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« Sunday, October 17th, 2010—Bar 280 | Main | Friday, October 15th, 2010—Bar 278 »

Saturday, October 16th, 2010—Bar 279

Day 279—Friday, October 15th, 2010
Artisanal (Originally headed for Van Diemens)
Last night really sucked donkey ball cheese. One thing I forgot to put in yesterday’s post is that as soon as I sat down, the song, “Right Here Waiting,” by Richard Marx came over the sound system. I shoud’ve gotten up and bolted right then and there. That has to be one of the most god-awful, vomit-inducing tunes, ever. I always that that the title of that song should’ve been, “Pussy-Whipped Son Of A Fuck.” So there’s a new rule that we’ve learned on this bar crawl: Whenever a Richard Marx song comes on the jukebox or sound system, run, don’t walk to the nearest exit and find some other joint to booze it up in. I learned the hard way, you don’t have to.
Okay, speaking of finding another joint, I’m turning to my bar-finding co-pilot on this bar crawl, 365 commentator, Al Rizo. I work near a part of Manhattan known as Murray Hill and if I didn’t work so close by, I’d probably never go there. I thought I’d covered most every place around here that was decent or at best, just okay, but leave it to Al to find a bar that looks pretty decent. It’s called Van Diemens and it looks nice, slightly upscale and I’m betting it’s a big happy hour spot, so by the time I get there, maybe it won’t be too crowded for a Friday night. Al’s never let us down before, so let’s make tracks and find out. (And check out the tribute that our own in-house artist, “Boris” created for Al, below the review in the Bonus “Boris” Art section.)
This place is only about eight blocks away, so we'll hoof it over on foot. It's starting to get chilly out, I dread breaking out the winter coat and trekking around in the cold and snow like in the beginning of this crawl.
Told you we were close, here we are at 3rd Avenue. I think it's just about a half a block away.
Looks like a nice place, let's go check it out.
Motherfucker, it's like four-deep at the bar! The Yankees have a playoff game tonight, fuck, no wonder it's packed. The place looks nice, Al found another winner, but I don't think I can even get up to the bar in this crowd, I'll come back again on a non-playoff night. Time to improvise, yet again.
Time for a lonely walk. (You'll have to imagine the "Lonesome Town" song, for some reason I can't access YouTube right now.)
This place looks nice and I looked in the window and there's one seat at the bar. I'm going to snag it.
There's a familiar face behind the bar. How do I know this guy? I told him about the bar crawl and he responded with, "You've been in here, already." Jesus Christ, I was here in August and forgot I'd been here! Tony was the bartender on duty that night. My brain is turning to mush. I asked Tony if he knew of a bar in the area that wouldn't be packed with Yankee fans and he suggest the Artisanal Bistro which is just a couple blocks away. Let's make tracks, it's a restaurant, so it'll be closing soon.
Here's the spot, let's go check out the bar.
Tony said they had a nice long wooden bar in here and he's right. And there's seats, things are looking up.
And now things are going full swing on the old crawl. Bartender Jeronimo told me I was more than welcome to do my 365 thing at the bar and bistro, he said he appreciated the publicity for the place.
V for victory! I'm back on track, baby! Cheers.
A long shot of the bar.
As you can see, it's a well-stocked bar. They have an amazing choice of craft and imported beers and a gigantic wine list.
Some of the drafts available at the bar.
They have all the daily papers at the bar to peruse while you enjoy a cocktail or three.
There's tables and a long banquette opposite the bar to dine and drink at.
Here's the large dining room. There's people in here right up to closing time.
And the in-house Fromagerie. You can sample cheeses at the Bistro or buy some to take home with you.
Meanwhile, back at the bar, Jeronimo is busy with a customer...
But Danny, the other friendly bartender on duty happily serves me up another beer. Danny and I had a nice conversation about bartending (he's been bartending for over twenty years) and the horrors of people who can't stop texting.
Michael Faber, one of the bistro's Sommelier/Manager's stopped by, said hi and not only bought me a beer, but helped me drink it! This is a place that knows a thing or two about hospitality and how to treat a customer. Goodnight, everybody!
The Artisanal Bistro is a mult-faceted place of hospitality, great wine and drink selection and wonderful foods. I don’t feel I could do a proper review of this fine establishment as I just had three beers near closing time. I can tell you that I had a great time in there and met some of the friendliest bartenders and staff that I’ve had the pleasure of chatting with on this bar crawl.  Here’s what the bistro has to say about itself on its website.
Artisanal Fromagerie, Bistro and Wine Bar showcases the formidable creativity and passion of Chef-Proprietor Terrance Brennan who adds playful twists to classic French bistro dishes. Brennan’s Osso Bucco, for example, features monkfish instead of meat. Traditionally prepared with beef, Brennan’s Duck Bourguignon is artfully made a La Grand-Mère with Chestnut Pappardelle. Selecting only premium ingredients, Brennan’s commitment to the use of artisanal, sustainable and organic products is evident in the quality of each dish.

