Ruby Edwards Tartine Bakery is a tiny little bakery tucked off the main street in Itaewon. Despite the french name, I would say that it’s an American-style artisan bakery. It’s no surprise that it’s located in the Itaewon neighborhood because that isright next to the army base and has a big population of Americans. That said, when I was in there the only other customers were a couple of Korean girls, so I think it has a much broader appeal. It appealed to me because I saw good looking miniature pies in the window and when I opened the door it smelled like butter.
I tried a strawberry-rhubarb pie. The filling was great, not too sweet but with a great strawberry flavor, and the plate was drizzled with some caramel and lemon sauce that brought out the citrusy flavor of the rhubarb. The pie crust was buttery and crisp.
The other pie options included apple, mixed berry, butter, rhubarb and pecan, as well as a few cheesecakes. The bakery offers specials that change daily and you can order full-sized pies in the same flavors as the mini pies. They also bake artisan breads with stone ground wheat and all natural ingredients. They, too, change on a daily basis.While I was there, I spoke with Chef Marie, who was in charge of the kitchen and baking a new batch of pies. She was a student of Le Cordon Blue out here in Korea and said that they made everything on the menu from scratch every day.
I don’t have the exact address, but I can tell you that it’s quite near the Hamilton Hotel, which is in the center of the main street and is pretty hard to miss. The bakery is just an alley or two to the left of the hotel (if you’re facing the main entrance). For tourists, you’ll probably appreciate the fact that the staff here speaks English because the owner is American (the shop is named after his mother, whose recipes they use).