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“Nothing special”
Review of Artisans

Artisans
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Ranked #32 of 8,399 Restaurants in Houston
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $31 - $50
Cuisines: French
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Stuart
Reviewed May 20, 2013

We were 10 minutes late but our table was still not ready for 40 minutes after the time we booked. Bar service was a shambles, waited 10 minutes to get a drink as the barman and a waiter were searching aimlessly for a bottle of wine for a table; not a good start! Eventually got seated, our waiter (Jessie) was excellent and saved the entire night to be honest!
For a "fine French restaurant" the wine list was distinctly lacking in anything interesting, it was quite a disappointment. First courses were a mixture - interesting lamb tartare, overpriced scallops served with very firm ravioli, good foie gras, and very small portion of quail confit and duck breast. Bread arrived halfway through the first course as some sort of after-thought, although it was good bread! The barman struggled to find a bottle of wine we asked for with our starters, so it came late, found by our waiter - seems they need to improve the bar service!
Main courses - actually very good NY Strip steak and Bouillabaisse, but the added lobster tail (which arrived late!) was a waste of time and money as an addition. Gulf Chobia was not good though, seemed over-cooked and over-salted. We ordered the wine ahead of time and just got it, although we did do a lot of self-pouring!
Deserts were pleasant enough, a large cheese plate. Coffee was nothing like it could have been in a French restaurant. We were also rather put off by the fact that they started to mop the floors all around us as we were finishing our meal - never a pleasant thing to happen in a restaurant.
We came expecting a good experience and got average to be honest.... there are much better places in town for a special occasion!

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Thank slhguys
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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136 - 140 of 189 reviews

Reviewed May 15, 2013

Lunch on a weekday with 7 coworkers was disappointing. While the food was tasty and artfully presented, the service from both the kitchen and the waitstaff was not what I would have expected for something so pricy. Everyone else at the table ordered the 3-course business lunch. I opted for a Caesar salad and crab appetizer. Ispecifically told the waiter he could serve both as my entree. Instead, both came out with everyone else's salads. So I began my salad, then had it sitting in front of me while the other salads were cleared, and picked at it during the 20 minute wait for entrees. Sort of embarrassing to be the only one with food in front of me. Butter was not replenished. Bread was not checked. Tho water flowed like a flood - never a half-empty glass, so the busboy was around - just not very attentive. The checks had a 20% gratuity automatically added. Thanks, but I'll decide what's an appropriate tip. And if there's a worry about a large party stiffing you, forget it, because we all got separate checks. $41.00 for salad, appetizer, tax and 20% tip (no, I did not want to wait for a different check or to argue about what might be their group tip policy). That's an expensive lunch for average to poor kitchen and wait service. Too many other places in the neighborhood to bother going back, but nice if you want to impress a client or lady friend.

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1  Thank David0250
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 8, 2013

The food here is very good, decor and ambiance is excellent and the wait staff is great. The only downside (other than the price) is the desserts. They were not good and I'd not waste my money on them again. Just be prepared to pay top dollar but for a special occasion you won't be disappointed.

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Thank WhatsamataU
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 7, 2013

This is a fantastic find in Houston! The service is excellent, and the food and the variety of the menu is a real thrill! I received personal attention from the waiters and each course was outstanding. I had asked for a booth with a light so that I could read and they set up a reading lamp for me near a window! There is so much to choose from on the menu that it was hard to make a decision and each dish is cooked to order individually. The bar and the wine list will suit anyone's taste and personality. If you are staying in a hotel, the restaurant is well worth the cab ride (around $ 6 anywhere in the downtown area).

Thank andrewjv1955
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 19, 2013

This is a very good, authentic French restaurant. The atmosphere is lively with the kitchen on one side of the floor with a 'chef's table' (indeed more of a bar) curving along one side. There are booths and tables here too with dimmed lighting.

We had booked a table for 8pm and upon arrival were offered a choice of table or chef's table. Now the latter looked quite entertaining so we opted for it. I have eaten on long, shared tables in the past. School does come to mind. This was not school, it was also not very comfortable and I do like to look into my darling's eyes on a date night. It was fun, for one time only for these diners. You feel VERY close to your neighbours and as I said previously, the chairs were not very comfortable.

Moving on: the food. We all want to know about this. The menu is French (obviously) with snails, tartare, a scallop dish, soup, a cheese plate (a bit heavy as a starter imho), fois gras and a confit quail leg, spiced duck breast and fois gras my husband absolutely raved over. He was in heaven. I decided to skip this course, mainly because I could not be tempted, just me.

We then had a reasonable wait, which we had asked for, before the entrees. It was then my turn to be in heaven: bouillabaisse. My mouth is salivating as I write. Lovely chunks of white fish, large shrimp, mussels, scallops and sea bass bathing in a flavourful broth of tomato, saffron and fennel served with two large croutons with rouille. Did I mention I liked it? My husband had lamb loin with fingerling potatoes, green beans and a corn galette. He declared it delicious, tender and tasty. We each had a glass of wine from the reasonable list, not much Sauvignon to choose from I'd say, though.
Now I had saved space for dessert, a magnificently tasty apricot tart with apricot coulis and a scoop of pistachio ice cream (not the most tasty, unfortunately as it is my favourite and sold the dish to me). My husband had the cheese platter which he enjoyed, somewhat.

The service was excellent. There when you needed it but unobtrusive. Very professional. I will say, if you like dining late, come here as there was still a buzz when we left around 10pm.

The executive chef is Jacques Fox and he came and toured the dining room. He was very friendly and spoke with us. I did not know that the Denis brothers (the co-owners) also started Le Mistral, that star shining brightly in the west of Houston.

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Thank ruthiegee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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