Monday, April 5, 2010

Atmosphere Bistro

1620 Piedmont Ave. NE, Atlanta, GA

On Saturday my friend Rebecca and I had brunch at Atmosphere Bistro, which is located in the Ansley area of Atlanta in a lovely restored home. This was the second time I have dined at Atmosphere. The first was another brunch with my grandmother shortly after they opened a couple of years ago.

I have to make another comparison with Anis on Grandview Ave. here: Atmosphere has a similar French-themed menu and a great patio with umbrella topped tables. It's not quite as worn or eclectic as Anis, but it's equally enjoyable. Anytime I think of Anis my opinion is overshadowed by the aloof service I get there. Atmosphere has much more cordial and attentive servers. Our server on Saturday, Andrew, was great.

Rebecca and I chose the day's special appetizer, a goat cheese with roasted red peppers, pinenuts and arugula. Lovely. The cheese was melted just right - gooey in the center while still retaining it's shape and pale yellow hue. The arugula was fresh and bright green, a spring delight.

For my entree I selected the carpaccio de boeuf, topped with a lemon, shavings of parmesan and more arugula. It was great. About a year ago I had beef carpaccio at Rathbun's and was very disappointed when it came out with a 3" stack of shaved parmesan, insuring that the cheese completely obliterated the excellent flavor of the beef. The carpaccio was much better at Atmosphere. The thin, short parmesan shavings were just right, and the fresh lemon and arugula served to accentuate the flavor of the beef rather than mask it. I had the small plate ($9), which was the perfect size considering that I began the meal with an appetizer. The large plate is $14.

Brunch entrees range from $7-$18, while dinner entrees average about $25. Atmospher also offers a $25 3-course dinner option. At dinner the restaurant offers all of the traditional French selections Francophiles come to love: Lobster Thermador, Escargots, Fois Gras and Duck Leg Confit. There are rabbit options on both the brunch and dinner menus. You can expect everything will be pleasantly plated.

Music lovers can come for live Jazz on Thursday nights.

Verdict: A nice choice for a spring brunch or romantic French dinner.

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