I’ll be honest — French food has never been my first pick. I’ve always been a bit intimidated by French cuisine and always thought the dishes would just be too heavy for my liking. However, this is not exaggeration when I say that that antiquated — and frankly dumb — thinking went out the window after spending an evening at F&B.
After my recent dinner there, it’s probably one of my top 10 favorite restaurants in Atlanta. If it was socially acceptable to lick one’s plate in public, my husband and I would have been scraping those suckers clean after every course. Don’t ignore the hyperbole because F&B is that good.
Chef Gabriel Capo’s new styled menu offers gourmet dishes that pay homage to the French bistro experience, while weaving in Mediterranean and regional fare. New takes on old classics create a dining atmosphere that introduces the wonderful flavor profiles of this region in Europe.
Speaking about atmosphere, part of the pleasure of dining at F&B is the richly designed dining room. Located on Peachtree Road in the heart of Buckhead and next to The Ritz-Carlton Residences, F&B takes advantage of its prime location by creating a charming ambiance. Guests enter the restaurant to the right of the wonderfully stocked bar (take a look at that ceiling!). The bar staff whips up creative house cocktails, so take advantage of their talent. I ordered the Flying Legends & Hidden Mayhem — a mouthful to say and a delicious mouthful to drink! The blend of champagne, St. Germain and grapefruit bitters is the perfect complement for their cuisine and, for $12, it comes in a really cute glass, as well.
The main dining room offers an intimate setting, with the circular build out, low lighting and warm hues. Diners immediately will be drawn to the massive chandelier hanging in the center of this room, which provides the perfect vibe of dining at a romantic spot somewhere in Europe. The lighting scheme is a great contrast to the tables, which feature crisp, white linens and simple setups — a neutral backdrop to highlight the star of the show: the food.
And on that note, let’s get to the food!
I brought the hubs to the dinner because 1) I don’t eat a lot of meat and wanted his carnivorous opinions, 2) A French bistro like F&B just screams “romance” and 3) A date night away from the kids is always a win. We started the meal with the tuna crudo, $10, a beautiful and delicate starter that features skillfully sliced tuna gently covered in chives, basil oil, shallots and fried capers (which are one of my favorite ingredients ever). The gorgeous pink fish and the bright green oil created a plate-able piece of art on our table.
Next up, soup. Personally, I don’t think you can have an authentic French dining experience and not order onion soup. F&B’s version is a bit creamier, filled with croutons and quality gruyere cheese, all poured into a gracefully deep bowl. In addition to the creamy onion soup, $7, we also ordered the white bean soup, $8, recommended to us by our insightful server. This soup came in the same gorgeous, deep bowl and somehow was able to be hearty and light at the same time. I love any truffle-related item, so the golden croutons and white truffle oil just capped off this soup as a win (and did I mention the crispy bacon on top?).
Though our stomachs were already starting to fill up from these delicious appetizers and bread … hold on, let me address the bread. You may think bread is a waste of calories and not worth your time and at many restaurants, I’d agree with that statement. But F&B’s warm, airy bread, which magically arrives at your table from one of the bread fairies (aka servers), is worth going off Atkins for a night. OK, back to the meal …
Again, we followed our server’s recommendations and ordered our main dishes based on his input. Can I just say how helpful he was and kept our own likes and dislikes in mind when referencing the menu of what he thought we would most enjoy?! I chose Skate Meunière Amandine, $24, featuring a delicate piece of skate covered with almonds, capers (see favorite ingredient above) and a brown butter sauce, sitting upon warm Swiss chard and fantastic pommes puree. My husband ordered a French traditional dish — Beef Bourguinon, $25, like a beef stew with a French twist. The huge portion of tender meat, carrots and leeks sat upon a mountain of truffle mash potatoes.
I will be honest and perhaps embarrass my husband a bit by saying that I have never seen him freak out so much over a plate of food. Saying that he loved the Beef Bourguinon is an understatement — if he could marry a plate of food, I think he would have reached over, stolen my wedding ring and proposed to that tender beef.
At this point, we threw in the towel — there literally was no room in our stomachs. But then we heard the word “dessert” — and you just can’t visit a delicious French bistro like F&B and NOT order dessert. We ignored the happy pangs of fullness and chose the warm granny smith apple tart, $7. Except this was no ordinary tart; this baby was drizzled with sweet caramel sauce and covered in bourbon pecan gelato.
F&B has, for sure, moved up my list of favorite upscale, romantic restaurants to visit in Atlanta. Besides the fantastic food (which I cannot emphasize enough), I was most impressed by the wonderfully helpful staff and the amazing service. Order a cocktail, try a dish you’ve never had before and be ready to be pampered at F&B. Bon appetite!
F&B is located at 3060 Peachtree Road N.E., Atlanta, GA 30326. Make a reservation and learn more about the restaurant by calling (404) 254-1797 or visit fandbatl.net.
Want to know where else we love to chow down in Atlanta? Take a look at some of our favorite local restaurants by clicking here.