Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Restaurant Review: F&B Atlanta

Way back in the day, Brasserie le Coze at Lenox was the perfect spot for ladies who lunch or a business dinner. After it shuttered, Fab downtown carried on in similar fashion but never quite found it's footing due to its less than desirable location. Now Fabrice Vergez and Cindy Brown are back in their old hood with another incarnation of French bistro. F&B is on the ground level of the Ritz Carlton residences just down the road from Phipps. 

Gone is the classic brasserie feel, replaced with a more rustic setting, complete with wooden beams and a somewhat oddly dressed waitstaff who resembled French farmers. It's all a bit Epcot, but it certainly stands out from other nearby brasseries like Bistro Niko. You may remember that Fab chef Stephen Sharp won Adventurous Tastes' hottest chef contest years back. Well color me amused to find that F&B's chef, Chris McCord is also a stone cold hottie. Go figure, Fabrice and Cindy have a good eye for talent.

The menu is similar if streamlined version of their previous offerings. You'll still find classics like streak frites, escargot and white bean soup. A charcuterie plate combined duck pate, duck mousse, duck sausage,
house pickles and port pear mustard. In our pork mad town, it's a nice change of pace to find a duck-centric offering!

In my experience, the Buckhead crowd isn't looking to be quite as adventurous as edgier communities like Edgewood and Glenwood. So a lovely golden and ruby red beet salad and sweet fat mussels prepared in a traditional fashion with garlic, shallots and white wine broth may not surprise you, but they taste pretty darn good.

Cooked fish isn't my bag, but Buckhead Betties will rejoice that the menu has plenty of healthy and well prepared seafood dishes on offer like Artic Char with farro, asparagus salad, pine nuts, mint  and grapefruit bĂ©arnaise and Rose Snapper with fish fume, bok choy, beech mushroom and daikon. The snapper in particular had a pleasingly crisp skin.

Forget eating healthy when dishes like duck confit and steak are both on offer and served with frites. Much more my style The duck was wonderfully crisp and fatty and the steak perfectly medium rare. No French bistro worth its salt would have bad fries, and thankfully F&B does frites right with the perfect amount of crispiness, salt and herbs.

Chocolate souflee cake is nothing new, but when is it not wonderful? The brandied cherries were a great addition to the bistro standby. Sometimes you just want a classic bistro meal and dishes you know and love. F&B has no shortage of such options. Based on the scene I saw there on a weeknight, there are plenty of Buckhead locals and people pouring in from the nearby office highrises looking for just that.

3630 Peachtree Rd NE  
Atlanta, GA 30326
(404) 254-1797

F & B Atlanta on Urbanspoon

*Full disclosure: Although my food was comped, I always endeavor to offer my unbiased opinion of the experience!



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