Wednesday, October 26, 2011

BATON Supper Series at Gato Bizco Delivers Thanks to M. Wells

Gato Bizco
Gato Bizco Atlanta, GA, a photo by atl10trader on Flickr.

Gato Bizco is that feline themed restaurant across from the Flying Biscuit in Candler Park, Atlanta, GA that hosted this month's special guests: Hugue Dufour and Sarah Obraitis, the folks behind the recently closed, but widely praised Québeco-American diner M. Wells in Queens, NY  

On the Line at Gato Bizco
On the Line at Gato Bizco, a photo by atl10trader on Flickr.

It's such a tiny space - it makes a subway car seem spacious.  The mis en place is done in the back but the line, where the grill and 'à la minute' cooking is done, runs the length of the restaurant on one side followed by a row of stools, a slim path through, and a row of booths.   It reminded me of the food late night chefs and service types would be eating after work.  In fact Eli Kirshtein of Top Chef fame dined in a booth in the back. 

M. Wells Guest Chefs Menu
M. Wells Guest Chefs Menu, a photo by atl10trader on Flickr.

The three of us in my party rotated around 2 stools and passed wine glasses, dishes, aromas, to the sounds of Elvis Costello music.  I enjoyed the bonhomie on full display and sharing personal space with our server (in for the occasion from NY) and/or the couple next to us. On a busy Tuesday night Atlantans who dropped in and/or read about the previous night's success via Blissful Glutton/EatItAtlanta blogs, tasted the menu and agreed this was unique to Atlanta.  Imaginative, casual, technical, delicious, knockout dishes.  My favorite was a fois gras bread pudding.  It. Was. Incrediblely Good.  Below is the Beef Heart Tartare.

Beef Heart Tartare
Beef Heart Tartare, a photo by atl10trader on Flickr.

The best description I can think of was an Atlanta restaurant mashup of Abattoir meets Nicolai's Roof who then go on a crazy bender and 3-way with Woodfire Grill and then decide to eat late night at the Righteous Room.  

Did I mention I ordered to-go half of a banana cream pie?  It had to be done.  Who eats banana cream pie? These questions don't belong in a place like this.  It's made and offered, you try it.  Only I went all in - for delayed gratification because I was filled to the gills. There's no way I could eat like that every night, but armed with a great Cote du Rhone, it was one night in a tight little corner of heaven.

UPDATE:  Read the interesting debate sparked from this event about foodie elitism, or an embrace of anti-elitism nonconformity.

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