My husband and I chose to dine at Cafe des Artistes because we were looking for a break from Indonesian cuisine while in Bali. It was also suggested in our Lonely Planet travel book. The setting is lovely, but the servers are so timid. The servers obviously have never tried the food because they weren't even able to make any recommendations.
We chose the mussels as a starter. . . 5 covered in cheese with mixed greens. Eh. . . I had the lamb medallions, which I really enjoyed; however, my husband's chicken cordon bleu was mediocre. The ambiance is nice, but it is all open air. It was a hot night, and we asked to move to sit underneath a ceiling fan to cool off.
The restaurant, service, and food were all fine. . . nothing fantastic. The restaurant advertises Belgian food, but the selection is extremely poor. Same with the beer. Only 3 Belgian beer options: Stella, Hoegarden, and Leffe. Apparently, Belgian beer isn't even always available, which is advertised on the tables. I assume this has more to do with importation than anything, and is not the fault of the restaurant.
My biggest complaint with Cafe des Artistes is that during our dining experience I noticed a group of men behind us who seemed very important. I work in hospitality and service in Manhattan, and understand how the restaurant business works. I realized one of the men in the group was the owner of the restaurant. In my opinion, if you are managing/own a business, your job is to make sure everyone who is spending money in your establishment is happy. You are the host of the entire restaurant, not just of your loud friends. When I realized this man was the owner, I wanted to introduce myself and compliment him on his business; however, as my dining experience continued, I changed my mind. I realized this man didn't care about anyone in his restaurant except his friends. He gave off the impression that he was doing us a favor by providing us with this dining opportunity in Bali. Total turnoff!
Skip Cafe des Artistes and go down the street 5 minutes to teraZo!!! The staff understands their menu, wine list, and proper steps of service ten times better than anything this mediocre restaurant can offer. They are also friendly and thankful for your business!