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Apple Tarte TatinSome people take the Euro approach to vacation, flying out in flocks come August. But for me, mid-April is when I defect. In particular, I like to get out of the country. This explains why I’m always in financial straits, but once you catch the travel bug, you are condemned to always yearn for new places.

This year, unfortunately, I am doomed to stay home while the people around me are enjoying the fjords, fronds, and fromage. I guess there could be worse things. Especially since New York is a great place to “fake it ’til you make it.”

So that is what I am doing. I commenced by heading to Buvette in the West Village, an adorable jewel-box of a restaurant that thankfully tastes as French as it looks.

Side TatinSeated at the long, marble bar that runs the length of the thin restaurant, Re and I were in eye view of the silver platter propping up the sizable tarte tatin. Every now and then a harried bartender when slice off a hunk, and run off with it to a lucky table. When it came time for dessert, we knew we had to have the tarte ($8), even if it meant passing up the only other dessert on the menu, a formidable chocolate mousse.

When at last our slice of tarte tatin arrived, it was adorned with a river of sour crème fraiche, with was a welcome contrast to the buttery caramel and the soft, plump apples that were a welcome shade away from dissolving entirely on the tongue. An impossibly rich fruit dessert, apple tarte tatin, done well, can feel entirely decadent, as it does at Buvette. The little silver platter it arrives on bolsters the effect.

The crust was just a wee bit soft, but I’ve always been partial to the fruit, not the crust, in pies and tarts, so that wasn’t a huge problem for me. The ratio here is also about 3:1, apples to shell, so keep that in mind as well.

The best part? If you close your eyes and take a bite, you really can pretend you’re instead relaxing at a cafe in the Latin Quarter.

42 Grove Street, New York, NY 10014 (map)