October 13, 2009 at 4:52 pm , by Serina Patrick
Hot off the presses from Molly at Mary Reynolds:
Atlanta Restaurant Veterans to Open Whimsical French-Influenced Bistro Amuse! in Midtown
Arnaud Michel and Andy Alibaksh’s latest restaurant to open October 19, 2009
ATLANTA (October 13, 2009) – Serving a menu of French-influenced cuisine, Amuse! will open Monday, October 19, 2009 in the ground floor of the Belvedere building in Midtown Atlanta. Atlanta restaurant veterans Arnaud Michel of Anis and Andy Alibaksh of the Café Diem family, which includes Après Diem, Carpe Diem, Carroll St. Café and Village Pizza, join together to treat Atlantans to a whimsically international dining experience for lunch, dinner and weekend brunch. Established Atlanta Chef Lenny Robinson will lead the kitchen in creating dishes that showcase his global culinary background.
“At Amuse!, we want guests to enjoy an approachable menu, from small plates to salads to entrées, in a welcoming and modern bohemian atmosphere,” said Michel. “We are confident and excited that bustling Midtown will embrace our new concept that offers a comfortable dining destination with international flair.”
With a Japanese family background and a devotion to international flavors, Executive Chef Lenny Robinson helms the kitchen at Amuse! Prior to opening Amuse, Robinson served as executive chef at The Tasting Room Restaurant and Wine Bar in Sandy Springs, Ga., executive chef and owner of Downtown Atlanta’s Les Fleur De Lis Café and executive chef of Buckhead neighborhood gem Anis Café and Bistro. While at Anis, Robinson worked with Owner Arnaud Michel, with whom he has reunited at Amuse! During his tenure in Atlanta, Robinson and his restaurants have been recognized in Bon Appetit and AirTran’s GO Magazine. He received the American Culinary Foundation’s Certified Working Chef distinction in 1987 after attending the Denver Institute of Art where he earned an associate’s degree in culinary arts. His unique culinary style of blending various cultural influences is a result of his international background. He grew up learning Asian style cooking with his Japanese mother and also spent time with his family living in Spain and studying Spanish culture and food.
Lunch, dinner and weekend brunch at Amuse! will feature a variety of approachable yet unique dishes that entice both the palate and imagination, embrace the freshest flavors of the season and reflect Chef Robinson’s culinary experiences. Using the highest-quality ingredients, many of which come from Georgia’s own local meat, dairy and produce farmers, Robinson invites diners to savor the eclectic tastes in his dishes, all of which are made in-house including pasta and ice cream. Asian inflections are seen in his preparation of Crispy Ginger Squid with lime, shisho and chile aioli and Orange Glazed Pork with apple slaw and cherry mostarda on ciabatta, while the essence of the Mediterranean is seen in Ricotta and Lemon Gnocchi with smoked tomato, basil and pecorino and Crispy Spanish Mackerel with chickpeas, mint, sultanas and eau de tomate. Extending a unique Southern welcome, Robinson’s twists on classic staples include “Mac and Cheese” of gemelli pasta, three cheeses, local bacon and truffle, Organic Chicken and Dumplings and Pan Fried Carolina Bass with crispy potato, arugula and lemon roe aioli. With a changing soup and risotto of the day, diners can experience the flavorful whims of Robinson’s culinary creations.
Fostering community at the table, Robinson’s selections of sides, including Pickled Brussels Sprouts, Roasted Cauliflower with almond milk and garlic and Braised Greens are served to be shared. For a relaxing weekend brunch, diners will savor Catalan Baked Eggs with Spanish chorizo, spicy greens and potato, Sweet Georgia Shrimp and Grits, Local Fried Chicken with English cheddar waffle and apple butter and Duck Liver Mousse with orange oil and marjoram jam. Guests looking to end their meal on a sweet note can indulge in desserts such as Chocolate Ganache Torte with espresso mousse and sour cherry gelato, Meyer Lemon Tart with lavender sorbet and candied flowers and Saffron Crème Caramel with wood roasted pears and licorice syrup. Complementing the menu’s fresh and innovative flavors, Mixologist Ralph Drake creates handcrafted cocktails to please any palate.
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