The short story is that Café Des Artistes is lush, pretty and comfortable (unless you’re sitting in a rather tiny bistro chair), with a certain pre- or post-theater vibe to it. Live music is provided by a pianist and a bartender/singer who walks around singing and interacting (gently) with diners. That bit can be awkward unless you play along, but on the scale from Ambient Dining Music to Mariachi Players with Bad Breath Up in Your Grill, I’d say it’s at a comfortable five.
The food was good, if not a bit over-priced, and drinks were mostly hits, again, if not a bit over-priced. There were a lot of recognizable details from other Lombardi haunts like Toulouse and Taverna, but at a higher price point. One would think Lombardi might have learned a small lesson from La Fiorentina, which started out as a high end Italian steakhouse and recently came down a few pegs, but perhaps this is another shot at finer dining? Anyway, no major complaints, and surprisingly for only a couple nights in: no kitchen flubs or slow service to be found. But that could be because the place wasn’t even half full on a Saturday night. Perhaps more word needs to get out.
Check out my First Look of Café Des Artistes over on City of Ate for more.