All Reader Reviews of...
2 Park Ave., New York, NY, 10016
at 32nd St.
By Pudgy on 12/30/2002
Artisanal has a gargantuan (and daunting) collection of cheeses. The food is decent though expensive, but the drawback of the restaurant is the noise. When full, you can't hear yourself think.
Cheese, glorious cheese
By girlie on 1/14/2003
The brunch there is really the best meal. I have been there for both dinner and brunch and brunch is fabulous and dinner is just good. Get the fondue and don't be afraid to ask for help. The cheese expert spent lots of time hleping us decide what cheeses we should try for dessert and we were novices.
By elan on 1/19/2003
Perhaps some of the staff have been reading the reviews here as I did feeling very apprehensive with numerous negative reports about the service. It didnt stop me and I'm glad! While the Host being French didn't smile much, keep in mind the French dont smile if they dont know you! Yet everyone else on the staff did, so let's get some perspective! Plenty of attention and recommendations, about the only minor flaw was overeager busboys. The fondue was the only disappointment (admittedly one of the specials for the evening, I think if you select your own cheeses you won't be surprised). Otherwise an outstanding meal in every way.
Du fromage, anyone?
By Exuparem on 1/28/2003
What makes Artisanal great is the whiff of cheese that you get the minute you are seated by your classically "French" waiter. It looks like a brasserie in Montparnasse while the food is the kind you would have in a Swiss chalet. I especially love the fondue of fontina cheese with truffle oil and beef tips. Those cheese puff appetizers are scrumptious, too. Artisanal is perfect during the winter, and it's perfect during the summer when you are missing the winter!
I love cheese
By roastbeef on 1/29/2003
I almost didn't stay long enough to survive the pungent smack in the face that greets you at the door of Artisanal. But I do love cheese and I'm glad I stuck it out. I've sat at the bar numerous times and enjoyed selected cheeses and wines, aided by knowledgeable "fromagiers"(in the age of water and tea sommeliers, and bar chefs, a fromagier seems quaintly old fashioned). My experience in the dining room was less successful. The waitstaff had all the enthusiasm of mill workers on an overnight shift. The food left no mark on my memory. Doesn't seem to stop the whole rest of the world, though, as the place is always crowded and lively.
Balthazar-lite plus Fondue
By trick on 1/31/2003
A lively bistro with a cheesy theme. The many fondues are excellent and always fun, if not completely authentic (where's the scraper for those last bits of crispy cheese?) Bistro fare is very good, a notch below Balthazar but that's not too shabby. Quality hanger steak, tasty frites, cassoulet special is outstanding. Totally international, well selected wine list at typical mark-ups. Not a value play, everything is fully priced but not outrageous. Why don't they just can the smelly cheese retail shop in the restaurant which turns off a lot of people who otherwise would love the place?
By squid on 2/3/2003
Disorganized and expensive for melted cheese. Many of the wines are not available , at least the three times I tried this restaurant. Each time there were serious service lapses, missed orders etc... Forget it.
By Lizzybee on 10/31/2003
Excellent wine list, even if they usually are out of what you want! Service is still spotty and unneccesarily snobby. Waiter turned up fondue fire so hot my dish burned and I had to flag him down to save it. I've heard others have had the same problem. Dessert list is quite good: mix of delicious standards and even more delicious unconventional sweets. Overall, though: a disappointment. However, the menu is different enough to impress a business lunch associate (if they're not in the culinary business, that is!) and the bright lights and subtle decor make it a good choice for business entertaining.
Pricey and VERY GOOD!
By LindaIg on 12/13/2003
This Terrance Brennan offshoot beats Picholine for my bucks and palate. The food is beautifully prepared with no pretense and everything is delicious from the omelettes to the main courses--fish, poultry or meat--and the cheese preparations are to die for. Best fondue on the planet. Splurge and Enjoy!
By nightbird on 2/5/2004
If this wanna-be french bistro thinks it's going to get by on its impressive list of cheese, the out-of-touch owners are going to be sorely disappointed. To start, the service was disgraceful; if you're going to charge top prices, your staff should at least know not to clear one patron's plate before the rest are through. The tables were so close together that my companion enjoyed at least one elbow to the head and enough derriere in the face to last a lifetime. And to add insult to injury, the prix fixe dinner looked liked yesterday's leftovers; a sort of "punishment" for merely taking advantage of what the establishment proudly boasts on tacky cards lying on your plate. Oh and the dessert? It basically looked and tasted like a repackaged muffin. Thanks, but no.
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