This video is a thing of beauty. I could almost weep just watching it over and over again.
That’s why I had to stop. Well that and I had to get going or I would miss my reservation at Artisanal Fromagerie and Bistro and after waiting four years for this meal I was not going to wait an extra second.
When I stepped out of my car and reached for the door I could feel a transformation occur. I was being transported out of the noise and crowds of NYC and stepping into a peaceful Parisian paradise.
The last time I was at this restaurant was for dinner on my thirtieth birthday (see blogs below). I had a large group of family and friends and it is a meal and experience I relished in. I meant to come right back but life got in the way but it has all worked out in my favor.
I found out tonight that the restaurant is under new management and has experienced what felt like is a French revolution. The entire staff seemed to be from France with authentic accents and uniforms. It was like I walked in and sat down in a bistro in Paris.
This has been the only spot outside of a spa where I could take a deep breath and COMPLETELY relax. I sat back, looked around, and let my shoulders fall back down into place. My hot date for the night was Me, Myself, and I, which was exactly who I needed to spend some time with. Being able to experience a meal solo allowed only my thoughts to decide I how felt about the evening. There was no other energy that I had to take into consideration. Stella may have gotten her groove back but I got my peaceful soul to rise up again.
I started with a dirty martini, which I love and have been craving since about a million years ago. As Dorinda Medley of the Real Housewives of New York City says, “diamonds aren’t a girls best friend, martinis are”. She is only half right. Diamonds are also friends of us females.
I finally had a dirty martini made to order that was the best I have EVER had. It was so perfect I was practically licking the glass clean. I could have sat there and drank seven more but that was in no one’s best interest least of all mine. I just know that when the time comes for another one of these drinks I will have to return to Artisanal and you know get a cheese plate so there is something in my stomach.
This video provides a brief glimpse of the cheese shop within the restaurant.
Since I had this meal on my calendar I have been debating what to eat. It is NYC Restaurant Week but I decided not to participate and order from that menu. I went for the hanger steak with frites and as per my handsome, helpful waiter’s suggestion a small order of their mac and cheese. Secretly I had been dying to try it, it was like Andre was reading my mind. The next mac and cheese I have to try according to the press (see links below) is at Murray’s Cheese.
When my dinner arrived it looked like Me, Myself, and I had all ordered our own meals. Not that I am complaining. I did end up with a doggie bag but that didn’t get farther that my front door.
The steak was delectable but a little too chewy for me; I should have gotten the filet mignon. The frites were going down faster than I could count them. The mac and cheese stole the show. It was light, lighter than it looked. No matter how much I ate it never weighed me down which is why I kept eating until I was about to burst. The breadcrumbs on top weren’t glued to the dish; they were still flaking off as I took bite after bite. There is something to be said for quality instead of quantity though there was plenty to go around.
I couldn’t have been happier with my meal or the service. Everyone that worked there was amazing, friendly, helpful, and even funny. I was alone but it was like I went to a place where everyone knows my name. Or at least they will after they read this.
My genius intuitive waiter guessed that I like white chocolate and recommended a special dessert. Naturally I took the suggestion just to be polite and you assume correctly that plate was handed back completely empty. The thin white chocolate strip surrounded citrus fruits with what tasted like a grapefruit sorbet. It was refreshing and innovative. It was also a great palate cleanser.
I was there just under two hours and I was hesitant to leave. I knew reality was on the other side of that door. Luckily for me I know where to go when I need another reprieve.
In a city as large as New York City, it is more important to know which restaurants are worthy of your patronage rather than those that are not. I think the former is of a rarer breed. So that is what I told the brand new manager who was kind enough to talk to me for a few minutes, as I was about to leave.
Audrey Hepburn was right; Paris is always a good idea. I will add that when you are in NYC, Artisanal Fromagerie Bistro is a great idea.
I will see one this fall, when they open at their new location (details I have but won’t share until then) and hopefully the other next spring. Paris is always lovely that time of year.
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