Let's say that my lunch experience at Artist was one of the most bizarre - the good kind - to date... Stopping in front of the "Artist", a restaurant in Monot, that serves burgers for lunch and a set menu for dinner; But today was different. Ramadan welcomed us; he was actually the chef, the host, the waiter and cashier at the same time. I think destiny played its role today when his assistant took the day off and that they didn't have burgers to serve for lunch.... And my friend Shady and I just dropped in for lunch... and... Action!
Funny indeed, my friend and I were laughing like crazy. Shady went to the kitchen to get some drinks as Ramadan suggested I choose any bottle of wine of my liking from the fridge. The ambiance was just fun. I thought I was dreaming... But didn't want to leave, I felt something great was coming up.Alone in the restaurant, Ramadan suggested the available platters. I didn't understand what's happening at first, don't they have a menu? Are we obliged with these choices? I thought it was a joke... Anyway, listening to some fresh music, we waited for Ramadan to finish his preparations. I ordered one plate of everything he can do: three main dishes, two soups and a salad. He even found a way to get us some bread and olive tapenade. I was really enjoying this experience. To start with, the tapenade is very tasty. Fresh and clear. With no additives, you feel the richness of the olives. Unfortunately the bread was not too fresh but that didn't matter... I was enjoying my time.
Onion soup, as an appetizer was excellent, really excellent: A new take on the onion soup, this one doesn't have full grilled onions, and no cheese topping. A simple onion purée that feels light, fresh and enjoyable and were the olive oil is amazingly and smoothly felt. Inside is a piece of bread, grilled in the oven with its cheese topping. With a hint of lemon and perfect seasoning, this is something I'm coming back for. Bravo!Pumpkin soup followed: A thick and concentrated pumpkin soup with all its richness. Yum, I looked at Shady saying: "I'm impressed." The feeling of pepper, salt and coriander accompanies you a few minutes afterwards.
Let's salad then: Inside a large plate, we received something colorful and mouthwatering. A mix of greenery, Lollo Rosso lettuce and rocket leaves mixed with some quinoa and topped with pomegranate and Parmesan cheese. I loved its textures and pinch of pepper tickling my tongue with every other bite. To blend the mix together, a lemon sauce smoothens the taste. Impressive lunch until now... Impressively good.
Ramadan, magically working by himself puts one plate after the other on the table for us to enjoy...The experience was amazing as we were enchanted by the smells coming from the kitchen and musical tunes created from the sounds of casseroles and frying... The best was yet to come.And here was when we received the Penne Shrimps: Awesome! Cooked al dente, this dish is exquisite! It seems that Ramadan is a pepper specialist. With just three different pepper varieties added to this dish will let you moan from joy. I was impressed. And this is not to mention the perfectly cooked shrimps.
Salmon with the "It" sauce: Imagine: a slice of salmon, covered with a mix of Nordic green spices and a chocolate molasses sauce. Sweetness, saltiness, juiciness, spiciness... And the descriptions can't seem to have an end. Tasty indeed.The meat, was not medium well as requested, but more well done; Juicy, with a strong grilling taste, it was served with French fries and grilled veggies accompanied by a mustard and cream sauce. Premium quality indeed.
I was happily enjoying this unique experience that I almost forgot to tell you about the place itself.
Artist is a small restaurant; bistro style nestled in the heart of Monot, just a few meters away from St Joseph University, Huvelin campus. Two large glass facades protect a square space were the kitchen has two openings on the place. A wine cooler, some alcohol bottles displayed and a small space for tables hosting up to 30 guests.The restaurant in few lines:
- Facing the door is the open kitchen where everything is transparent and displayed clearly
- To the right is the alcohol display
- To the left, two chandeliers light up the space where six tables welcome guests: Relaxing light blue and white chairs surround them
- A few posters and a large artistic design add a touch of color
- On the kitchen glass, a blackboard displays the day's specials
"Desserts," Ramadan shouted, You cannot leave without trying our lemon tasty and chocolate cake". And he was right...
The lemon tart with its strong lemon flavor is excellent, really superb. Crunchy dough covered with strong and generous lemon cream. WOW! The chocolate cake is indescribable. Come on! Why didn't I discover this place before? Soft and tender chocolate cake that melts under your teeth like butter while the chocolate sauce adds a hint of pleasant bitterness. The strawberry meringue is breathtaking!
What I loved:
- Two thumbs up and my appreciation to Ramadan. If I had a restaurant, I'll definitely hire him
- The plates are generous and filled with fresh ingredients
- All cutlery, plates and table napkins are from Villeroy & Boch, a luxurious brand I like
- The placemats with a detachable business card and a comment card
- The restaurant only uses Sohat glass water bottles
What I didn't like:
We had fun indeed and ate well for sure but if you're planning on visiting the place, this is how it works:
- Personally I am not a fan of the decoration, although it's a mix between modern and vintage - the overall feel is dull
- The smells coming from the kitchen are too strong and stick to one's clothes
- Owned by Andre Arista, the restaurant doesn't have a written menu but a selection of creation that change on a weekly basis
- A choice of two soups, one salad, three or four main dishes and three desserts
- Choose one soup, the salad, one main plate and a dessert... A rich and generous fulfilling meal for 50,000L.L
- Artist opens mainly at night while only burgers are served during lunch
Ramadan was only serving the two of us today... Can he do the same when the place is fully loaded? This is something I should come and discover on a busy Saturday night.
Food is what matters now, today's lunch was excellent. It made me smile all afternoon.