Catching Up With New Kids: Artesano

Artesano, the Peruvian restaurant designed for chef Rodrigo Fernandini, has been open since October so I am very far behind but the restaurant itself has certainly been keeping up. When we were there in late October and every time I’ve been by since, it has had a lively crowd and a nearly full dining room. That plus the open, bustling kitchen and the very gracious staff makes for a great vibe.

But I will say first that I wish the menu looked more like Fernandini’s Instagram. I started following him when the owners first came to CB1 for their liquor license, and he is a sensation on that platform. Ever smiling and charming — the guy is gorgeous — he makes one sophisticated but simple comfort-food recipe after the other: chicken thighs rubbed with mustard and lime zest bubbling in a beer broth in an iron skillet; tuna salad with homemade mayonnaise, minced red onion and peppers on a butter-fried potato bun with a crackle-fried egg; a molten brownie loaf made with avocado, coconut oil, brown sugar and bittersweet chocolate.

But that’s not what’s on offer at Artesano. This is more of a tweezer food situation, with as much artistry in the presentation as in the flavors. The octopus is curved around a lima bean puree, sitting on swirls of octopus emulsion. The filet (amazing) is served with tiny loaves made from paper-thin slices of potato, upon which sits a thumbnail-sized sauteed onion and three tiny Huacatay leaves — a wild Peruvian mint. There were unexpected textures and crunch — the tuna tartare came on a rice cake; the classic ceviche (it was a bit too tangy for me) had chocolo, or corn nuts, stirred in. The gnocchi with mushrooms and pickled purple onions also included walnuts.


Fernandini was born and raised in Chiclayo, Peru, and after culinary school, trained in Michelin-starred restaurants in Peru and beyond, eventually founding Ayllu Restaurant in St. Petersburg, Florida. He also started Sustainable Cocina, a condiment/sauce company that sells direct to consumer. For Artesano NYC, the owners gutted the former Kaede sushi restaurant and have created a 45-seat space with banquettes and a spacious bar.

My pal calls Artesano the ceviche restaurant, and that is probably the best way to approach it. There is plenty in one dish for a meal, and the price (around $30) seems worth it for the ingredients and presentation. The prices are steep, but sadly in keeping with Tribeca fine dining these days: at the top, $46 for the filet; $34 for the shredded chicken.

I did not love the decor — there are plastic plants draped from the ceiling that overpower the wood and velvet, and I can do without the neon. But the bar is beautiful and there’s a great table in the window, if you don’t mind the comings and goings.

A reminder that they are 1) serving lunch, which is not easy to find these days and 2) now serving Peruvian coffee and baked goods from the restaurant’s pastry chef, Joselyn Chirinos. More on that soon, but in the meantime: my take is ceviche at the bar with the “little drink” — a sweet fruit punch with cinnamon.

90 Chambers | Church and Broadway
Monday to Wednesday, 11a to 11p
Thursday, 11a to midnight
Friday and Saturday, 11a to 1a
Sunday, 11a to 10p


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A post shared by Rodrigo (@rodrigofernandini)


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A post shared by Rodrigo (@rodrigofernandini)



  1. Two stars today from Pete Wells

    “ Elegantly Dressed Peruvian Cuisine Makes Landfall in TriBeCa”

  2. Coffee shop on the sidewalk, is that officially free for all now, Like outdoor dining shed? Private use of public land?