The trio of Bouchon restaurants carry a lofty reputation and this is no doubt a testament to the work of the captain of the ship, chef Thomas Keller. The Los Angeles, or more specifically Beverly Hills, location of Bouchon serves as chef Keller’s single foray into one of the more prestigious dining cities in this country. It’s at Bouchon Beverly Hills, a two-story homage to French bistro cuisine, that we find Keller’s Bar Bouchon, a two-year-old watering hole on the ground floor of the Bouchon space.
There’s no doubt I would have gotten a seat at Bouchon if my whirlwind schedule had permitted such indulgences. Circumstances being otherwise, I gladly took up a spot at Bar Bouchon during happy hour in the midst of one gorgeous September afternoon. Despite its role as the fire starter to one of the most gluttonous nights ever, I lived to tell the tale.
Nestled in the ground floor of Morningside’s Belvedere building, Amuse has taken shape as a pseudo French bistro. Now the tenants of the shuttered Allegro space, Amuse comes backed by Andy Alibaksh (via Diem Restaurant Group) and Arnaud Michel (of Anis restaurant). The duo brought in a fresh staff, hired a known chef (Lenny Robinson), and let him come up with a playful menu. But like so many before them, this “accomplished” set of restaurateurs seems to imagine dreams that just don’t become reality.
I’m lucky in that I have yet to get a serious case of writers block. Instead, I’m usually smothered by writers apathy … or whatever you may call it. Recently, this has been complicated by experiences that have left me a shell of my former self. Something about me was off … had I become soft? Had I succumbed to the whims of beautiful women? Was all not well in the life of Foodie Buddha? Maybe … maybe not. Regardless, thanks to a recent pep talk courtesy of Spark Plug … I’m back. Well, actually internal motivators aside, the true culprit here was the meal at Amuse. After several weeks of quasi uneventful dining, this little bomb blew me strait to heck … and it took a couple of my friends with me.
If you head over to 560 Dutch Valley Road this evening, you’ll bare witness to Amuse, yet another new Atlanta restaurant. The team behind Amuse is a mix of Andy Alibaksh (via Diem Restaurant Group: Après Diem, Carpe Diem, Carroll Street Cafe, Village Pizza Co.) and Arnaud Michel of Anis restaurant. Whether that means the restaurant will hit the ground running or not remains to be seen.
For those keen observers, you’ll notice that 560 Dutch Valley is the same address once occupied by Allegro. I’m not sure what has been done with the space, but my understanding is that it’s a French-inspired bistro serving fusion inspired tapas. When news broke on the biz, we learned that Lenny Robinson was slated to be chef. Robinson last displayed his skills at Peasant Bistro, but is best known for his time at Les Fleur de Lis Cafe.
By now, you almost certainly know that Atlanta’s own Kevin Gillespie, the chef/partner at Woodfire Grill, is kicking ass and taking name on Top Chef: Las Vegas. His latest accolade came on the heels of an impressive quickfire performance in which he prepared snail fricassee with bacon jam, parsley puree, Brussels sprouts, and mushrooms. Lucky for us, Bravo posted an instructional video on their website. So here it is in all it’s glory:
Believe it or not – I do eat homemade meals. While I’m usual the only one around to cook, every now and then – someone takes pity on me and treats me to some of their home cooking. Recently, my father volunteered for the job. This past week, he whipped up some Lobster Thermidor based on the Julia Childrecipe. Before you jump out of your seat at the idea of preparing a costly lobster dish, you should check out this article in the Atlantic. Lobster prices are way down and I hear that even the largest examples of the crustacean are pretty inexpensive over at the DeKalb Farmer’s Market.
The preparation is quite intense, so you can’t whip this dish up if you’re getting home late from your 9-5. In addition, I wasn’t around when he cooked the dish, so I don’t have photos of the assembly process. I have included some post preparation photos. Anyway, get your hands dirty after the jump! This dish would easily fly in the finest of restaurants here in town.
Yesterday, pops and I took a trip over to Atmosphere Bistro on the outskirts of the Morningside neighborhood in Atlanta. Open roughly 7-years, they have long served one of my favorite brunches here in the city. Given the price point, the atmosphere (no pun intended), and the service – I find little to complain about when visiting on any given lazy Sunday. As this is a quick hits posts, keep in mind I am speaking specifically about the brunch menu at Atmosphere and not their standard fare.
This morning, as I was digging through my twitter feed, I came across this video. It’s a nice little interview with Cyrille Holota, the executive chef at JOËL. The Buckhead restaurant is still alive and kicking, long after the departure of namesake Joël Antunes.
Though they actually opened this past February, I took the liberty of adding Café Lapin to the March Dirty List due to this post over on the Omnivore. The “French country menu” looks simple and appealing; I will definitely hit them up for breakfast sooner than later.
In addition to breakfast and lunch, they offer a dinner service six nights a week (guess which night they close?). The BYOB policy and no corkage fee are appealing.
Until last night, I was shamefully ignorant to the tragic history of Violette restaurant. The short of the long is that proprietor Guy Long, a native of Alsace-Lorraine, came to the United States after his mother passed. In 1989, he met Stephanie Belcher and from that that meeting, a relationship flourished. Eventually, the two became both business partners and engaged to be married.
In 1995, the couple opened Violette on Clairmont Rd. Eight years later, a series of crimes left Luck dead, Belcher alone, and the restaurant in an awkward place [More reading on CL]. Five-years later, Belcher runs the show and the restaurant is alive and kicking. From what I understand, Belcher employs a head chef; and while the food was a disappointment, my hat is off to Ms. Belcher. More after the jump!
As reported via a variety of media outlets, famed French Chef Gaston Lenôtre passed away on January 8, 2009. Chances are that if you’ve eaten sweets or if you’ve eaten at a French restaurant, then you have seen his influence.
Lenôtre revitalised the pâtisserie, a French bakery known for sweets, and established a world renowned brand. His empire, which bore his name, stretched all over the world. They were so popular that his boutiques can be found in twelve countries!
Some very good articles have been penned since his passing. Spend some time and read up on him!