Midtown’s French bonafides took a leap in winter 2012 with the opening of chefs Jacques Fox and David Denis’ Artisans Restaurant.
Situated in an eclectic, mixed-use development at the corner of Louisiana and Stuart streets, Artisans is serving traditional yet unpretentious French food in a refined setting. Think seared red snapper Marseillaise-style and New York striploin topped with Béarnaise sauce.
The food is decadent, with influences from both Fox and Denis’ French roots and their experience in kitchens around the world. The seasoned lobster bisque as well as the scallops with spinach ravioli and lobster cappuccino are highlights of the appetizer menu. And the black-pepper crusted beef tenderloin with green peppercorn sauce, pomme a cru and haricot vert is certain to impress. For dessert, try the poached pear with pecan ice cream and warm bourbon sauce.
The atmosphere at Artisans is a sort of chic twist on country French, with plenty of fleur de lis and other Franco accents. Rustic wood chairs and heavy cutlery hint at Old World tradition. The restaurant also redefines the open kitchen concept; the dining room literally surrounds the kitchen, with nearly no barriers between patron and chef. Twenty-six seats line the long, half-bar that forms a crescent around the heart of the restaurant—offering diners a front-row seat to the action. Just behind the kitchen, an intimate private dining room where modern chandeliers offset traditional wood panels seats about two-dozen. Nearby, the pub-style bar mixes up classic cocktails.