Long a mainstay for French cuisine in Midtown, Artisans has relocated to Westheimer west of the Galleria. As before, the sleek new digs have seating facing the kitchen as well as separate dining areas with tables and booths; there’s also a rather longish wine cellar. Most of the well-executed menu remains the same, too—including almost every classic you can think of. Top marks go to three dishes: an amuse-bouche of lamb Wellington (a small chunk of meat with a pastry coating, served as a lollipop); juicy pan-seared scallops sided by a crab wonton; and lobster bisque with tomato confit and a enticing but unfortunately slightly bits of chewy lobster tail. One of us, eating lightly, savored a creamy roasted butternut squash soup topped with a sprinkling of pepitas and a dab of crème fraîche. A main course new to the menu proved to be the hit of the evening: red-wine-braised lamb shank, falling-off-the-bone tender, nicely set off by rich polenta and brussels sprouts. In spite of our extensive and dutiful sampling (plus warm bread with rich butter), we still managed to try dessert: lovely red velvet sponge cake topped with an airy chocolate mousse.
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A mainstay for French classics, in a pretty room with white tablecloths, no less.