The Artwins Bistro
Where breakfast dishes take up most of the menu.
After operating as a catering business and cooking school for years, The Artwins pleased a lot of fans when it opened as a proper restaurant in March, creating a particular buzz among brunch lovers willing to drive out of town on the weekend for their all-day breakfast.
Having recently expanded its opening hours to Wednesday through Sunday, the venue ticks many of the boxes for social media cool hunters with its chic, slightly rustic, slightly industrial space defined by brick walls, steel and pot plants. Four months down the road, though, this homemade bistro-and-cooking school struggles to serve up food befitting the charming atmosphere.
Most of its Western dishes end up being a case of too much or too little. The recommended breakfast dish, My Kind of Benedict (B280), is a big disappointment. The hollandaise lacks seasoning and becomes a disaster when you mix it with the blinis (thin pancakes similar to crepes, which incidentally here more closely resemble pancakes) and poached egg yolk—simply far too greasy.
Their homemade fresh pasta with creamy salmon ebiko (B280) isn’t any better, the overcooked pasta soggy under a sweet mayonnaise sauce. Like many of the dishes, the New York burger bun (B450) looks gorgeous when it’s first served, all melted cheese and juicy-looking beef patty. Though the beef is tender and well-seasoned, it’s far too loosely put together. Add in the airy, oily and overly buttered bun and the result is a burger that falls apart in your hands.
The 48-hour duck confit (B290) is another let-down; instead of getting the whole duck leg complete with crispy, crunchy skin, the meat is all pulled apart and molded into a lump atop a salad bed. Despite appearances, the tender duck meat is savory and finished with an OK balsamic dressing salad.
The best bet is the brioche French toast (brioche, ice cream, maple syrup and banana, B250), even if they go a bit heavy on the syrup.
As they rotate part of their menu monthly, there is a chance you might get tastier dishes the next time you visit. But this may also be part of the problem. It’s not so much the quality of the ingredients that’s in question at The Artwins Bistro as the consistency and attention to detail.