Date Visited: December 14, 2012
Tonight we grabbed a bite at Artisans. Its just outside of Downtown Houston on Louisiana near Elgin. We were the first people to arrive and they were just finishing set up and the staff meetings. Since we were early for our reservation, we took a place at the bar. Jeff ordered the Marseille, which is a cocktail containing Rittenhouse rye whiskey, Applejack brandy, Reagan’s orange bitters and brown sugar simple syrup then garnished with carmelized bacon. The nice thing is while it was heavy on the whisky flavors, it was light on sweetness. Pam ordered the Red Pear Martini that was a simple concotion of Grey Goose Poire, cranberry and simple syrup. Again, not overly sweet and great flavors of pear and cranberry.
After visiting with the very plesant bartender and getting the inside scoop on the place with a quick tour of their event spaces, we took our table. Our table for this outing was not so much a table as another bar. Artisans take on the chef’s table is a semicircular bar that surrounds the kitchen. It is a great way to view the way a kitchen functions.
We took the recommendation of our server and ordered the Tartare D’Agneau á la Française. The diced lamb is complemented by Granny Smith apples, blue cheese mustard and chives, all topped with a poached egg. Great presentation and wonderful flavor!
For the next course on our gluttonous rampage, we ordered the Les Noix de Saint-Jacques. Perfectly cooked pan seared scallops with spinach ravioli, topped with a beurre blanc. This delicious plate is finished with a lobster cappuccino which was an interesting and tasty surprise.
Next, we moved on to Jeff’s least favorite course. The Le Foie Gras is a pan seared foie gras in a crème de cassis demi-glace served with saffron poached pear and a savory baklava. Normally Jeff is a fan of Fois Gras but it was not to his liking. On the other hand, Pam thought it was a well executed dish.
The Poitrine de Porc Braisée was next – a crispy skin rosemary pork belly that was well cooked but not perfect. The dish was served with creamy sage polenta, root vegetables, Brussels sprouts and a balsamic gastric. For this course we switched opinions, as Jeff loved it and Pam was not fond of it.
We finished this excellent French tour in grand style with a Crème Brûlée aux Trois Parfums. The well executed brulee was in three flavors of cappuccino, vanilla, and their creme brûlée du jour. A great way to end a meal.
Dinner Menu Link: http://artisansrestaurant.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=195&Itemid=165
3201 Louisiana Street
Houston, TX 77006