Cafe Rouge – Take Note

Brunches should always happen in relaxed atmospheres. You shouldn’t be rushed. This is probably the Sunday morning following too many G&T’s the night before. So, what a pleasure it was to visit Artisanal (http://www.artisanalbistro.com) on 32nd and Park.

It reminds me a lot of Cafe Rouge, that sort of faux French bistro look. It’s a toned down Cafe Rouge though, without the crass “old” French signs on the wall or cheap slogans painted on the walls. It’s altogether a lot classier in look and feel.

Sundays are clearly brunchdays in New York as this place was heaving. Nice to see young and old nestled side by side though. Although entirely accidental, it did add to the French feel since they do the whole family-eats-together thing like nobody else.

Probably the least French thing on the menu was cheese fondue, which we chose. Absolutely superb hangover food, I can tell you, and a nice change to have chunks of apple to dip in (with no danger of dropping them in the bubbling cheese). Keeping with my Cheese For Every Course theme, I had the most wonderful croque monsieur for the main course. Thick wedges of home-baked bread with top quality ham and a great mix of cheeses. Perfect. But the absolute star of the show was the slice of New York cheesecake that we all shared (too full by then). Truly amazing. You can’t get better cheesecake than this. If I had to put together the menu for my last supper, this would be the pudding, no question.

I don’t know exactly what it was about Artisanal but I just loved it. I would really like to go back and try a lot more of the items on the menu as they had some real classics on there. I’m sure they would be just as good.

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