Yes, those of us in the food industry media are spoiled…tasting dinners, complimentary cocktails, and invitations to special events. F & B owners Fabrice Vergez and Cindy Brown hosted an extravagant media dinner in celebration of their first year in their new space in Buckhead.
F & B serves approachable bistro fare with a French accent. LC joined me, both of us starting with a refreshing specialty cocktail made of watermelon juice and tequila, garnished with candied ginger. Our group of writers (like fellow blogger L of Adventurous Tastes), television (Carolyn O’Neil) and radio personalities (Belinda Skelton) congregated in the casual bar area as Fabrice himself brought out plate after plate for us to share.
Some of the standouts were the warm goat cheese crottin, a zingy spring pea hummus with pita, and the confit chicken wings that fell off the bone. LC and I tried a bit of everything…and I mean everything. Unbeknownst to us, we would be moving into the dining room for more, and more. I switched to champagne.
Considerably smaller than its former downtown incarnation as FAB, the intimate space is anchored by a long wood bar on one side with a curvy shelf of vintage plates suspended above the partition separating the dining areas on the other. Patio seating is available for a casual meal. Our group took two big tables with white tablecloths in the dining room, with a view into the kitchen provided by a freeform cutout in the wall.
A multitude of small plates to share arrived: a selection of charcuterie, glazed chicken liver salad, beets and goat cheese, a stuffed green tomato, steamed mussels, and escargot. I didn’t try the first three, but was excited about the last three. I had only tried snails once, drowned in black bean sauce in New York’s Chinatown. At F & B, the preparation was traditional with lots of garlic. I’m a bit squeamish but managed to eat one. A large green tomato stuffed with onion soubise, blue cheese, and pork belly was disappointing mainly because its stuffing became a soggy mush as soon as we cut into it. Mussels steamed in a broth of white wine, shallots and garlic were the best of the starters.
Moving on to entrees, each of us received a mini version of two fish dishes, rose snapper and artic char. Preparations were light with flavors like grapefruit, mint, and bok choy…not in my repetoire. The remaining three entrees were served to share. The passing of James Gandolfini from an untimely heart attack was announced at our table as we devoured multiple plates of rich duck confit, steak, and fries.
A rabbit leg was paired with an herbacious housemade rabbit sausage but its polenta accompaniment lacked flavor. Not surprisingly, my favorite plate was the duck, the gamey, oily meat falling of the bone.
A variety of sweets arrived for our table to share….white chocolate pot de creme, chocolate souffle’ cake, berry cobbler, and date cake with mascarpone semifreddo. At this point in the meal, each bite was a challenge, but my spoon managed to repeatedly find the mascarpone semifreddo and date cake.
Chef Chris McCord took a break from the kitchen to chat with us about the dishes he prepared…more of that special attention we love. Especially since he is hot, as noted by many of my cohorts. We are an observant bunch!
Another observation: it would be impossible to like every dish we were served, but the standouts stood out enough to warrant a return visit.
3630 Peachtree Road NE 404-254-1797