Friday, June 3, 2011

Restaurant Review - La Fourchette Bistro and Lounge

For our anniversary dinner, Meg and I went to recently opened La Fourchette Bistro and Lounge. This is the brain child of former JOEL chef, Jeffrey Wall. Chef Wall took his French trained experience and combined it with some Italian, Spanish and Mediterranean flare. The menu is pretty eclectic and the wine list was very nice. It was created by well known Atlanta sommelier Perrine Prieur who also worked at JOEL. It is located in a non-descript building on Piedmont Rd just before the Peachtree St intersection. The atmosphere was relaxed and casual the d├ęcor was nice and modern. When we arrived, there were only a couple of other tables of guests but once we were leaving the place was relatively crowded. Our service was excellent! Melanie did a great job of explaining the dishes and helped steer us in the direction that would make us happy. Overall it was a good experience and it was not over priced or pretentious.

On to the important things, the food and wine! Since it was our anniversary, we first ordered a glass of champagne. It was Charles de Frere Blan de Blance from France. It was very nice and refreshing after coming in from the 90 plus degree heat outside. The champagne paired well with the steamed mussels we had as an appetizer. The mussels were nice and plump and were all opened properly. Moving on to our main course Meg went with one of their signature dishes, Grilled Loup de Mer. This light fish was served with leeks, crispy fingerlings, mussels and saffron emulsion. This was delicious! The fish was cooked perfectly and the dish was light yet very filling. The combination of the flavors and the delicate fish were in complete harmony. I had the Jumbo Lump Crab, the crab is severed in fresh pasta, zucchini confit, and preserved in lemon sauce. The lemon was slightly overpowering at first but soon blended in with the other flavors of the dish. There were huge chunks of crab and with each bite I fell deeper in love! We each had a class of Primarius Pinot Noir from Oregon. This wine paired nicely with both of our meals.

As we were close to finishing our meals Melanie noticed our wine classes were almost empty and asked if we would like another glass of the same thing. Since we are both adventurers and we were almost done with our meal, we asked her recommendation for going slightly heavier and something that would go well with dessert. She quickly brought out an Argentine Malbac and a California Zinfandel. (I didn’t write down the name of the wines, I know, that is a rookie move!) Both of our wines were yummy, a little warm, but yummy! She must have known what we were going to order for dessert because those wines paired beautifully with the Local Strawberries-Rhubarb Mille Feuiles. This was a beautiful dish with a small strawberry tower with rhubarb cream on crispy crackers with candied walnuts and a scoop of strawberry sorbet on the side. It was pretty interesting and very good!

Overall our experience was a good and I would recommend this place before it gets to big! The prices of the entrees are reasonable and the portions are more than ample. When we were there, it wasn’t very crowded and it was still pretty loud. I imagine that it would be very noisy on a night where they are packed. Another good sign that this restaurant is starting to make a mark in the Atlanta restaurant scene is when we were leaving, celebratory chef Kevin Rathbun was walking in the door. That should tell you something!

Cheers!

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