L'Artista is an Italian eatery on East Hastings.
Went there for my sister-in-law's birthday, thinking of mouth watering freshly made pasta... We were very disappointed... The pasta tasted rubbery and right out of a box. The seafood did not taste fresh at all. We did not even finish half of our meal. The only good thing was the Gnocchi in a meat sauce. The ambiance is rustic and homey but the food is anything but that. Disappointing experience.
As a group of four women, we were out to celebrate a friends birthday. The place was packed when we arrived at 7:30 p.m. on a Friday night. We were seated right away which was great as we had reservations. This is a very small restaurant and space is very tight. The tables are very close to each other.
I was very disappointed in the way they had gone about serving the cake that we brought to the restaurant. We had presented our friend with the cake and it was in front of her on the table. The waitress then asked us about dessert and explained that they would have to charge each person $2.00 for plate service etc. We didn't really have a problem with the charge except on several occasions we have done the same at other restaurants and there were no charges.
The waitress offered to take the cake and put candles on it and slice and serve us our cake. When she came back with the cake, she did not place the cake in front of the birthday girl, from whom she took the cake, she had placed it in front of me. After the "sparkler" fizzled away, the cake was taken back to the kitchen to be sliced. I was very disappointed in how messy the slicing was and all four pieces were of different thickness. I was waiting for an explanation of what was going to happen with the rest of the cake. When we were finished I asked about the remainder of the cake. I was told that there was only a sliver of cake left and that it was at the front ready for us when we were ready to leave.
When my friends and I were leaving, the cake box was sitting on a table waiting for us. The box was not attended to and the box was wide open, we could see how much of the cake was left. The waitress was right there was only a sliver of cake left. I do not think we were served the entire cake, there should have been at least 1/3 of the cake left. I don't really know what to make of this. It has been on my mind how unprofessional this whole experience at L'Artista has been, considering it is a fine dining restaurant.
It does not matter what the rest of the meal was like with a finish like that. I definitely will not be going back to L'Artista !!
I did not get an apology or satisfaction from talking to the owner the following day.
Third time that we tried this place. Had to make reservations and ordered the "special" and asked the waiter to recommend the type of sauce. Was EXCELLENT. Now I understand why this place is so popular. Will only order the special and with recommendations from staff. That is the "key". Tables are crowded in and is very noisy so don't expect a romantic evening. We will definitely go back.
This restarurant is very consistant: Everytime I go there I always enjoy the delicious taste from the foods. The pasta have good portion and is well price. The service is great and the staff are very inviting and friendly. The only thing this restaurant need is a makeover as it appears old and outdated inside but it was okay for me as I rather pay a friendly price on food then having high end decor.
Had read others reviews, and checked out the menu online, and was really looking forward to authentic Italian food. I ordered the feature, which was penne with smoked salmon and shrimp. The pasta was not fresh, and the shrimp were very small, and looked liked canned shrimp, and the overall taste was VERY fishy. Although I did not eat most of my dinner, the server didn't even ask why. My dinner companions dishes were also below average. The risotto was not creamy, but more brothy, and the tomato sauce tasted like it was store bought!