September 04, 2009


So my friend Jenezuela is in town this week, and she stayed with me a few nights. I fed her many nights of leftovers from Recession Recipes. One night this past week, she treated me to dinner at Artisanal, a restaurant which has long since been on my 'List.'

Jen, her mom, and her friend Heather joined us for dinner. I ordered the prix fixe menu, which came first with this fabulous bacon and cheese tart. Bacon? Cheese? Oui, s'il vous plait! It was quite tasty, and came with mixed greens tossed in the lightest of vinaigrettes, my absolute favorite way to have salad. Jenezuela tried some of this as well.

Heather & I got the same entrée, the Arctic Char. I've actually never had this before, despite its many appearances on Top Chef, restaurant menus, magazines, etc. It reminded me a lot of salmon, but not as heavy; much lighter, flakier, and just plain delicious. It was perfectly cooked, with a crispy skin on top that I sampled but didn't choose to finish. It sat atop a bed of crisp-tender asparagus and a fava-bean "pesto." I ate absolutely every bite of this, and would go back and get it again. Smashing.

Jen's mom got the Chicken cooked under a brick, and it looked quite tasty. It came with a potato purée, and she seemed to really enjoy it.

Jen got the steak frites, with the hanger steak (they have 3 options for the meat). Hanger steak, as I've mentioned, is just not my favorite cut of meat, but I did try the frites and found them excellently seasoned and crispy.

My prix fixe meal came with dessert, and I opted for one of the few that will always catch my eye (and my appetite): the apple tart tatin. It actually didn't look anything like I expected it, but it was quite fantastic. The Calvados-infused whipped cream on the side was sacrilicious!

Heather chose the creme brulée and Jen's mom got the coconut sorbet--Jen got a sampling of each and seemed to like them all!

Overall, the food was fantastic. Our server was quite odd, though. He seemed a bit...annoyed? Harried? Fed up with life in general? We explained right off the bat that Jen's mom has an allergy to eggs. He seemed to take this seriously (you'd be surprised how many times I've had friends mention allergies only to have the staff roll their eyes or seem all-too-nonchalant about it) and said he'd alert the kitchen. While he was gone, someone brought us a bread basket. Jen's mom wasn't sure if it was safe to eat; I said I thought they might have, at the very least, egg washes (and I'm NOT a major bread-maker or consumer, so grain of salt here). She asked another staffer, and he said nope, no eggs, so she kept eating. Oh, the expression on our server's face when he saw her munching on some bread! He actually said "What are you DOING!?" and explained, in a super-patronizing way, that of COURSE bread has eggs in it. He went on to say "You don't eat anything unless I put it in front of you." Wow. I appreciate your attention, dude, but maybe ratchet down the tone a bit for your CUSTOMER. Oh, and pass that little tidbit on to the guy you WORK with who gave us the go-ahead. Sheesh. Note: Jen's mom was unharmed, btw.

Server's attitude aside, the food was excellent and well-prepared, and well-presented. I don't think I'll have to rush back anytime though..especially in this economy! I do appreciate Jen treating me tho...thanks, Jen!

2 Park Ave
New York, New York
(212) 725-8585

1 comment:

Simply Life said...

Looks like a great meal!

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