Recalling a Parisian bistro, Artisanal’s handsome interior was designed by noted architect Adam Tihany. A mural-sized painting, which had hung in French restaurants since the 1930’s, presides over the 160-seat Art-Deco space. In the back of the dining room is the cheese cave, a temperature and humidity controlled room, where a number of the world’s finest artisanally-made cheeses are aged to optimum ripeness and peak flavor. Adjacent to the dining room is the wine bar, which boasts 160 wines by the glass.

After its March 2001 opening, 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.” Awarded Best Brasserie Cuisine in the 2002 Zagat Survey, Artisanal continues to delight customers and critics alike.
It’s hard for me to go back to places while doing this bar crawl, but once it’s over, I’m going to become a regular here. Thanks to Jeronimo, Danny and Michael for a great evening after what was a pretty rough week. Cheers to them and to all of you!
2 Park Ave. (@ 32nd St. ) 
Bonus “Boris” Art
365 commentator Al Rizo from Miami has been a great help in finding some great bars for me to go to. Tonight’s was too crowded, but it looked great and I will check it out when there’s not a playoff game going on. Here’s a piece of art that the 365 in-house artist, “Boris” worked up as a tribute to Al, my co-pilot on the crawl. Thanks both to Al and to “Boris” who not only maintains the 365 Store, but he’s also available for freelance work if you need a logo, some art for your blog or website, a cover designed for a book or CD or just about anything. If you need art, just send me an email and I’ll pass it along to “Boris.”

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Reader Comments (27)

Tony from Desmond's Tavern,,,,how funny,,,"You've been in here already", wow Marty,, that one line made my day. Look's like now you need to carry the bar list with you,,,,how many times have I screwed up and recommended a bar you had been to? a lot. But I suffer from CRS,,,(can't remember shit). This was a great comeback from the packed like sardines Van Diemens, and Tony from Desmonds is getting my vote for the coolest bartender on the crawl. Kind of a funny name to this bar,,,Art is Anal?

October 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAl

Thanks Boris,,,,I absolutely love it.

October 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAl

@Al: I thought the place and Tony looked familiar! Goddamn, I really felt like an idiot when that happened. I guess it was bound to happen sooner or later! Thanks again for the Van Diemens suggestion, I'll try it on a less-crowded night. And thanks to "Boris" for the fantastic Al tribute!

October 16, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

Wow that is some mighty cool "Boris" art

I had to look up artisan in the dictionary.. I have blonde hair and big tits so that is allowed right?
Cool bar and yes Marty we need to make you a database to carry around...
does your phone support pdf's?
UMMM Ask Boris he's the smart one... he'll figure out a database thing:) or a pen and paper and notepad:)

October 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGidget

i love it that you went to a bar you've already been to! LOL! looks like artisanal knows how to treat people! butter yourself up, i think you're on a roll!

October 16, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterrita r.

What would have happened if that bartender wasn't at Desmond's ? ... and you did your crawl there again last night ?

October 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGENE

Now you've got me wanting to try some French cuisine. Maybe Zioum Zioum can recommend some can't miss French entrees for when and if I can find a decent French restaurant in the Twin Cities. Boris...what kind of graphic arts software do you use or recommend? I use Freehand 10 myself (it was a gift from a friend who couldn't use his copy because his copy was designed for Windows and he has a Mac). Every time I try to import new fonts, some of the old ones get blown off.

October 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJaws the Cabbie

A fascinating question posed by Gene. What do the sages say?

October 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFat Al

@Gene and Fat Al: I thought about that last night too and I've got a little bit of an escape valve here. I went to four bars the first day in Cleveland and I recorded them with photos, see day number 97 on the bar list. When I was in Chicago I went to two bars in a day, see day number 111. So I'm actually four days ahead (that's how I can go back to a bar I've already been to on the last day.) I think if it does happen, I'd let people vote in the comments section and if they voted to start over I would. I do have to watch it, because when I went to Desmond's the first time it was fairly empty and looked totally different when it was crowded with people.

