Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Artisan Bistro

As usual the summer is a whirlwind of events and travel...both personal and work related! Having just returned from a two week vacation in Montreal, I immediately dove back into work with renewed vigor, and spent a week taking the Carina Cellars wines throughout the Bay Area.

One of places that was on my list to visit was Artisan Bistro in Lafayette. Artisan recently opened March , 2009, and has been wowing their customers with their California-French fusion cuisine. They also carry the Carina Cellars 2004 SBC Syrah, so I knew I had to go enjoy a glass!Each dish is a work of art, and it's no wonder with chef John Marquez on board. Marquez honed his culinary skills Picasso in the Bellagio Hotel in Vegas, and the world-famous French Laundry in Napa, and was working at Fringale Restaurant in San Francisco prior to coming to Artisan Bistro.

I visited Artisan Bistro last Thursday for lunch, and was impressed by their delightfully shaded patio, and the warm and inviting interior. I chose to sit near the fireplace so that I could enjoy looking out the window onto the sunny patio, and started off my lunch with their corn soup with sauteed maitake mushrooms. It was as though I was eating corn freshly cut off the cob! I was surprised to find that this incredibly creamy soup had absolutely no cream added, and was merely pureed corn...delicious!
Given it was a hot day I decided to follow my soup with the marinated beet salad, with herbed goat cheese, walnuts, fuji apples and a shallot vinaigrette. I absolutely love beets, and this salad was absolutely wonderful! Not only did it come with an array of both golden and red beets (beneath the lettuce), but it also came with golden and red beet puree along the side of the salad...almost no dressing was needed because the puree was so flavorful!

And given sqaush are in season, I also ordered a side of the Ronde de nice squash with brown butter and pine nuts, and must say that the pine nuts and squash were the perfect compliment. The proportions were perfect-not too much, not too little, but just right. And the prices are the same. Artisan Bistro is a must try for anyone visiting/living in the Bay Area!

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