Spoonfed (Atlanta)

Mark Petko photographs Atlanta's culinary scene.

Archive for the ‘Anis Cafe Bistro’ tag

Amuse Restaurant | Midtown | Atlanta

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Les Fromages- Chef's Daily Cheese Selection

Amuse! Restaurant

560 Dutch Valley Rd.

Atlanta, GA

404.888.1890

www.amuseatlanta.com (link)

As the afternoon warmed on a cloud sparse day, I exited my car and began unloading equipment from the trunk in preparation to begin yet another mid-week Spoonfed shoot.  As I stacked some gear upon my multi-cart I noticed a convertible Alpha Romeo, top down, cornering into the lot and backing into an empty space.  Blue-sky filled days like this seem as though they were created on purpose for the enjoyment of such a machine.  I quickly recognized the driver as Arnaud Michel, part owner of Amuse! Restaurant.  I had met Arnaud a few weeks ago while shooting at another of his creations, Anis Cafe and Bistro.  He stepped from his car and greeted me with a handshake, hair wind blown and smiling as if he had just come off a ride at an amusement park, his voice toned with enjoyment, probably from the ride over.  He proceeded to lead me into Amuse! and took me on an impromptu tour of the space he had helped in designing.  He points out the details that help to elicit the whimsical, Bohemian feel of this casual French Bistro, such as the custom bar tables, made with industrial metal framing and others with wood tops fastened with railroad ties.  The walls are lined with various artwork and random brick-a-brac like bicycle wheels and vintage belts alongside an assortment of styled-seating, allowing the space a relaxed aura.  The dining room has other similar nuances like custom light fixtures and various chalk boards to show certain specials, easily read by all.  We discuss how to proceed with the shoot as he leads me to the kitchen to meet Chef de Cuisine, Noelle Thomas, who will be preparing the day’s subjects of photography.  She smiled brightly and asked me about the food that we were about to shoot…I think…It was all in French and I’m sure the typical ‘blank American stare’ and verbal ‘uhhhhhhh’ she received was enough indication to my ignorance.  Arnaud politely took the lead and translated some details.  Hearing them talk back and forth helps me to build anticipation for an upcoming trip to Paris that my wife and I have planned.  I mention the trip to them, maybe to diminish my American Ignorance Guilt, maybe in hopes that one of them has a Parisian apartment they are willing to offer on the cheap, or maybe just to bridge a gap and quell the usual nerves of meeting new people.  Once I am at ease, Noelle proceeds to provide me with dish after dish, showcasing Amuse’s French cuisine and continuing with the excitement building for my upcoming journey.

Amuse! Restaurant is a joint venture by Arnaud Michel (Anis Bistro) and Andy Alibaksh (Apres Diem, Carpe Diem, Carroll Street Cafe and Village Pizza) serving a French-inspired menu.  Open Tuesday-Sunday and serving brunch on the weekends.

See their website for further details or to make reservations.

All content ©Mark Petko Photography (click here for permission)

House Made Pâté

Steamed PEI Mussels Poulette-White Wine, Shallots, Parsley, Garlic, Cream

Goat Cheese on Bed of Tomatoes w/Basil, Arugula, Pesto Dressing and Saba Sauce

All content ©Mark Petko Photography (click here for permission)

Seafood Ravioli-House Made filled w/ Lobster, Scallops & Shrimp in Lobster Sauce

Cassoulet (Thursday Special)

All content ©Mark Petko Photography (click here for permission)

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Anis Cafe and Bistro | Buckhead

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Carpaccio de Poulpes-thinly sliced octopus, avocado, lime, extra virgin olive oil, baby herbs

Anis Cafe & Bistro

2974 Grandview Ave.

Atlanta, GA 30305

404.233.9889

www.anisbistro.com (link)

Truite Meuniere-pan roasted trout, wilted greens, marinated artichokes, capers, lemon browned butter

