Restaurants Cheltenham

L’ARTISAN

FRENCH RESTAURANT, CLARENCE STREET

We ate at L’Artisan on a Friday lunchtime, and only the prospect of enjoying our first crop of homegrown potatoes convinced either of us we might want to eat again before Saturday. If you measure your restaurants’ success in square inches of stomach filled, we’re on to a winner with L’Artisan. This is the first time in recent memory that I have failed to clear my plate. Not for want of trying! If space weren’t an issue, I could have eaten all afternoon. The restaurant appears fairly small — perhaps six or eight tables, from memory. There’s an upstairs room for party bookings that can take thirty five. The walls are yellow, sponged over with a rich dark orange, and at night I bet it glows like a fireplace. At lunch — in the brief sunshine that came between the rain we arrived from and the rain we left into — I thought “this probably looks better when it’s dark outside, but I like what they’ve done with it”. The view from the window is an extra-large British Heart Foundation furniture outlet. This will probably only bother a minority of visitors; my dining partner is very handsome, and the food’s presentation very lovely, so I didn’t want for eye candy. If what’s outside is more important than what’s inside while you dine, give yourself a pinch and concentrate on your food!
Let’s concentrate on what I was eating. From the top:
The pre-meal bread came with terrific truffle butter. Hand-made, of course, and just the right amount. Enough to feel decadent, but not so much as to feel you’ve gorged. The bread was salted just-so, and firm, not squishy or sharp. No ripped-up roof of mouth, from my walnut bread. There were white and brown options, but walnut stole my heart. I had it twice.
An unexpected amuse-bouche of aubergine caviar with duck bacon arrived. Aubergine caviar? Yes! If you fear the fish pearls, don’t worry. Caviar’s nothing but a name here. It’s creamy, light, soft — if you don’t pay attention you’ll forget to notice it. The fat on the duck bacon didn’t register in the mouth (I was worried it might — my reflexes are delicate about that sort of thing); it’s not hard work, just chewy enough, like the perfect sandwich meat.
My dining partner chose scallops for his starter. I’m only recently coming around to scallops, but these were the gavel-bang on my change of heart. We recently ate at My Great-Grandfathers (a restaurant, not a relative) in Tewkesbury where the scallops were a source of admiration and much sharing, but I’d call it a toss-up between theirs and L’Artisan’s. That pâté-ish iron tang, the perfect lychee texture. What’s around scallops on the dish is always less important than “do the scallops work”? If they do, the rest of the dish is celebration, instead of distraction.
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©  glos.info   2014, 2015
We ate at L’Artisan on a  Friday lunchtime, and only  the prospect of enjoying  our first crop of  homegrown potatoes  convinced either of us we  might want to eat again before Saturday. If you  measure your restaurants’ success in square  inches of stomach filled, we’re on to a winner with  L’Artisan. This is the first time in recent memory  that I have failed to clear my plate. Not for want of trying! If space weren’t an issue, I could have  eaten all afternoon.  The restaurant appears fairly small — perhaps six  or eight tables, from memory. There’s an upstairs  room for party bookings that can take thirty five.  The walls are yellow, sponged over with a rich  dark orange, and at night I bet it glows like a  fireplace. At lunch — in the brief sunshine that  came between the rain we arrived from and the  rain we left into — I thought “this probably looks  better when it’s dark outside, but I like what  they’ve done with it”.  The view from the window is an extra-large British  Heart Foundation furniture outlet. This will  probably only bother a minority of visitors; my  dining partner is very handsome, and the food’s  presentation very lovely, so I didn’t want for eye  candy. If what’s outside is more important than  what’s inside while you dine, give yourself a pinch  and concentrate on your food! 
Restaurants Cheltenham

L’ARTISAN

FRENCH RESTAURANT, CLARENCE STREET

Let’s concentrate on what I was eating. From the top:
The pre-meal bread came with terrific truffle  butter. Hand-made, of course, and just the right  amount. Enough to feel decadent, but not so  much as to feel you’ve gorged. The bread was  salted just-so, and firm, not squishy or sharp. No  ripped-up roof of mouth, from my walnut bread.  There were white and brown options, but walnut  stole my heart. I had it twice.
next next glos.info Website glos.info Website
©  glos.info   2014, 2015