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“A Great Place to Start Your Night Before the Show.”
Review of Artista Restaurant

Artista Restaurant
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Ranked #398 of 8,311 Restaurants in Houston
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $31 - $40
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Neighborhood: Downtown
Cross street: Walker/Rusk
Description: A much-anticipated addition to the Houston restaurant scene, Artista offers creative cuisine, impeccable service and a perfect location to downtown Houston entertainment.
Reviewed March 20, 2013

I won tickets to Jersey Boys and it included dinner at Artista. I had never been to this restaurant before and I was happy to try it. I don't get into down town very often when I am in the area visiting my family and this was going to be a great night.

Or I thought. My certificate thanks to the Houston Chronicle was not accepted right away and was even questioned as if I created it. After a bit of waiting and confusion, the GM (Geoff Harmison) honored the certificate as is. I was glad to see he was professional about the situation as I was just the messenger so to speak, the winner, and not in charge of either end of the deal between them and whomever put the contest winnings together.

We were seated, my friend and I, and it was not a bad spot, in a middle area, not far from the bar. It became a terrible spot, as servers bumped into my seat, I was facing the outside seating area, my back to the tables behind me. (I have worked in the restaurant business, done my time so speak, from the front of the house to the back) These servers need some training. From public etiquette, to team manners (speaking with one another), etc. If I behaved like this, my GM would have had my [--]. When I was the manager, I would have been highly disappointed if I witnessed some of this behavior for myself. It was like a school playground of sorts at times.

Even though my seat was bumped into from time to time, I kept it to myself. Just the issue of getting seated being settled was enough to move on for the evening and not allow it to ruin a great time with a great friend.

We enjoyed two appetizers. The EMPANADAS
flaky golden-brown savory latin pastries (from their menu) were true to form and flavor. The GNUDI SPOONS
naked spinach and ricotta ravioli, porcini mushroom (from their menu) were also delicious. I ordered the SHRIMP MASALA AND POLENTA
grilled jumbo river prawns with fallen polenta soufflé and citrus beurre blanc (from their menu) and my only let down was the faulty deveining process. I lost my appetite when I found one of my last three prawns lacking a clean slice and good cleaning. I shared the issue with our server as well as the GM. Prior to that finding, it was perfectly light and filling. A great choice for a spring evening. The sauce was seasoned well, had a rich texture but was not overwhelming with the polenta. My friend ordered the PAN ROASTED CHICKEN
mascarpone potato puree, rosemary and cremini mushroom sauce (from the menu) and she enjoyed it. From it's appearance, it looked as though it was lacking color. I was not sure about the cremini mushrooms, but I didn't taste it. The potatoes looked as though they were lacking something also but perhaps I am just not a mash potatoes person. Perhaps a rosemary sprig would have liven it up a bit. The plate looked bland, where as mine looked like the life of the party.

We had the house bottle of white wine. It was not bad. I was a bit skeptical, being that I usually don't enjoy the house choices but I will say, this one surprised me.

I was also glad to see a place in Houston where jeans were not the attire and people were willing to get dressed for dinner. As laid back as Houston is, I am not from here, and I seem to always be over dressed for many occasions. I was glad to see a great atmosphere paired with great food. Our server did a great job but I would have some kind of training working on communication on the floor. What is acceptable and what is not. It seems the ambiance of this locale calls for it.

I gave it a four out of five, mostly because of this one female server that seemed like a whole lot of one hot mess and not necessary for a great night in down town Houston and for the bumping in my chair over and over as if I was not sitting there.

I definitely suggest outdoor seating when weather is great, the view was nice.

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Thank pinkladysupport
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviews (119)
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96 - 100 of 119 reviews

Reviewed February 24, 2013

I applaud Artista for keeping consistent high quality. I first ate here at mock dinners before it opened and have continued to eat here through the years. Being in the Hobby Centre makes it the perfect place for dinner before a show and the service is great, making sure you are able to enjoy your meal without being rushed.

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Thank Robert2861
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 7, 2013

We made reservations for Wednesday, February 6, 2013 but when we arrived we were not on the list but they stated that they would seat us. We decided to go the bar and have a glass of wine until they called us but after about 20 minutes and an Opera to attend, I approached the hostess we originally spoke to and now she informs me that they don't have any available tables. It would have been nice to know that up front instead of us wasting our time. At this point we only had about an hour before the Opera started so we had to sit at the bar for dinner. The food was very good but if you don't have a large wallet you might want to eat elsewhere. It was only two of us and we had the Smoked Lamb Lollichops ($19) for an appetizer, 2 Smoked Lobster Bisque Soups ($15 each) and 2 Pan Seared Snapper ($38 each) and our bill was $165.31. It wasn't a big sticker shock for us but I was a little disappointed with it being our first time there and having to eat at the bar. The decor and the downtown view were very relaxing, calming and beautiful. This is a really great place for any special reason (holidays, birthdays, Valentine's Day, anniversary, etc)

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Thank stacy_kolie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 2, 2013

We had reservations before a Saturday matinee. The place is beautiful! They had a special menu for the matinee. The waiter was inflexible and had to check with the manager about any substitutions which he came back and told us no for a different salad. Don't miss the angle wings! They are to die for. Everything else was good, not great and it was very pricy for the quality. Americas and Churascos are better.

2  Thank Kristy S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 23, 2013

Great place to dine prior to catching a show at the Hobby Center. You can park once, enjoy the food & views of Houston downtown and then leave moments before the last call to ensure you don't miss any of the play. A little pricey but excellent quality. Highly recommend the "Corazon" red wine which is a very reasonably priced private label only obtained at Cordua restaurants (includes Artista, Churrascos, Amazon Grill and Americas. You definitely need to book - for popular shows far in advance. They serve the full menu at the bar if you can't get a reservation but get there early.

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

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