That's just what two talented, enterprising guys did. Jerome Audureau had run his own small tart shop in Provence as a summer "externship" and detected, after a few years in New York, a definite tart deficit in the diverse, ever-developing food scene of that diverse, ever-developing city no savory tarts at all and only a few sweet ones. So, he and Frank Mentesana, a hotel management colleague, decided to tart it up. They started by selling wholesale only, doing everything themselves and doing quite well. A year later, they felt it was time to expand their repertoire and open a cafŽ. Once Upon a Tart has delighted customers for a decade and become an established SoHo destination. Now, Frank and Jerome make the cafŽ's delicious offerings available to an even wider audience with a cookbook called (no surprise) Once Upon a Tart. They started as novices neither was professionally trained and learned as they cooked, making the things they loved to eat. There is, of course, a treasure trove of tarts, both savory and sweet, with detailed "dough lessons" and the necessary equipment info. A solid sampling of super soups (don't miss the Curried Corn Chowder with Coconut Milk), sandwiches and salads is complemented with recipes for condiments, cookies, scones, quick breads, and down-to-earth discussions of ingredients. Simple stuff that's simply grand.

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