Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Day 477 : Artisanal

Most people who find out that I write a cheese blog ask whether I know Artisanal and what I think of the joint. When Artisanal opened in 2001, it changed the way New York perceived cheese -- cheese became a delicacy. People started to understand what the European fuss was all about, it really was one of the first restos that gave cheese the time of day.
Now, a decade later, Artisanal is common parlance and has a loyal following. The menu is definitely cheese-centric with classic French bistro style dishes. Last night, I had a boston bibb salad with herbs and a parmesan black pepper dressing topped with the special addition of a poached egg. The salad was delectable -- fresh, crisp, flavorful and the perfect sort of salad to go with a nice light Rose wine on a warm summer evening. Great wine list and cocktails always enhances a dining experience, especially a cheese centric one.
Following the salad, we split one of their fondues, composed of a blend of Alpine style cheeses such as Gruyere, Appenzeller, Emmental, and more. As a few of the people I dined with mentioned, sometimes they tend to skimp on the amount of cheese provided for the amount of money and for the number of diners indicated on the menu. Last night they did a pretty good job with quantity and we all enjoyed the nutty, creamy, luscious melted cheese with cubes of bread, apples, crudités, and some of us, with kielbasa. If you want to share in the cheese-y pleasure but don’t feel like coming all the way to the restaurant, you can always order the fondue mixture online from as well.

Overall it was a wonderful meal at an always reliable place that has gone from being trend-setting to a mainstay.

2 Park Avenue

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