October 16, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

@Fat Al, Gene + 365: Thats a dam good question. It would be unfair to have to start the crawl because of a lack of judgement due to the hectic circumstances...maybe something along the lines of a public service...we all get complimentary 365 beer glasses in the mail!!

@Gidget: My tits aren't much to speak of and I've got no idea if my ass looks big in these jeans and still got no idea what Artisan means...has it got something to do with bread? Marty sent me your email address so I'll get in touch so I can crack a...i mean crank Woody down under.

@365: 3 bars in one night! I would have had a sneaky beer with Tony before you hit the road...off camera of course. Artisan looks like a great bar. Nice bounce back. Kronenburg is a great French beer. Goes well with a hearty french onion soup.

@Jaws: Just add butter.

@ Tim Clack; I've heard that about French cuisine...oooh, my aching arteries!

October 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJaws the Cabbie

@Al...i hit it off with a chick on the internet a few days ago who lives in Miami....looks like i'll be heading down there for a play....we'll have to catch up for a beer & put shit on marty if ya want.....

@Boris...ya funny bastard!! grt artwork

@jaws & clacky...well Baz lowered the bar or rather the gunya (tree pole) even further yesterday, i am now positive he has ZERO people skills....i was in his yard introducing him to a couple of german backpacker chicks....well one of them could'nt get a clear photo so i said for her to pass the camera over the fence & i'd get a couple for her....i've turned my back on Barry & went to reach for the camera when i notice the girls putting the hands to their mouths & starting to laugh......i've looked around & here is Barry stretching his back legs out, was hanging on with one front claw & with the other claw here he is scratching his nuts & cracking a fat!!!!....full on looked like he was wanking himself....basically saying to the girls "so you ayran wenches want a pic do ya's, well get a pic of these little beauties!!! nice are'nt they!!!"....he cracks me up at times....

October 16, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterfitzy

That is so fucking funny that you went to a bar you've been to before! I was actually wondering a while back if that would happen. I agree that since you've been to extras, you've got a "get out of jail card." And as far as the night, the king of the bounce-back strikes again! Nice to see you getting treatment like you deserve! I went to their website and that place looks like it has awesome food!

@"Boris"; Great work as always!

October 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBarfly

@Tim Clack: That Kronenburg was great! You should eat here while you're in town, the food looks amazing. And I did have a beer with Tony at Desmond's! Extra fuel for the road!

October 16, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

Aritsanal is one of my favorite restaurants in the city, cool that you stumbled in there! I don't comment much on blogs, but I do have to say I've been following this since the Daily News wrote you up and this blog and bar crawl is awesome! Keep up the great crawling!

October 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTommy Bee

@Tommy Bee: Thanks! I appreciate that and you following the blog! Now it's off for my Saturday Night Cheeseburger!

October 16, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

@ Fitzy; Barry sounds like he has all the right stuff to make it as a cabbie. Can he read a Hudson's road atlas? Has he had any DWI's in the past ten years?

October 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJaws the Cabbie

@Fitzy: He's a dirty old fucker. Sounds to me like he raised the gunya. Obviously has a thing for german tang!
Onya BAZZ!!!!

Thanks to all.
(I actually revised it later in the day... added the Logo and a few more "Beer Kills" to the fuselage)
Good talking with you today Daddio.
"Onward and Crawlward!"

October 17, 2010 | Unregistered Commenter"Boris"

@"Boris:" Great work as always, Daddio! Thanks!

October 17, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

Yay for places that understand customer service! Like that they have their own cheese shop. And cool piece Boris :)

October 17, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkari

Great artwork, Boris! I've heard of this restaurant/bar before and I'm glad you went so I could get a looksie inside. Sounds like a great place (especially for craft beer lovers) and I'm definitely going to plan a visit sometime soon. "Cheese, I just love cheese...really, I do."

Also, thanks for the heads-up on Richard Marx's effect on the psyche. Back in our heady FuckSpace days, I posted a similar warning about that horrible movie "Catch and Release." Truly, people, when someone gives you a red alert, you should listen. My eyeballs (and your earballs) will never be the same.

October 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBiff

Artisinal looks wonderful and the cheeses amazing. I would love to samples some wines and cheeses there.

Also I totally agree with this statement, "as soon as I sat down, the song, “Right Here Waiting,” by Richard Marx came over the sound system. I shoud’ve gotten up and bolted right then and there. That has to be one of the most god-awful, vomit-inducing tunes, ever." UGH you are so right I absolutely hate it and it gives me a headache instantly. In fact just thinking about that song makes my head pound....anyone got a lortab?

October 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTiki Bar Susie

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