42-20 31st Avenue, Astoria
Suddenly it seems like there are many French restaurants in Astoria. 718 has been around a long time, but the past few years has welcomed Bistro 33, Pomme Cafe, and now L’Artiste. Combined with LIC’s Tournesol and Cafe Henri, there are certainly a lot of Croque Monsieurs and Madames in this hood. While I don’t feel qualified to make direct comparisons, since I’ve had brunch at some and dinner at others, I think L’Artiste is certainly worthy of being in the group. The mega-restaurant complex, Cavo, dominates the block, but L’Artiste has a small unassuming store-front next door. I wouldn’t call it cozy, but its a smaller space that is open and airy, and has decent decor – aside from the ridiculous sketch drawing on the ceiling (you’ll know when you see it).
The brunch we ordered was quite good. We had a lighter dish of roasted beets and sliced eggs on crusty toast, topped with arugula. It was fresh and flavorful. The Eggs Florentine was delicious. The Hollandaise sauce was really creamy and flavorful and really made the dish pop. The spinach and English muffin were definitely high-quality as well. L’Artiste is not as good as 718, but it is solid, and I will definitely go back and try more dishes and check out their dinner offerings. It’s a little odd that they only have Facebook and Twitter sites and I can’t seem to find a menu. Even if most people receive their info from those places, a restaurant should still have a dedicated webpage. That’s what I think.