may i please wake up in paris tomorrow morning?
i'd like to have a stroll to a little sidewalk cafe and have a morning sit with a croissant and a newspaper,
while i watch little parisian puppies take their owners for a walk.
after that, i would explore little streets, 
and little bakeries, 
and little perfumeries...
and in the evening, i'd go to the market, 
and sample every single kind of cheese until i find the perfect cheese for the perfect fondue.
i'd also buy a baguette,
and eat half of it on my way home.
the next day, 
i'd wake up,
and repeat.

ohh, paris, i can't wait to meet you.

but until i do, i have 
to hold me over.

last week,
after a hectic day of tours and classes,
i took myself on a little date.
i wandered down the east side to france,
or so that's how it felt.

i arrived at the bistro expecting another teensy, jam packed restaurant,
but was relieved to find enough space to do a cartwheel or five across the floor!
and they had booths!
i love booths. 
more than i should.
but it meant i was going to be able to relax.

and relax i did with the first course, which was...

chickpea soup
with thick cut bacon

it was exactly what i needed to warm me up after the cold trek there.
piping hot, 
but not creamy,
and just the right amount of smokey from the bacon.
not too salty,
but certainly tasty enough.
it was delicious,
in a, main course, you've got some competition sort of way.

the main course:
grilled english cheddar
with apples and bacon

it was a bit odd to me that at a restaurant with over a million zillion cheeses, a cheese counter, and a cheese cave, only had one restaurant week option that involved cheese. 
i had a bit of anxiety about seeing macaroni and cheese,
croque monsieurs,
and fondue
on the menu, and not ordering every single one of them.
but, alas, i trusted madame waitress when she highly recommended the grilled cheese.

and it was great!
the cheese was the star of the show,
as its tanginess stole all of the thunder from the bacon and apples,
but i was down with it. 
i asked for dijon just for kicks,
and to test the spiciness about it,
but really, the cheddar was tasty enough on its own.

was the aforementioned,
and illustrious,
crème brulee

i swear, it could have been a meal on its own.
it's deceiving because it looks rather small,
but once you take a bite,
you realize that it's probably more calories than your daily requirement for the next five days combined,
and then,
i'm all,
look at me, 
i have no self control,
 i'm going to eat the whole thing!
it's restaurant week, i'm allowed.

when i dug to the bottom,
i noticed little vanilla flecks. 
how very mysterious and sneaky of it.

i've never had a better crème brulee
{at least not since sister pleaded for a blow torch for her eighth birthday and got one}

i really really should have employed self control though,
not matter how good a meal is,
if i have to waddle around and change into stretchier pants afterwards,
it's just no fun!

i'll have to go back here because

1. they're serving a different fondue for every day in february


2. look at this menu
i basically could have written it.

it was a great little date, 
my date with myself.
i sprawled out in the booth,
there was no one there to judge me when i ate all of the bread but none of the crust,
and the french family that sat next to me helped me pretend that i was indeed in paris.

i can't wait to go back and bathe in their fondue!



artisanal is located on east 32nd between madison and park