First Look

First Look: Artin's Grill

Recently, we made a post-rush-hour journey up to Plano for dinner at Artin's
Grill, the newest addition to the Shops at Legacy. Artin's had its soft opening in mid-January, and the restaurant is now serving its full menu of American food with Asian and Latin influences for lunch and dinner.

Situated near RA Sushi and Gordon Biersch, Artin's is one of many dining options in the expansive shopping center. Unlike its neighbors, Artin's isn't a chain and it doesn't have a bright neon sign. It does have a nice view of the flashy fountain, but that's about as much flare as you'll see in this sleek, modern restaurant. Inside, the mix of teak, mesquite and mahogany woods lends intimacy to the large dining room, and the glass-enclosed kitchen is a bright contrast to the dark lighting and mix of woods.

Executive Chef Christopher Short is at the helm of this American restaurant with Asian and Latin influences. You may remember Short as the former chef of Bella, but don't expect to see too many Bella creations on the menu at Artin's. Instead, Short has gone with tried-and-true standards like burgers, steaks and ribs.

Our server was attentive and well-versed in the new menu. His recommendations included a braised short rib appetizer with cumin cream, a perfectly cooked fillet with shrimp wrapped in thin pieces of bacon, and lightly seared, sesame-crusted ahi tuna. The sushi-grade tuna was visually stunning and melted upon first bite, but the accompanying Asian slaw needed more flavor. The wasabi mashed potatoes, a familiar Short dish, were potent and creamy. The hardwood grilled fillet was well-seasoned, and our only complaint was that there wasn't enough of the savory wine reduction on the plate. One could argue Short is playing it safe by sticking with traditional fare like surf and turf, sandwiches and salads, but quality ingredients and spot-on execution heighten these simple dishes. According to general manager Bud Najjar, the restaurant regularly refuses products from vendors that don't meet Short's expectations.

The night we dined, the restaurant was fairly empty, save for a few tables and a Dallas Morning News photographer who tried to capture our well-mannered attempts at eating nachos. We wondered if location could possible hinder Artin's success. Tucked away in a far corner of the shopping center, Artin's could easily be missed if not for the Bellagio-style fountain nestled in front. And with a slew of recognizable competitors in close proximity, Artin's may need more than its modest sign out front to grab the attention of Legacy customers. We don't see this being a problem for Artin's or executive chef Short. With impressive dishes and expert service, Artin's is a nice alternative to the vast supply of chain restaurants in Legacy.

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Elizabeth Bair
Contact: Elizabeth Bair