Café des Artistes is a restaurant in Manhattan that was a favorite of journalist Bill Smithback. It was often used as a meeting place by various characters in New York.
The cafe is located inside the Hotel des Artistes on West 67th St. Both hotel and cafe are venerable and tastefully decorated with soft lighting and banquette seating. Smithback liked that the restaurant was essentially unknown to tourists and the "bridge and tunnel crowd". The centerpiece of the cafe's decor is a large mural by Howard Chandler Christy. The waiters dressed in classic black and white uniforms. The food is similarly old-fashioned, favoring classic French recipes and ignoring culinary trends. Portions are large and plating is simple, with none of the frivolity of more modern restaurants. Smithback noted that "nobody did steak like Café des Artistes". Two of his favorite dishes were the steak au poivre and steak béarnaise.
Smithback and Nora Kelly dined at the cafe on the night of their first wedding anniversary. They returned to their apartment afterwards and Nora went out to pick up Bill's birthday cake. While she was out, another resident of the building slipped into the apartment and murdered Smithback with a knife.