It’s a different look, for sure. Gone is the Ritz-Carlton’s afternoon tea lounge space. Gone is Jer-ne, a word as alien to the general population as … afternoon tea. The elegant Avery Bar now commands the hotel’s lobby, welcoming guests with a high-rise fireplace and smartly attired bartender. Couches dot the room, adding spots for cozy gatherings. Similarly, Artisan Bistro, has a casual-chic air about its worn wood floor against blonde and black fittings. Jer-ne’s replacement brings au courant causal dining to a name synonymous with luxury, but the day through night eatery retains that certain touch of class.
Luxury always lies in the details. Just as you’ll find Avery’s margarita made with Clement Creole Shrubb bitter orange liqueur instead of triple sec, the oysters on Artisan’s dinner menu drop ketchup, mignonette or breading. Instead, they’re grilled on the shell with rosemary butter, an absolutely genius pairing as the pungent pine-y herb tempers the oyster’s metallic brininess.
Artisan is not about new twists, though — just doing things well. Crab cake fritters are perfectly crisped but fluffy inside, a huge barbecue burger layers tender beef with crispy onion rings and smoky sweet bacon jam and a truffled mushroom flatbread is perfectly finished with Gruyere de Comte and caramelized onion. The thoughtful pairings go right through to dessert, where a delicate trio of profiteroles filled with a gingerbread-flavored gelato are finished with a rich, thick chocolate-caramel sauce. The only caveat — you’ll want seconds.
If you go
Home away from home
Breakfast and brunch are the best-smelling meals of the day — because they smell like home. Artisan starts off with a marigold-colored papaya and mango smoothie that’s sunshine in a glass. The classic eggs Benedict comes with fingerling home fries and roast asparagus. The thick, spongy brioche French toast has a cherry compote and fragrant maple syrup. Dinner entrees are $19-$34.