Thursday, September 9, 2010

Restaurant Preview: 5th Street Cafe

Not content with just one brand new restaurant, the team behind the recently opened Buckhead Bottle Bar, A.D. Allushi and Chef Ian Winslade and Atlanta Hawk Zaza Pachulia, has turned the Midtown's former Eno space into the 5th Street Cafe.

You may remember Pachulia was the former owner of Eno, too, but the new space has taken on a hipper and more laid back vibe. Gone is the underutilized wine store, and in its place is a bakery set up peddling various sweet treats. I was particularly struck by the painted design on the ceilings, a rarely used decor component. The new new design is courtesy of Patti Krohngold, who is apparently all the rage for her efforts at places like Tongue and Groove. The atmosphere is perfect for a stylish date night or girl's night out, perhaps before taking in a show at the Fox.

The menu is composed of classic bistro fare with a mix of lower priced items, like mussels ($14) or a croque madame ($11), and pricier entrees like $22 short ribs and $27 filet. With so many upscale Atlanta restaurants falling in that $20-$30 range, it's nice to have cheaper option. Their press materials indicated they hope to be a casual neighborhood hangout, so these lower priced items are particularly important if they want frequent repeat business.

Service and the food are still a work in progress. Our filet was overcooked, and at $27, that's a problem. But when informed, management was quick to offer a replacement. Garlic french fries didn't arrive until I was nearly done with my meal, but fortunately they were delicious and very hard to stop eating. With time, I suspect they'll work these problems out because the quality at Bottle Bar was consistently high when I visited, and they all seemed to be working very hard to please. The restaurant is still fairly new, so I don't want to judge them too harshly until they've had time to work out the kinks.

So although they didn't knock it out of the park this time, I am confident they will continue to improve, and I'll be back, testing out some of their less expensive options soon.

5th Street Cafe
800 Peachtree St
Atlanta, GA 30308



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