I had absolutely no plans/desire to go to Artisanal til I read the rave review that Erica Marcus posted a couple of weeks ago.
I brought my cheese-lovin friend, who also reacts very badly to inattentive/snotty service so I was a little anxious because of previous posts on the service side of Artisanal. It turned out not to be a problem whatsoever. Our server, Mark was a dramatic masterpiece. By dramatic, I have to be stereotypical and say that this man HAS to be some kind of Shakespearean actor. The world is his stage...everytime he appeared at our table, he had our attention. He was quite a character.
At the point during our meal when we had finished licking our stilton sauterine fondue pot clean, he observed us trying to turn off the flame. He had an empty wineglass in his hand I swear that he tossed the glass over his head to a bus boy and rushed over to our aid.
For my main, I had to have the chicken under a brick, and it was incredible. The chicken was incredibly moist, sitting on a bed of mashed potatoes (with cheese, of course). After the fondue, I could only finish half of my chicken but it made a mighty tasty lunch the next day.
My friend had one of the daily specials, a monk fish with a "luscious" risotto. It totally paled in comparison to my chicken but was good on it's on merit.
For dessert, we were completely stuffed so we shared a glass of port. They even split the port in two different glasses--a very nice touch I thought.
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