Last week I had the opportunity to visit a new (to me) restaurant called Starving Artists Bistro. They recently celebrated their 3rd year of being open, and I’m surprised that I had never been there until last week.
I had heard of Starving Artists Bistro for a while, but I hadn’t made the trip to that part of town, as it’s so far away from where I live. Starving Artists Bistro is located at 9447 N Fort Washington Rd., off of Friant and Fort Washington, and I live off of west Shaw. It’s like going to another world! However, I finally made the commitment to head that way, and I’m so glad I did.
I went into Starving Artists Bistro on a Friday night, around 5:30. I thought it was going to be busy, and I was prepared for that. To my surprise, there were only 3 or so other tables occupied when I got there. My kids and I got a table right away, and were served very quickly. I will say, though, that the restaurant filled up rather fast, and when we left it was packed. When we first walked in, my son said to me, “This is like a date place.” I guess it gave off a romantic type vibe? I just laughed and enjoyed the ambiance. What I noticed at first was that there was someone (who happened to be a regular) singing on the piano, and the walls were filled with art.
Music and art. The blend of these are what makes Starving Artists Bistro a unique success. Starving Artists Bistro is a restaurant that allows local musicians to play for tips. They can come in during any hours that the bistro is open and share their music with patrons. This “open mic” is available to anyone. If there happens to be a lot of musicians who want to play, the bistro limits everyone to about 20 minutes, in order to accommodate those who want to perform. They don’t make any money, other than tips, so they’re doing this for the love they have for music. (Please remember to tip them, they deserve it!) I loved listening to the music that was being played because it was such a random assortment. A little bit into our dinner, a young lady (only 15 years old) joined the stage and sang beautifully. My favorite song she sang was her version of “Lost Boy” by, Ruth B. Her voice was so pleasing to the ears.
Aside from the music, the next thing someone may notice is all the art on the walls. The art that is displayed comes from local artists, and is on sale to the public. There was one piece that my daughter liked, that I may keep in mind for her birthday.
This may be the time where you’re wondering why the blend of music, art, and food? Well, the owners/partners, Nykole Sullivan and Terry Hibbs, were ready to start a second project. They are both amazing women business owners in our community. Nykole’s husband, Bob, had Starving Artists Bistro on the back burners for some time. Bob has a love for the Arts. In fact, I saw him jump on in and play with the artists on stage. Ultimately, the owners wanted to provide a place for musicians to have an audience. Same thing for the artists. They wanted to provide a place for local artists to display their work. They love what they do, and the passion is played out through the Arts. They have made a little family at Starving Artists Bistro, and I even said that to our waitress. It really felt like family there. She pointed out that they don’t do big screen TV’s because they want to foster the feeling of it being a community. They have done just that.
Along with the great atmosphere and wonderful staff, Starving Artists Bistro serves some amazing food. Oh. My. Goodness. My kids are still talking about dinner and dessert. My son originally didn’t want to try a new place, but when I told him that they had Bacon Mac and Cheese, he was sold. We, of course, had to try it.
After that as an appetizer, my kids had more pasta, and I had the steak salad. The steak was so tender and full of flavor, my son almost confiscated it.
Then, there was the dessert. I mean, we just had to. Both my daughter and myself had the lava cake. She is STILL talking about it, and said that it was the best she’s ever had.
The menu at Starving Artists Bistro is pretty eclectic. They have salads, hamburgers, pasta, speciality hot dogs (yeah, I said hot dogs!), sandwiches, and a delicious looking brunch menu (each Sunday from 11-2). I think next time I’m going to try the Mediterranean Pasta and Bistro Bread Pudding. Unless we go for brunch sometime. I can’t wait to go again, and I hope you guys try this place. You will love the staff, the food, and will be serenaded by someone fantastic!