ELKHART — The Gateway Mile in downtown Elkhart is noted for its galleries and museums. Now, it’s being recognized for its art served on plates.
Artisan by Kurt Janowsky has received the coveted four-diamond rating by AAA. The fine dining restaurant at 505 S. Main St. is joining the exclusive list in its first year of operation, a true rarity as only about 700 restaurants in North America ever make it to such a high level.
“It’s really an exclusive club that you can’t ask to be a member of,” Janowsky said. “We have a lot of outstanding restaurants in our marketplace along the Gateway Mile, which makes it an even greater honor to stand out among them. …“This recognition shows that Elkhart is becoming an even more vibrant and active space downtown. In the quality of place discussion, food is right up there near the top. You better have quality, interesting, independent restaurants – downtown Elkhart has that.”
For 80 years, AAA has conducted in-person, independent evaluations of restaurants and hotels. Operators cannot pay to be evaluated or influence the process. In 2015, only 34 restaurants were added to the four-diamond list, while 44 previously rated establishments failed to keep the designation. Restaurants may request the reviewer’s notes after ratings are established, but as yet, Janowsky said Artisan does not have that information.
“This is truly a credit to chefs Matt Jay and Ryan Wilson for their outstanding work, and the entire culinary and service staff,” Janowsky said. “They’re the ones doing the heavy lifting, working hard every day to deliver exceptional food and service to guests.”
Only five Indiana restaurants are rated four diamonds by AAA: Artisan in Elkhart, Restaurant Tallent in Bloomington, Joseph Decuis in Roanoke, and Carriage House and LaSalle Grill in South Bend.
“Although we’re considered fine dining, we’re approachable. We’re the most affordable of the four-diamond restaurants in Indiana, and we created an atmosphere that is not stuffy or pretentious,” Janowsky said. “Artisan is fun and comfortable and friendly, with upbeat music in the background and a staff with great energy.”
Janowsky said that spirit runs through the Gateway Mile.
“We’re honored to be in select company nationally, but just as equally, to be another of the great assets here downtown. Wellfield (Botanic Gardens), Ruthmere, the RiverWalk, the Midwest Museum of American Art, the (National New York Central) Railroad Museum – and it’s so helpful being right across the street from the Lerner Theatre. Elkhart is becoming known for its quality in all areas.”
Artisan is open Tuesday through Saturday, with bar service available at 4:30 p.m. and the dining room open at 5. A private room able to accommodate up to 100 guests also is available for booking. Call (574) 355-3355 for more information and reservations, or visit ArtisanElkhart.com for full details.
Information on all downtown assets is available at GatewayMile.com.