Cafe des Artistes is located a half block from Central Park on the Upper West Side. The restaurant is housed in an old apartment building called Hotel des Artistes, and you certainly get a turn of the century feel when you enter the building. Even on a blustery winter day, the cafe is cozy, bright and lush, with green plants everywhere and murals by a mid century artist on every wall. The space is detailed in wood and wrought iron and the tables each have a charming pastel mini-lamp. It's probably a glimpse into how the New York elite dined a century ago.
The food is pretty standard. I started my meal with a green salad that just had "champagne" vinaigrette on it, but I honestly couldn't taste anything remarkable about the dressing. A salmon fillet was my main course, and it was perfectly cooked. It broke easily apart with a fork and was soft and flavorful. Polenta with a fruity sauce surrounded it and that was creamy and good too. Dessert was a rich chocolate and walnut cake that was warm and fudgy in the center. The bread basket even had some great and hearty whole wheat rolls. Overall this was an elegant fine dining experience in an equally elegant setting.