L'Artiste Muscle

1 Shepherd Market , London, W1J 7PA

SquareMeal Review of L'Artiste Muscle

Like a comforting time warp for its army of old-soldier eateries, Shepherd Market somehow keeps even the most antiquated concepts sheltered from London’s myriad dining trends. A prime example is L’Artiste Musclé, which is still as resolutely shambolic as it’s always been – despite some touching-up here & there. The buzz is ever present, with tables spilling out onto the street, & an open kitchen that sees the likes of snails in garlic & parsley, steak-frites, cassoulet, magret de canard, petit salé aux lentils or calf’s liver with pomme purée, cooked virtually at your shoulder. Bills are almost shockingly kind – a reflection of the shabby-not-chic looks, cheek-by-jowl seating & frequently distant (if well-intentioned) service. Those relegated to the shoebox basement should seek comfort in decent Bordeaux – also at knock-down prices.

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4.3

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.3

Atmosphere: 4.3

Value: 5.3

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 2.0

Value: 3.0

KM. 07 December 2012

I am afraid I went to the L'Artiste Muscle last night for supper, and having been there before I was very much looking forward to it and excited to be taking new people there but I have to admit my visit was utterly disappointing and I will not be returning. Either the extractor fans in the kitchen were not turned on or were not working, but every time something was cooked (especially a steak) the restaurant filled with smoke; it sat in the air and I felt like we were sitting IN the kitchen rather than in a restaurant. We could smell everything coming from the kitchen and my eyes were hurting by the end of the evening from the smoke. The food was decent enough and the restaurant was full, but the smoke really overshadowed the evening and was so disappointing. The front door would also not close properly, so there were constant cold drafts each time someone entered, and being December it proved not ideal to be sitting near the door. Really was sad that the evening did not go quite as planned, when one pays to sit there.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

Gavan B. 16 November 2009

I've eaten here three times now (always lunch) and each time has been pleasant; the food is cooked to order and the wines are perhaps basic but good and at sensibl;e prices. It is a small restaurant with wooden floors and tables placed close together, somewhat cramped but this adds to the atmosphere. There is a downstairs (not been down there so I can't comment) but upstairs you can see the food being prepared and cooked. It is French through and through, perhaps rustic, but I have always found it to be of very good quality, fresh and excellent value for money. The service has always been swift, attentive and friendly. Excellent for a friendly bistro lunch and I will go back.

Food & Drink: 0.0

Service: 0.0

Atmosphere: 0.0

Value: 0.0

Anna O. 21 November 2008

I went here with a big group of friends last weekend. I appreciate that serving a group of 25 for dinner is not every waiter's dream but, at the same time, everyone is a paying customer and it is up to the waiters to take charge of the situation. The waiters were unbelievably rude both during the meal and at the end of it. There was, as there always seems to be with groups, an issue with the bill. Instead of calmly sitting down with the few of us who decided to take charge to sort it out, the waiters (one of whom I think might have been the owner) proceeded to swear extremely aggresively at some of the female members of our group, one of whom was particularly intimidated. Aside from the terrible service, the food was expensive and below par. Two of my friends had to send their steak back (one of them twice). It struck me that they were more than happy to take a considerably sum of money from a group of customers but were not willing to provide a good service and seemed to presume that, because we were drinking, we could be fobbed off with average food. This restaurant is in a prime location and seems to think they are above serving people. That struck as particularly arrogant in a time when all custom should be gratefully received. In summary, I will not be going back here!

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