Artisanal, a bustling bistro located on the corner of Park Avenue and 32nd Street in Manhattan, is regarded as a wonderful place to spend time with friends and family while savoring inspired French bistro dishes like Classic Swiss Fondue, Boudin Blanc, Rabbit au Reisling and more traditional fare like Coq au Vin, Cassoulet Toulousain, and Bouillabaisse. But it has become even more well-known for its extraordinary selection of artisan cheeses. In fact, the bistro-fromagerie-wine bar takes its unique name from the craft of making small batches of cheeses by hand, according to time-honored recipes.
Artisanal draws its strength from the formidable creative talent and passion of Chef-Proprietor Terrance Brennan. Brennan trained in Europe under such culinary luminaries as Roger Vergé and spent the last decade running Manhattan’s critically- acclaimed Mediterranean-French restaurant, Picholine.
Artisanal’s handsome interior was designed and configured by noted architect Adam Tihany. Seating 160 in its dining room, the Art-Deco inspired space is outfitted with a mural-sized painting which had hung in French restaurants since the 1930’s until Terrance Brennan purchased it. Adjacent to the dining room is a bar area which offers guests a casual place to relax and sip up to 160 wines by the glass. If they so desire, guests can pair these wines with over 250 varieties of what is Artisanal’s raison d’être—cheese.
Having opened for weekday lunches, nightly dinners and weekend brunches in March of 2001, Gourmet magazine wrote, “as cheese-intensive as Artisanal is, as profoundly as it caters to the basest of lactic desires, the restaurant may already be one of the …best bistros in New York, remarkable even without the cheese.” More recently, the 2002 Zagat Survey ranked Artisanal as having the top brasserie cuisine in the city.