Sneak Peek: Café des Artistes in One Arts Plaza

Exterior of Cafe des Artistes (left); crab cakes with red and yellow pepper bouquets on top (photos by Carol Shih)

At any second during a dinner at Café des Artistes, the waiters and waitresses could break into song.

Don’t be alarmed. It won’t be Disney-style. It’s classy dinner and free entertainment at the One Arts Plaza, starting next week when Alberto Lombardi’s new restaurant opens doors to the public. Inside of the plush, velvety red room of Café des Artistes, you could be munching on a croque-madame with béchamel and cured ham until, suddenly, bartender Preston Cole (a music extraordinaire, apparently) starts busting out tunes on the grand piano.

Alberto Lombardi and Lucy Billingsley

Lombardi, a merry fellow with a thick Italian accent, said people would sing at the Café des Artistes in New York City, too, where he used to pal around with his friends and drink wine late into the night.

Wine will be plentiful here at the Dallas location, and Lombardi has hired executive chef David Garwacki to develop a Cali-Euro style menu that highlights flavors from the United States, France, Italy, and across the Mediterranean. His food is meant to complement the romantic, thick-draped room that the former cozy Screen Door space has transformed into. Though some mysteries have set the restaurant opening date back, Café des Artistes will open no later than Friday, November 9. It’ll be open Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m., Saturday from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m., and Sunday brunch from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Get ready for it. Even if you’re not the least bit interested in the entertainment part, there’s no way you could pass up a chance to use the magical bathrooms inside Café des Artistes. The ladies’ bathroom, at least, has these thick towel napkins that are so tempting to steal. Dilemmas, dilemmas.

Short rib hor d’oeuvres
Bathroom hallway (left); croque-madame with béchamel and cured ham (right)
Fried chicken and olives with aioli sauce


  • Milk&Cookies

    His restaurants are always great inside, just
    wish the food was better.