Located in Ansley Park, I’ve driven by the cottage that is home to Atmosphere French Restaurant dozens of times, but I’ve never stopped in for dinner. It’s been on “The List” since 2006, but rarely do I get a hankering for French food, so it hasn’t risen near the top. In a recent conversation with someone I work with in town, she mentioned that it was one of her favorite spots, and I kept that in my memory. Tonight, as I was heading towards Piedmont Park, I figured it was as good of a night as any to give it a try.
It was a beautiful evening, so I took a table on the terrace. The view isn’t much (just the traffic up and down Piedmont Avenue), but it was very pleasant. They have a $30 prix-fix Tuesday – Thursday night, so, after perusing the menu, I decided to go with the set menu and started off with terrine de lapin – a house-made rabbit terrine served with cornichons (the little pickles) and dijon mustard.
The terrine was chilled and very gamy. As terrines are the high-end equivalent of potted meat, sometimes you win and sometimes you don’t – I’d call tonight a draw. I ate about half of the terrine while completely devouring the hot roll that they brought out with it. The pace of the dinner was very slow, maybe it was because I was dining alone and I ate quickly, but it seemed to took quite a while before the entree arrived. When it did, the rabbit was followed by coq au vin – braised, red-wine marinated chicken served with papardelle pasta, sautéed mushrooms, bacon and glazed pearl onions
The chicken was definitely wine-soaked, completely masking any taste of chicken. At least it was very moist. I ate the papperdelle and chicken and waited, longer than I would have preferred., for my dessert. I was the only person sitting outside, and maybe that’s why the service was slow, but they did sit me there.
None of the dessert choices was particularly calling my name , although I was tempted by the vanilla ice cream topped with salted caramel, but I chose the brie instead.
The brie was perfectly fine – I ate as much cheese as I had toast to put it on and went on with my night. I can mark this one off the list without a need to return.