ART People is the restaurant by Aishti. Located on the ground floor of the Aishti Foundation is a beautiful space that feels like a piece of art made with fine materials blemish between wood, good, stone and concrete.
Behind the metallic walls of the huge building blocking the seaside venue is indeed a beautiful space and is divided into two main entities. The shopping mall takes shopping to another level, and the Foundation where Toni Salame exposes his art pieces collected from all over the world. Four stories of art, simplicity, finesse and enjoyment. A must visit if I may say for any art aficionado.
The restaurant... A beautiful space enchanted by musical tunes built under a high ceiling covered with a light wood and a floor of stone. More art decorates the walls with a bar making this space look like a fashion cafe. It's kind of Prada luxury and Chanel style combined to offer something up scaled and fancy. High glass facades welcome the waterfront light making the space a relaxed and enjoyable one.
Wearing red and black, waiters approach you for service. Professional they are, the waiters work around the room in style, not asking silly questions and trying to be interesting.
The menu has a selection of French and Italian plates. Starters, main courses, pizzas and desserts. Reading it, I knew what I wanted. A risotto, a pizza, a salad and the club sandwich. No meat for me today. Unfortunately the pizza's tomato sauce has garlic in so I skipped it.
Lunch was memorable:
- The goat cheese salad: It's the sorry of a salad served in a square plate. A beautiful looking salad with three slices of bread, tender on the inside and toasted on the sides and topped with a reasonable portion of warm goat's cheese. It's about a cheese that's melting and warm without being sticky. Lolo verde and iceberg, lemon and olive oil, a light vinaigrette with slices of dried apricot and crunchy walnuts. A simple salad took me a couple of lines to describe; loved it!
- The club sandwich is memorable. It has a certain finesse to it, a certain know how poured into four sandwiches and a mountain of fries. A beautiful plate worth printing on canvas. Green, red, white and brown, layers of enjoyment in a sandwich. A tender fluffy bread when usually club sandwiches are toasted to crunch, a fresh lettuce, a full flavored fried egg, tomatoes to add sweetness and a grilled chicken. Crunchy fries, dip in ketchup and enjoy. I would come back for it.
- Calamari and chorizo risotto... Of my gosh! That's good, that's really good, that's fine dining. An eye candy plate, beautifully presented, I took 10 pictures to satisfy my curiosity. Squid ink black risotto cooked al dente with a light lemony boost, sprinkled with chorizo and decorated with a serious load of sliced calamari, tender but not chewy. Creamy and enjoyable, lemony to the ultimate, pleasurable, fresh... Two thumbs up!
The desserts rock!
- The vanilla Mille Feuille is to die for. The flakiness of this masterpiece crumbles with no effort while the full bodied vanilla cream is guaranteed to put a smile on your face. A fine dining piece of cake, not for the faint hearted and not for amateurs.
- The banana tart... Ever felt like eating the fork after the first bite? A round firm biscuity tart filled with vanilla cream, one that's enjoyably aromatic and full bodied then topped with slices of ripe bananas embraced with crunchy caramel and flamed a la minute like a creme brûlée. This dessert is so aromatic and so fresh, so light and so flavorful, it can make you cry.
- Arlette pineapple sabayon with Marsala! Oh wow! What the hell is this? I'm enchanted! A perfect equilibrium of texture, flavor and aromas. A light added sweetness at the end doesn't stop you from finishing this cup.
Not a fine dining restaurant, not a bistro, but an unusual restaurant managed by a professional and handled by a French chef Franck Paulmier, the restaurant I surely put on my Top10 list. It surely is recommended!