stefanescu / Heights Editor)

Tatte’s menu feels global. French toast and scrambled egg plates anchor the offerings. The three shakshuka options, a North African dish, allow customers to explore beyond breakfast basics. 

The Mezze breakfast also adds a worldly dimension to the menu. The plate includes a cashew-pepper spread, a potent whipped feta and za’atar spread, and a grounding sunflower spread. Additionally, customers are able to order eggs cooked any way with a sesame-crusted Jerusalem bagel to use with the dip and a tomato salad. Customers can rest assured that the poached eggs, if selected, will be cooked to poppable perfection.

Nolan’s favorite dish at Tatte is a potato, mushroom, and onion flatbread. The bakery did not have the flatbread on Friday, but did the day before, according to Nolan. 

The puffy dough is stuffed with semi-sweet caramelized onions, potatoes, and mushrooms, Nolan said.

“The potato gives like a really nice texture to it all even though they’re not super flavorful,” Nolan said. “Mushrooms are kind of my favorite thing, so it sort of rounds everything out.”

Yu, new to the neighborhood, also said she enjoyed the food at Tatte. Her and her partner got brunch at the bakery and topped things off with croissants, she said.

“We didn’t have too much experience here, but to compare my past experience in Texas–we moved from there—this is definitely above average,” Yu said.

Management from the new Tatte directed The Heights to contact corporate for comment on the opening of the new location. Corporate did not respond to The Heights’ request for an interview.

Featured Image by Victor Stefanescu / Heights Editor

October 31, 2021