The beginning of 2017 came with good news for Bucharest food scene. The Artist, considered by many the best restaurant in Bucharest, has opened its doors after relocation and one year absence.
It wasn’t an easy time for Mihaela and Paul Oppenkamp, the family that runs The Artist. They have looked for the best option to relocate. The space from Old City was no longer inline with the new security requirements.
After the first visit at the new Artist, we can say that it was worth the waiting. It’s totally the next level compared with the old location. It’s a space where Paul Oppenkamp could raise the game.We are glad this change took place although it was forced by the law and new regulations.
We came to the Artist in the first weekend after the opening. A period in which Paul and the staff were making some final adjustments.
What’s the main conclusion after first visit? The food at the new Artist is at the same level compared with the old restaurant. Plus more local ingredients in the menu.
The Artist is now located in an old historic villa, on Calea Victoriei 147.
The building dating from the beginning of 20th century, has been perfectly restored. Our favorite area is the original wooden staircase that makes connection between the 2 floors.
The neoclassic design is completed with some contrast elements like the lighting objects, the modern bar and the big metallic logo from the dining area.
Overall, it’s an elegant space. A good fit for a top restaurant.
The space is generous compared to old location. There are 48 seats at the base floor (vs. 32 previous location). The first floor is for private dining and events with an additional 40 seats.
The restaurant will look great in the summer as it has a nice terrace and a garden. At this moment, unavailable.
They have kept the same approach. A short menu with 5-6 appetizers, 5-6 mains and some desserts. Plus Spoon Tasting for each category. The menu will change every 3 months.
The dishes are medium size. It’s recommended to choose 2-3 courses (one can be the dessert).
For our first visit we have selected one appetizer one main and 2 desserts to share. The Artist has kept its good habits. We received an impresive amount of complimentary small bites for our dinner. No less than 4 dishes. Special mention for the mashed beans with a twist and the soup made with carrots and foie gras.
Our selection from the Artist
Licorice & Beetroot Cured Salmon Trout
with Fennel, Beets, Horseradish
Foie Gras Mousse
with Green Apple, Cranberries, Macaroon and Sweet Potato
Black Sea Turbot
Potato, Clams Chowder, Leeks, Popcorn
Tandoori Spiced Beef Brisket
with Red Onion, Cous Cous, Eggplant and Cilantro
With Coffee, Sponge Cake, Sweet Cheese, Cocoa
with Cinnamon, Anise,Pear, Cream We enjoyed especially the main courses. Our favorite: Tandoori Spiced Beef Brisket.
The wine list was incomplete at the time of our visit. It was work in progress. Still, we were glad to find good pairing options for our food choices.
Paul Oppenkamp has managed to bring back most of the old team, which is a good thing. The service was informal, with many recommendations. But these were the first days after the opening, working at a reduced capacity. We will have to wait and see how the team will deal with a high number of covers.
It seems that The Artist will keep its status as the best fine dining restaurant in Bucharest. At least in the near future. It’s nice to see a strong comeback. We appreciate the creativity and use of local ingredients.
In the same time, we feel that the competition is missing. We would like to see more from the other top chefs and restaurant owners. At this moment they prefer a comfort zone.
The truth is we need more good restaurants in Bucharest in order to get noticed on the culinary map of Eastern Europe.