424 Central Ave Se, Albuquerque, NM | Directions 8710235.083227 -106.642406
Neighborhoods: Valley, Huning Highland Historic District
Yummy cocktails and good food. I love coming here and sitting in the bar. Great happy hour!
Twice no more..... – We visited the Artichoke cafe on two separate occasions for dinner and for lunch. First time I thought was a fluke, the second time shows a pattern. For dinner the service was great but the food was OK, water served with food tasted as if it were strained through a dirty sock. On our second visit with a larger party for lunch I decided to pay more attention to the details. I normally eat very healthy so I ordered a pear and blue cheese salad with a chicken breast. Bottom line, the chicken "plank" was micro waved and I could not taste anything other than the champagne honey vinaigrette, well to be accurate the vinegar was all I could taste as it was grossly over dressed. It would have been better if they served the dressing on the side. In all honesty I have had more tasty salads at McDonalds. I also took note of my guest’s food; their proteins also appeared to have been micro waved, not very difficult to spot. To add insult to injury, they tacked on the 20% gratuity for us since it was a party of six, no problem I usually tip well for good food and service however applying 20% gratuity to the “7.0% sales tax” was a bit tacky.
Don’t waste your time with this mediocre restaurant, there are far better choices in the area.
Over Rated – I had seen the Artichoke Cafe in two travel guides each with rave reviews and decided to try it while visiting Albuquerque. Needless to say I was a little disappointed. The waitress was pleasant to start until we decdied not to order wine or drinks (Extremely overpriced for the selection, they clearly think highly of their wines). We barely saw the waitress the rest of the evening not even to refill empty water glasses. The food was very inconsistent; half the meals were miniscule and the other half enormous. We had to share so that everyone had enough to eat. All the food was "heavy" and richly sauced. After dinner we were given 3 dessert menus for 4 people and were prepared to ordered but the waitress never returned. We had to flag another waiter to bring our bill. If you want good unpretensious food, with decent service choose another restaurant.
Utterly Disappointed – Perhaps the Artichoke Cafe was expecting 6 rich men ready to spend a pretty penny on champagne, appetizers, salads, entrees, desserts, and tea/coffee when I called in a reservation for 6. They were not ashamed to show their disappointment when it was just my family and I coming in for drinks, salad, and a few appetizers.
There are no signs in the Artichoke Cafe that say only come into our restaurant if you plan on eating a full meal. We had, had a big lunch, and had heard great things about the Cafe, so I foolishly decided to bring my family there for a light dinner before they traveled back to Canada.
Don't get me wrong, the service was impeccable as we sat down and browsed over the menu. The service went downhill once we just ordered a round of iced teas and soda. I'm assuming that's when the waiter decided, because we didn't order wine, we were expendable. We continued to order five Caesar Salads, a French Onion Soup, and some Spring Rolls. It took us one hour and forty five minutes to leave the restaurant with our simple order( I am not exagerating.) As we patiently waited for our food(without a single apology from the waiter, or check to see if we needed more beverages), the table next to us, who had come about half an hour after us, had received their cheese dish appetizer, their follow up artichokes, their entrees, and dessert.
When our five salads, one French Onion Soup, and 2 Spring Rolls finally came, we were not too keen on having any dessert and asked for the check.
Money was not why we did not order a huge meal. We went into a restaurant hoping to have a nice environment, and a couple of drinks, with a few bites. I will not suggest to my friends, who have been begging me to choose a place for my baby shower, that we have food at the Artichoke Cafe. I am honestly sad about the service we had at the Artichoke Cafe.
Excellent service and the food was creative and presented well. – My wife and I really enjoyed the food and the service was excellent! The meal was quite creative and well presented. Highly recommended.
Hit-or-Miss? – This is my favorite Albuquerque restaurant; I love the combination of an unpretentious space and top-notch food. Normally I've received impeccable service. On my most recent visit, which fell on a not-too-busy Friday, we had to wait 20 minutes despite the fact that we'd (2) made reservations (two people w/o reservations were seated ahead of us). Grr...
While the hostess is inexperienced, the wait-staff is truly excellent: I've never had anything but the most efficient, friendly, well-informed, and non-obtrusive table service. I've found THE BEST and the NOT-SO-MUCH on the menu--on a recent visit, I passed up the wonderful ravioli for the boring "Mexican prawns" (lovely fresh seafood overwhelmed by a heavy, blah corn/ marinara sauce) and deeply regretted it. The chef seems to live in fear of "spicy," particularly a propos SW-inspired dishes. For carnivores, (I'm a "mostly"-vegetarian--there are options, but limited ones) Artichoke seems to have the best steak in ABQ. The desserts and wine list mostly are wonderful; house-made sorbets are either fabulous or forgettable (texture often third-rate). I do wish they offered a more extensive bar, or scotch and brandy at least. Acoustics make centrally-placed or lower-level tables seem at the middle of an incomprehensible din.
rare find – This restaurant is an example to other locally owned restaurants in the Albuquerque area. Our dining experience was superb....ask if the swordfish is available. We've eaten here a lot because of the food, romantic atomosphere, excellent service, pleasant management, and a nice selection of wine. Never heard of anyone getting sick from eating here. It is a very refreshing definition of what fine dining should be. We were led by a parking lot attendant into the restaurant and again, back to our car. It was a truly memorable evening. Highly recommended. Also recommend reservations.
Please avoid this place. My wife and I were sick within one hour after eating at this place. This website wont permit free speech hence the brief message.
Memories are made of this – Ate here last night and was absolutely impressed with the whole experience! Anyone should know better than to be critical of a restaurant during the peak of the holiday season which throws every restaurant in town off. We took our time with the wine list and the menu. The menu is fairly concise, but this place does it right. Service was knowledgable and not intrusive while dining. My tenderloin was cooked to perfection. My partner's salmon was also delicious and the food was served hot. Plate presentation was very pleasing to the eye. The decor was elegant, very clean. We exploreod other rooms in the restaurant and we were impressed with the wine bar. There was security in the parking lot and all in all it was just a very cozy memorable dinner. I will be going back even though it is quite a trip to make from the far northeast heights. Seems to be geared more for adults rather than children. Extremely romantic.
Pros ambience ambience ambience, food, parking
Avoid if large parties in back of restaurant – Artichoke was recommended by the Concierge at the Embassy Suites with a free artichoke appetizer.
We were promptly seated and ordered our meal including the artichoke appetizer. It was prepared perfectly and came with excellent dipping sauces including clarified butter. Next came the dinner salad - we each ordered the greens with pear, blue cheese and toasted nuts and house dressing. The salad was excellent.
Then nothing. We waited 15 minutes - the waiter indicated some trouble in the kitchen. Then 30 minutes - the waiter indicated the large parties in the back of the restaurant had to be served (over 50 people I believe he said) and we would be next! 45 minutes - our entrees were served, one lamb loin chops and the other four crab cakes from the appetizer menu. The food was hot and tastefully prepared when finally received. The same experience was also happening at the next table of two where we exchanged commons about the kitchen. Were it not for the fact we were starving and didn't want to have to search for another restaurant, we would have just left.
We skipped dessert and coffee and received the bill. No offer was made by the waiter or management to comp our drinks or salad or offer a free dessert or anthing. They didn't care about us having to wait. They presumed we wouldn't come back and they are right! I would call before going to see if there are any large parties. If there is - expect a long, long wait!
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