A multicourse dinner lets people sample an abundance of flavors within one meal, a feat previously attainable only by cramming five frozen dinners and a variety pack of juice boxes into a blender. Savor expanding horizons with today's Groupon: for $23, you get a three-course French dinner for one at L'Artiste Restaurant in Astoria (up to a $47 total value). The three courses include:
- Any soup or salad (up to a $12 value)
- One roast salmon, coq au vin, or mushroom ravioli entree (up to an $18 value)
- Any dessert (up to an $8 value)
- One glass of wine (up to a $9 value)
L'Artiste’s menu has won praise from the Village Voice for the authenticity of its classic French dishes. Meals begin with one of four soup or salad options, including a traditional french onion soup or beef terrine tossed with goat cheese and honey walnuts. An entree of skillet-roasted salmon rests on a bed of truffle-infused risotto with red-wine matelote sauce, and a dish of open-faced mushroom ravioli with mascarpone sauce unseals the traditional fluffy pockets like a grandmother unsealing a letter to add one more kiss before sending. The bouquet of a glass of wine from the carefully curated wine list reappears in the braising sauce that flavors the chicken and sautéed vegetables of the coq au vin.
Bellies achieve final fullness with a rich dessert such as the chocolate fondant with cream and vanilla ice cream. Among L'Artiste's polished wooden bar and airy windows, guests can luxuriate in the aromas wafting past and try to spot the UFOs hovering in the background of the Eiffel Tower mural.
L'Artiste Restaurant’s executive chef Luis Santos transplants French culinary style from across the pond to his warmly lit American dining room. He often kicks off meals with complimentary amuse bouches before presenting plates loaded with tender, finely cooked cuts of meat, such as filet mignon, lamb, or salmon. After a course or two of Mr. Santos’s savories, the talents of pastry chef Hicham Lamzaouri take over to treat tongues to a passionfruit parfait with blueberry confit or a passion fig tart beneath a dollop of crème fraîche.
L'Artiste’s intimate dining space ensconces diners in warm, yellow walls dotted with the glowing orbs of round light fixtures. A massive polished wooden bar dominates the center of the room, backed by crosshatched shelves capable of holding dozens of bottles of wine or an entire clan of meerkats in its ample cubbyholes.