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Artisanal, Terrence Brennan Sells Company to American Home Food Products, Inc. - Closed

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2 Park Avenue (32nd Street),
New York, NY 10016
Phone: (212) 725-8585
Web: http://www.artisanalbistro.com/
Menus: http://www.artisanal...menus_index.php

For years, Artisanal has been my go-to lunch spot anytime I'm near Penn Station or Grand Central, though it's a bit of a hike from both. It's not a cheap lunch, but it has good food and wines by the glass. On my visit last Friday, I sat at the bar and started with six "East Coast" oysters (no place of origin was indicated on the menu or when they arrived) ($18) and a Hugel Reisling from Alsace ($14). The oysters were big and nicely briney, but served with a Mignonette that was basically red wine vinegar. This isn't typical and, regardless, a good oyster is a good oyster. I also ordered The Big Cheese, a killer grilled cheese with Fontina, Tellegio, Gruyere, and Emmenthaler ($15.50), to which I added tomato ($1.50) and bacon ($2.00), and subbed an under dressed green salad for the standard chips. Add another Hugel and the bill was $71 for a big lunch, which admittedly wasn't their finest effort (an anomaly, but still an enjoyable meal). Steep, yes, but you could stick to the sandwich itself or the excellent burger and leave for much less.

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Wow, that's a pricey lunch...while it may be your "go-to," I think it's past its prime and one can do better for the money at a lot of other places.

With nearly $50 in unnecessary wine and oysters (which probably cost the restaurant under $3), it was not a typical lunch. The grilled cheese or a burger and a beer would run around $25. Still pricey (and I'm pretty sure somewhat more than it used to be), but a bit less obscene. And perhaps what I regarded as an anomaly is a sign of real decline, but it's been fairly consistent in the past. Where else in the neighborhood would you go?

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Was treated for dinner here after the fourth annual John Patrick Diggins lecture at CUNY last Thursday evening. This seems to be a go-to place for CUNY faculty, as we went here a few years ago after that year's lecture. While it's not a Stephen Starr restaurant, much of it is reminiscent of La Diplomate, though the decor is much simpler. Most similar, first, of course, is the noise: this place really roars when it's packed, so don't plan on having an easy conversation until the crowds die down (for us, that was around 9 PM or later). A perfectly made negroni led off the evening, and a lovely fondue that our table of 8 shared (I can't recall the cheeses they used, but they have a substantial, quality fromagerie they feature). Gougeres will remind you of Michel Richard's, and the steak frites with the hanger steak was terrific and well-priced ($28). Also got a taste of a very nice salmon tartare. The menu has changed some since we were there two years ago--they no longer offer the burger, at least in the evenings--which is a shame, since I recall it being great. If you can get past the noise, this is a fine, if not particularly adventurous choice in Midtown East.

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I'll think about potential recommendations, but stay away from Artisanal. Way downhill-- different owners, poor food at higher prices & they're soon to close down to move to a new location. Really-- don't go there. 

Yes, but the *music*. Get with it, Bromeo!

And yes, there *are* vocals if you can listen long enough. A Brownie Button for anyone who can identify the artist on the bottle of Mouton (it will appear).

Artisanal is not amazing. It is not groundbreaking. It is loud, brassy, and does some things really well. Been here twice over the last few years and each outing has been solid, delicious and fun. I'd go again.

When's the last time you've been, Pool Boy? :)

Ticker Symbol Error.

For a change of mood, go to their home page, listen for awhile, and then click on "The Bar." It will bring tears to your eyes because you'll be laughing so fucking hard.

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