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Going to Artisanal for dinner tomorrow night

spinach Dec 16, 2006 04:24 AM

aside from the noise levels, any input or suggestions?

  1. a
    asdf Dec 16, 2006 04:34 AM

    Love Love Artisanal, it's like this lovely and casual bistro I always wanted to find and finally did - with a strong emphasis on cheese, albeit on the loud side. You can't go wrong with their cheese selection - the cheese fondue is always fun and delicious, as is their cheese puffs, and you should definitely round out the 'cheesy' evening (well, depends on how you look at it) with the cheese plate for dessert. They also have a nice wine selection I recall, although I don't usually go that route.

    1. l
      lso202 Dec 16, 2006 04:41 AM

      the roasted beets and goat cheese salad are *killer* at Artisanal. The gougeres and cheesecake are also a must. my boyfriend is convinced their mac and cheese sets the bar for all other macaroni and cheese (and we've tried a lot).

      1 Reply
      1. re: lso202
        p
        Produce Addict Dec 16, 2006 04:54 PM

        I definitely agree that their mac-and-cheese is amazing!!

      2. e
        eeee Dec 16, 2006 05:20 AM

        Love the rich onion soup, and if you get a main, I suggest the chicken under a brick. My favorite fondue is the Stilton.

        1. j
          Jenna28 Dec 16, 2006 01:54 PM

          The food is good, but I have always found the service there terrible. Sit near the bar and be prepared to have to flag down one of the many, many waiters.

          Wines by the glass are good, though and I liked the fois gras pate.

          1. l
            Lucia Dec 16, 2006 02:13 PM

            I second the recs for the roasted beet salad and the cheesecake. All of the entrees I've tried, including hanger steak, skate, and cod, have been great. I've always had friendly, attentive service there, including on a busy Saturday night.

            1. n
              Nehna Dec 16, 2006 03:04 PM

              It's true that the service can be poor......still love the occasional dinner there despite the service glitches.

              We typically stick with cheese. Never had a less than stellar cheese fondue there (the house blend is great and I've often ordered the specials....i.e. manchego with chorizo, gruyere with applewood smoked bacon, that sort of thing). Their cheese list itself is fantastic and extensive. We usually get a cheese plate of 5 or 6 selections. If you do it, definitely get their Epoisses..its where I fell in love with that cheese.

              Never understood straying too far from cheese oriented dishes at Artisanal. I'd feel like I was ordering a steak in a seafood restaurant, ordering too much that wasnt about the cheese :)

              I have had their escargot puffs as an app. before, and those were very good. And their dessert chocolate fondue is also great.

              1. spinach Dec 17, 2006 06:13 AM

                thanks for all the input, here's how it went....packed to the gills (no surprise) WAY too noisy to talk to anyone except maybe the person next to you, if you shouted.
                there were eight of us, so we got the gaugeres (deelish) a fondue(not sure which one i couldn't hear the order) it was ok, but molten. the meats and cheese platter, again, tasty but with one exception there wasn't anything i hadn't tried before someplace else.
                did i mention the noise??? for entrees we had hangar steak with frites (both close to cold) the cassoulet, duck over chestnut papperdelle, the scallop special du jour, and the chicken under a brick. when we told the waiter that both hanger steaks and frites were tepid (and limp) he replaced one of the orders only for us to share. everyone else enjoyed their food but no one raved.
                we had the cheesecake (worth the meal) pear tart with salted caramel ice cream, and a tart tatin. all completely acceptable, and actually the highpoint of the meal.
                service was hasty but it must be noted that a saturday night is never tranquil.
                overall it was a fun evening but i can't say i was overwhelmed, i'd leave it at just whelmed.

                1 Reply
                1. re: spinach
                  n
                  Nehna Dec 20, 2006 11:21 PM

                  Wow that's pretty bad....the service is VERY hit or miss. I've certainly been on the miss side. And my husband, I should add, witnessed the bartender pouring a glass of wine, only to run out of the wine half way through the pour, and finish the glass with a DIFFERENT wine. He was pretty stunned. Yet we stubbornly return periodically for the cheese....again, nothing but the cheese. Cheese plate, cheese fondue...cant emphasize enough that you need to stick to the cheese there ;)

                  That's pretty insane about your hanger steaks. I think I'd have insisted he replace both dishes...did you not say anything? Or were you just too frustrated by then? I just cant believe a waiter thought that was acceptable.

                2. s
                  s.piller Dec 19, 2006 10:06 AM

                  I have been there many times. The food isn't bad. Cheese is great.
                  The service usually is poor.
                  The last time I was there I had a snotty European waiter who only became friendly at tip time.

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