Coup Des Tartes Transforms French Cuisine by Lynette Carrington Coup Des Tartes Transforms French Cuisine French cuisine with a fun spin; that is what is compelling about Coup Des Tartes in Phoenix. The restaurant is situated in an older home that has been refashioned to give one of the most unique dining experiences in the Valley. Owner Ron Passioni is enthusiastic about the not-so-traditional French cuisine that is as fresh as it is delicious. Passioni says, “Coup de Tartes was ‘farm-to-table’ before ‘farm-to-table’ was a concept.” He goes on to explain that the restaurant values purity of ingredients and is not a “stuffy” type of establishment. Indeed, during our media dinner, the large dining area was fun, upbeat and carried with it an environment of culinary discovery. For StartersTo kick off our media dinner experience, we noshed on Chevre Tomate – warm goat cheese and tomatoes on toast. Next, was a wonderful Brie Brulee – warm brie cheese topped with caramelized apple and served with mini toasts and fruit. Finally, we tried a very traditional French dish, the Escargot, which was bathed in confit garlic herb butter and a twist of lemon.Of Course!There were three courses during the Coup Des Tartes media dinner. As lights flashed and pictures were being taken by the few dozen attendees, the “ooo’s and aaah’s” flew fast and furious with each dish. First was the Risotto. Sure, it might be a dish typically thought of as Italian, but this was the Coup Des Tartes’ version. This Risotto boasted slightly charred pineapple, crispy coconut and just a kiss of curry. It was a wonderful interpretation of risotto and nothing short of addicting. Seriously, could I order a pound of this to take home?Our second course was a beautifully prepared Salmon. The entrée was served atop a bed of sautéed spinach, couscous with roasted garlic, and topped with a lemon and cilantro butter sauce and fresh red bell pepper. The high quality salmon was tender and flakey, lending to the superb overall taste of the dish. Finally, we had the Crab-stuffed Shrimp and Filet Mignon Duet, done in a merlot reduction, and served with mashed potatoes and haricot verts (green beans). It was an exceptional dish and the shrimp was cooked only to be warmed through, leaving it fresh and not overcooked and chewy. It was so flavorful and a wonderful entrée. The merlot reduction was the perfect sauce to tie together the elements of the shrimp and filet mignon.DessertsCoup Des Tartes is known for its outstanding desserts as much as it is for its fabulous French food. Our dessert trio included a classic French Crème Brulee, which is simply one of the best in the Valley. Next was the White Chocolate Lime Mousse Tarte that included white chocolate infused with fresh lime zest, tucked into a macadamia nut crust and served with a delectable and light coconut ginger sauce.The Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake boasted a rich, flourless chocolate cake with dark chocolate and white chocolate mousse with chocolate ribbons and fresh strawberries. The dessert was a wonderful combination of flavors. Last, but not least was our favorite, the Raspberry Studded Brown Butter Tarte. This dessert was the star of the show. The rich, browned butter and vanilla custard included fresh raspberries baked in a light pate sucre and then served with a raspberry coulis and crème Anglaise. Coup Des Tartes frequently holds special events featuring everything from wine dinners to murder mystery dinner nights. Check back frequently to get in on all the excitement. As if four fabulous desserts weren’t enough, we were also treated to a trio of tarts, including a Raspberry Custard Tarte, an Apple Tarte and a Grand Canyon Tarte. Even if you are just stopping in for dessert and coffee, Coup Des Tartes is worth a drive from anywhere in the Valley.Coup Des Tartes is located at 1725 E. Osborn Rd., Phoenix. Visit www.nicetartes.com or call (602) 212-1082 for additional information.