Dining Out: Marcel
These days you can barely think about dining out in Atlanta without considering one of Ford Fry's restaurants. Whether you're looking for Italian, Seafood, or American fare, Mr. Fry has created fantastic choices for our city. This weekend is the opening of his latest spot, Marcel, which is located in the Westside Provisions District near JCT Kitchen and Star Provisions (the former Abattoir spot.)My friend Tara was kind enough to include me in the Friends & Family preview, so the meal felt like a real treat! I can't wait to return for a date night because this is most definitely a date night kind of spot.
If you ever went to Abattoir, the first thing you notice is how the interior is drastically different. Rather than a stark brick & mortar environment, the entire room has a 1930's feel with lush, dark wood and a steak house kind of feel. Love the design in the bar in particular (not pictured).We jumped into the menu by sharing a crazy delicious appetizer: broiled Humboldt Fog goat cheese with roasted tomato "gravy" and toasted bread. We practically licked the pan clean. (It was hot, or we would have!) I'd definitely order this again, but I'm still thinking about the Blue Crab Brioche which was my second choice!Next up was the Caesar Salad which was flat out legit. Of course it helps when you're seated by the salad station and you see the dish coming together: the whipped egg, the pressed garlic, the freshly squeezed lemon, and the heaps of cheese. The balance of flavors was perfection itself.
However, it was the croutons which really stole the show. I think they were soaked in EVOO then toasted until they made the taster's eyeballs roll into the back of their head.
Spoiler alert: I liked my entire meal, but the salad was my favorite. It was the best Caesar I've had in Atlanta, dethroning my previous obsession with Haven's grilled version... unless you hate garlic, order this dish!
Note: this salad usually has pulled chicken in it, but we skipped the protein this time.Next up were the entrées. I selected the Soft Crab Omelet with shaved mushrooms, chives, and watercress. I can ONLY imagine the amount of butter used in this dish. It would have made Julia Child weep.
Eating a dish like this reminds me that though I love to cook, my skills are SO average compared to what you get in fine restaurants.
My friend Tara had the Fish of the Day, the halibut, which is simply prepared with grilled lemon and thyme. When a dish has so few ingredients, what stands out is the quality of the fish and this piece was most excellent.My other friend Susanne had the Chicken Parmesan Sandwich which is a HUGE portion. She cut it into pieces to share and we barely ate half. The bread was crusty and delightful and the sandwich had a nice burst of basil in the middle. I had flashbacks to the "French Dip" from King & Duke.
Tasty, for sure, but too much food for me!!We were stuffed. However, we had to sample the dessert menu so decided to split the Ice Cream Sundae. You know, something light.The taste was as good as the picture.
Excited to have Marcel in Atlanta. I think you'll be happy too!