2 Park Ave, New York, NY | Directions 1001640.746246 -73.982456
Neighborhoods: Midtown, Kips Bay
Cheese is king at this large, brassy bistro, where it's not too much to have gougeres, a cheese plate AND fondue. A perfect spot for a fun Sunday brunch or loud, lively dinner. The cheese cave is the place to reserve for a special dinner, and don't forget about their ubercheese picnic baskets to go. A retail shop on the side of the restaurant allows you to supplement what's in the picnic baskets or pick out a perfect gift. The servers are professionals, and the sommelier will patiently pick out a bottle or glasses from the excellent wine list with each member of your party.
Parmesan gnocchi's FABULOUS – Went for restaurant week & had a great time with my colleagues. I I loved loved loved the parmesan gnocchi's as a starter & the salmon over tabouleh was delish. The ambience was very festive, didnt' have any issues with the wait staff...big sticking point for me.
Avoid this place!!!! – Worst dining experience ever. I would never go back there again. The staff was rude and terrible service overall.
For the fondue lover – As you walk inside you smell cheese. It's perfect for the fondue lover. Reserverations are recommended.
and there's a cheese shop too! – The staff was very knowledgeable, particularly about wine and cheeses. if you have time, try one of their flights of three cheeses with accompanying wine tasting (you will get three small glasses). The buy one or more of the cheeses on your way out. The rest of the menu is interesting, and what we tried there we liked a lot.
Well...... at least the cheese was good – I can honestly say that I've never experienced a bassiere with such an prolific cheese selection. Everything you've ever wanted is here from mild Abbaye de Bellocs to stronger ones like Fourme d'Ambert. The servers also knew their stuff, well, at least enough to tell you which cheeses were strong or mild. Everything in between sounded made up or embellished. The tartare was very flavorful and for those of you that like raw beef, this was pretty good. The classic brassiere dishes like the steak frites and escargots were disappointing. The steak was serving way too rare for medium rare and the escargots came out tough. I had to the it back. When it was repaced with octopus, I had one piece and left the rest. Everything looked pretty but tasted average and for the price, I'd rather eat elsewhere.
The wine list was impressive, the decor and ambience fantastic. If you want to feel like your in a swank Manhattan French joint with the shi shi (and wannabe shi shi) crowd, this is the place.
The retail cheese shop was nice. This was my favorite part of the evening, even though they screwed up my order. They made it up to me by giving me a couple jars of preserves, pretty cool.
OVerall: Not bad but pricey for the experience. I mean, come on, anyone can cut of up foreign cheeses at $6 a slice and make it look good. What about the stuff you actually have to cook? For the money, I prefer La Goulue on Madison. First rate restaurant.
Prepare to ascend into cheese heaven when you enter Artisanal. – We have enjoyed their prix-fixe lunch twice now, and each time the items prepared with cheese have absolutely taken our breath away.
Most recently, I ordered from the lunch prix-fixe menu: gougeres, sauteed skate wing with cauliflower and an orange sauce and baba au rhum. True to form, the gougeres were melt-in-your-mouth amazing...I tried to make sure to savor each one rather than inhaling the entire cone at once. It was tough, let me tell you! The skate wing was quite lovely (it was my first time tasting skate), the sauce made it memorable.
My beau decided to order from the regular lunch menu and had onion soup Artisanal with a tune nicoise. The onion soup was absolutely loaded with cheese and by far the cheesiest, gooiest, most amazingly savory onion soup I've ever tasted. In fact, each of the three of us tried my beau's onion soup, and my friend coveted the bowl through lunch. Several times our waiter tried to remove the bowl, and I swear toward the end she began to growl at him when he came near the soup bowl. Next time I dine at Artisanal, I am ordering the onion soup. ALWAYS order the onion soup when you're there!
This spot can't be beat for their amazing cheese selection - RUN to try Artisanal now!
Unbelievably Bad Experience – My experience at Artisanal last night was so bad it actually motivated me to sign up on CitySearch to write this review. I do so with sadness and regret in that I have for many years enjoyed this lively bistro which, for our neighborhood, was something of a culinary trailblazer at a time when there were not many great dining options.
I would venture to say that the food is still pretty good here, but the total rudeness by those staffing the front of the house moved my friend and I to leave before we were even seated. We arrived at the appointed time of our reservation to find one other couple standing at the host's podium and two men in suits (presumably the hosts) with their backs to us, discussing something, and looking into the dining room. We presumed they were trying to find a table for the people in front of us (not difficult since there were MANY empty tables..and we had no problem getting a reservation calling just two hours earlier). This went on for a minute or two, when one of them finally turned around and addressed the people in front of us...they had not checked in yet! What kind of host turns his back to the arriving guests?? They had a reservation, as did we, and the people behind us. All three of these parties were told it would be just a minute, and then the hosts turned their backs on us again and resumed their conversation. After a few minutes, I tapped one of them on the shoulder to ask if there would be a wait so we could make other plans if so...he gave me dirty look, and informed us that our table was ready but it would be a minute before we could be seated...he turned back, then did a double-take to give me a particularly dirty scowl before turning his back on all of us again...so we left!
I'm sorry for the talented chef/owner of this establishment that he has such rude, officious hosts ruining a great Murray Hill institution's reputation. I'll keep buying their cheese online, but will never go to the bistro again.
Avoid this place! All quality has deteriorated since opening – As echoed by others here, the quality of food and service has dropped substantially. It is sad to see another neighborhood restaurant falter in a location otherwise devoid of quality dining options.
Last night's experience there has lost another customer for good. After sitting down, we waited perhaps five minutes for water or a menu, and waited exceptionally long to get our drinks and appetizers. When the entrees came in, I had received the wrong item. The waiter was surprised by the error, and after perhaps another five minutes of waiting, he came back to tell me that they had run out of the dish. He said I could select another entree and it would come immediately. I picked the wild mushroom risotto and waited at least 20 minutes for it to arrive. Meanwhile my fellow diner was being neglected by the waitstaff, not even receiving refills of water. Finally I gave up on the order and asked another waiter for our check. I never received my entree. The check came back and everything but my entree was on the bill a total of $80. Not even a token discount or drinks removed from the order!
According to the time on the receipt, we wasted an hour and a half there for one round of drinks, apps, and half of our table's food for $80.
Meanwhile, the quality of the food was lacking compared to most restaurants in this price range. The foie gras millette was eggy and had an intense mayonnaise flavor. The gnocci dish was unbalanced with it's root vegetables. The risotto was soft and lacked truffle flavor.
If you are looking for a brasserie experience, head to Balthazar or Pastis instead, or go a couple blocks away to Le Halles.
Amazing Meal: great for vegetarians – The cheese and meat plate is amazing. I love meat but my girlfriend is a vegetarian this place was great for both of us. She enjoyed a pumpkin risotto for her meal while I was incredibly impressed with the lobster risotto. The risotto was cooked perfectly and there was plenty of lobster meat including two nicely sized tails placed on top. Highly recommended!
Great cheese, high prices, mediocre service – Went for the fondue, but not everyone was partaking-- so we had different appetizers, and a couple of people had entrees. But absolutely everything came out at a different time and we ended up watching each other eat, never at the same time. The meal took over an hour longer than it ought to, and though it started off busy when we were seated, it was nearly empty when we were through, so there was no reason for the ridiculous waits. The waitress seemed unconcerned with our displeasure.
If you're charging a premium for the food, the service needs to match. I'd rather go someplace like Union Square Cafe, which is even more expensive, but the service is ALWAYS perfect.
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