With my guard down, I’ll have to admit to liking some reality TV.  I am fairly closeted about liking such blatant swill but in true interstate wreck form, I can’t help sometimes to peer upon these spectacles and find myself engaged, if only in small doses.  Although, for the life of me I cannot bring myself to quell my gag reflex when seeing any of Bravo’s ‘Housewives’ series.  Especially the ‘Atlanta Housewives’.  I find it enraging.  Maybe it’s due to the ‘too close to home’ nature but them crazies seem a waste of godsbreath (I don’t think this is a real word, but I’m using it…intentionally with a lower case “g”, screw Webster’s, the meaning is in the context).  I am shamed that this is the slice of life in Atlanta that gets airtime in front of the rest of the world.  Wherein I feel apologies are necessary when out of town acquaintances comment on the show and inquire if Atlanta is truly like that.  I think it safe to assume (which Grandma told me never to do) that any of the ‘Housewives’ shows are far from true representations of any of the cities represented and the obvious low-brow antics to cast such society in broadcast light is pandering to today’s America.  These ladies, to me, seem to symbolize everything I think of when I generalize that which is ‘Buckhead’.  I haven’t even watched the show enough to know if the cast frequents the ‘Buckhead’ area and I realize I’m showing my ignorance card but my mind immediately draws a correlation between what is seen and how I feel about the area.  I’ve been in Atlanta for a considerably short amount of time, approximately 8 years, and there may have been a time, before mine, when “Buckhead” wasn’t what “Buckhead” is (or what I consider it to be), and if that is the case I am sad for not knowing it’s former glorious self.  I can’t help myself for cringing slightly when hearing ‘Buckhead’ and I realize I could be alone in this thought process.  Atlanta has a seedy underbelly, dotted with McMansions, plastic surgery, designer t-shirst and superficiality.  The Housewives and Buckhead, to me, are the town criers for this ideal…(or maybe I’m just grumpy this morning).

Now putting my small thought and obvious ignorance aside, and before receiving multiple comments,  I’m sure there remain some redeeming qualities that ‘Buckhead’ has to offer and since starting this blog I have come to know some of them.  There are still plenty of shops and restaurants, galleries and local spots to be had in the area that replenish the ick-factor to a suitable level and my recent visit to Anis Cafe & Bistro is an example of one of these spots. Located in the backwoods of Buckhead, Anis Cafe & Bistro sits as a renovated bungalow that soft pedals itself compared to the usual glitz found on the nearby streets and avenues.  A much discussed and loved covered patio with hand painted tables sits in front and awaits those possibly wanting to be temporarily removed from the South and transported to Southeastern France.  Up a few stairs from the patio opens a pair of doors (French no less), into the indoor dining room with softer, neutral tones that carries a less aloof attitude than the patio but still has enough decor to exude a kitschy, quaint, elegance.  The small adjoining bar seals the homey feel with enough room for a few tables, where it seems easy to be within earshot of those speaking French, lending some authentic allure to Anis.  For the past 16 years Anis Cafe & Bistro has been providing a menu “deeply rooted in the ingredients and aromas that give dishes from the french Mediterranean region their unique flavors” (from their website)  with the kitchen currently being lead by Chef Jeff Gomez.  They are currently serving a Sunday Brunch from 11:30-2:30 and invite you to join their Facebook page to keep you informed of other specials and happenings.

All content © Mark Petko Photography (click here for permission)

Butternut Squash Soup-garnished w/Coles Lake Dairy Chevre and radicchio

Moules Marinieres-mussels, white wine, garlic, parsley, cream

Shrimp a l'Anis- Gulf shrimp w/rice, asparagus, escarole, tomatoes and Pastis shallot vinaigrette

All content © Mark Petko Photography (click here for permission)

Coquilles St. Jacques-roasted Maine scallops, sweet corn, Vidalia onions and truffle honey

Nutella Crepes- buttery crepes filled with bananas, Nutella and toasted almonds

All content © Mark Petko Photography (click here for permission)

We’ve Moved!  Check out the updated website with new coverage of food photography in your city at The Spoon Feeds.com



Anis Cafe & Bistro on Urbanspoon

Written by Mark Petko

October 27th, 2010 at 1:02 pm