Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Trois


Voodoo
 Share

Recommended Posts

Come on, Atlantans! As the biggest city and dining destination in the South, we should be dominating the Southeast forum with our threads!

Let's start with Trois. Opening today (I think), I'd like to see some feedback on what everyone thinks. The website just went live here. Looks cool. My reservations are in for next Monday.

With a big time chef in a big time location with big time restauranteur backing it, let's see if Trois lives up to the hype and can compete with the Seegers and Bacchanalias of the world.

Edited by Voodoo (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We'll be spending a weekend in Atlanta in January (to go to the Honda Battle of the Bands) - so I'm interested in seeing what's new.

But I'm not sure about a restaurant that categorizes "steak au poivre" as modern cuisine. Robyn

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was in Atlanta for the weekend and ended up at Trois on both Friday and Saturday evening.

There is one unique facet to Trois that, imo, should cause every reader of egullet in the area to immediately become a patron. More on that later.

First, the decor: ok. Felt like one of those generic lounges that have been popping up in every American city in the last five years. I like the floor though. What's up with the televisions in the "private rooms"? Completely incongruous. Still, though, it was chic enough in its own way. Certainly not actively disagreeable (other than the tv's).

Second, full disclosure -- I didn't eat here. I was in town for a Saturday wedding and had another dinner engagement on Friday night.

But, the menu looked boring and safe. Still, if the execution is right there is nothing wrong with a traditional bistro menu with the occasional "modern" flourish.

Now the important part. The cocktail menu. I was flabbergasted to pick it up and see the gin-gin mule, the Ramos Fizz etc.... Real drinks. Even a mention of Audrey Saunders!

I immediately ordered an Aviation. It came out perfectly made. Soon enough the apparent bar manager, Eric, came out to see who had ordered an Aviation. It turns out that he used to work at the Pegu Club and just came back to Atlanta and is attempting to turn Trois into a place where the bartenders actually know what they're doing.

This is a big deal. Give them business so that they'll keep doing it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is a big deal.  Give them business so that they'll keep doing it.

Will plan accordingly .. I think that Trois will do very well here in Atlanta and their menu had some very interesting items .... this city needs this type of place for the locals as well as visitors ...

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was in Atlanta for the weekend and ended up at Trois on both Friday and Saturday evening.

There is one unique facet to Trois that, imo, should cause every reader of egullet in the area to immediately become a patron.  More on that later.

First, the decor: ok.  Felt like one of those generic lounges that have been popping up in every American city in the last five years.  I like the floor though.  What's up with the televisions in the "private rooms"?  Completely incongruous.  Still, though, it was chic enough in its own way.  Certainly not actively disagreeable (other than the tv's).

Second, full disclosure -- I didn't eat here.  I was in town for a Saturday wedding and had another dinner engagement on Friday night. 

But, the menu looked boring and safe.  Still, if the execution is right there is nothing wrong with a traditional bistro menu with the occasional "modern" flourish.

Now the important part.  The cocktail menu.  I was flabbergasted to pick it up and see the gin-gin mule, the Ramos Fizz etc.... Real drinks.  Even a mention of Audrey Saunders!

I immediately ordered an Aviation.  It came out perfectly made.  Soon enough the apparent bar manager, Eric, came out to see who had ordered an Aviation.  It turns out that he used to work at the Pegu Club and just came back to Atlanta and is attempting to turn Trois into a place where the bartenders actually know what they're doing.

This is a big deal.  Give them business so that they'll keep doing it.

OK - a "generic lounge" with a "boring and safe menu" - and you didn't eat there. Can you give me any other reason to eat there :huh: ?

I go to Atlanta several times a year - and if I wanted what you describe - I'd stay home in Jacksonville.

We'll be there in January - 3 nights. Have one reservation at the Four Seasons - which has an excellent restaurant. This doesn't sound like a place worth trying. Think I'll keep looking. Robyn

Link to comment
Share on other sites

OK - a "generic lounge" with a "boring and safe menu" - and you didn't eat there. Can you give me any other reason to eat there  ?

I go to Atlanta several times a year - and if I wanted what you describe - I'd stay home in Jacksonville.

We'll be there in January - 3 nights. Have one reservation at the Four Seasons - which has an excellent restaurant. This doesn't sound like a place worth trying. Think I'll keep looking. Robyn

I can give you several reasons to eat there. First, it's the flagship restaurant for Bob Amick who has had several wildly popular restaurants pop up in Atlanta over the past few years. Knowing that this was his biggest project to date should be somewhat resassuring since his last two restaurants are well regarded.

Another reason to go there is that he went out and got a big time chef. Amick's previous restaurants had a reputation of putting style first and substance second, but that changed when One.Midtown.Kitchen brought Richard Blais aboard and transformed the restaurant from a trendy restaurant to a magnet for foodies. He then went out and got a chef who previously served as Executive Chef at Le Cirque in Las Vegas, where he garnered the restaurant a AAA 5 diamond rating. Before that he worked at La Masionette (Mobil 5 star) and Daniel, among others. His pedigree is not in question in the slightest. That he was chosen over Blais, whose skill was a known known ( :biggrin:) speaks to how well regarded Jeremy Lieb is.

Now for the bad news. I knew going in that most restaurants struggle early on in their lives, and this was no different. I am no food expert, so I'm not going to try to break down everything, but I will say that I was disappointed. The decor and atmosphere are very nice. Everything is very white and modern with some brightly colored accents and a giant bonzai looking tree. I liked it. It was certainly more modern than I and most Atlantans are used to. One flaw was apparent right away when the greeter walked us upstairs and all the way across the restaurant to get to the podium where the waiter took us to the table. That's not going to work. For one, it leaves the podium at the entrance unmanned for quite a bit of time. For two, we had to walk past several members of the wait staff as they were trying to rush out to the tables. They need to move the podium in the restaurant closer to the staircase to alleviate this problem.

The service was good, but nothing memorable. I am probably going to butcher the descriptions, but they started us off with an amuse bouche - some liver pate and toasted bread. I don't care for pate, so I didn't like it. They also brought out a couple of small flutes of champagne, which was pretty good. As far as food goes, I'll say that the main course selections are much plainer than I expected from a big time chef, but it's about execution not selection. That said, I think the execution was off. For apps, I ordered the soft potato gnocchi with poached quail eggs while my dining partner ordered the lump crab duo. I NEVER use salt, but I felt compelled to with my dish. It was either missing it entirely or something else was. It was plenty rich and savory, but it lacked much flavor. My friend commented that one of his two crab dishes also lacked "punch." The quality of the ingredients was great, but the taste was not there.

On to mains, we both ordered fish, which was probably not the best choice at a French restaurant. I got the sea bass with shellfish mousse and beef jus. My partner got the snapper with crisp potato shell. The sea bass was pretty good. The beef jus was tasty, but I can't say I was crazy about the mixing of fish with beef. It overwhelmed the taste of the fish, in my opinion. My dining mate complained that the potato shell made it difficult to cut the fish without separating the approriate amount of flesh away, indicating that they may have missed on the consistency they were looking for.

The dessert menu was interesting, and I liked my dessert but it was nothing spectacular. It's hard to mess up chocolate, I think.

I got an El Diablo off the cocktail menu. It was great, but I am even less knowledgeable about cocktails than I am about food.

All in all, I think Trois has a ways to go before sniffing the other top Atlanta restaurants it aspires to compete against. I don't think it was even close to as good as the tasting menu I had at One.Midtown.Kitchen, and it ended up being the same price. It was pretty good, but I expect better than pretty good for $50. There are many better places in town at that price point. I won't be going back until I start hearing more favorable reviews. I expect that day will come, though, as Lieb is a highly decorated chef. I suspect that most of what I experienced was just a restaurant going through some early growing pains.

If you are looking for good, new restaurants that you have not been to, you may want to try Restaurant Eugene. I haven't been yet (that will change next Friday) but it is supposed to be great.

Edited by Voodoo (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have no clue as to Mr. Lieb's culinary talents but I don't see anything especially impressive in his pedigree (of course, many great chefs have begun with similar backgrounds).

I assume that Les Cirque in Vegas is intended to be a facsimile of the NY original -- which although it can be quite good has never ever been about the food. He worked as a line cook at Daniel which speaks highly as to technical competence but says nothing about whether he can create a dish.

(my point isn't to disparage Mr. Lieb -- like I said, I've never (to my knowledge) eaten anything he's cooked or created -- I'm merely urging some skepticism as to the hyperbole of restaurant PR machines)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 10 months later...

Dinner at Trois last night was a mixed bag: some really great food, and a few surprising disappointments.

They're still handing out very acceptable champagne in adorable little flutes, along a with a small loaf of decent bread -- a medium-brown wheaty thing, which is served with (disappointment number 1) mirepoix blended with olive oil. Maybe this would work if it was warm, but it tasted pretty much as you can imagine: mostly like cold pureed carrots. Disappointment 1a: Trois serves as the bakery for all the Concentrics restaurants; you'd think they'd have an assortment of breads, and they'd be generous with it. The meal was well-timed by our server (Jason), so it wasn't one of those dinners where all you can do is sit around and critique the bread offering, and we didn't really notice (or mind) that the bread wasn't replenished. Still.

Disappointment 2 happened here as well, but we didn't find out until later. We didn't get the "gift from the kitchen" that other diners got: some sort of watermelon thing that we only saw from a distance. I don't know if this is something reserved for certain diners or what, and I don't know if I'm being churlish in my resentment, or the restaurant is being churlish in its parsimony. And of course, it could have just been a service lapse. All I'm sayin' is, if you go, get your watermelon thingie.

Dinner is presumed to be four courses, starting with coquillage (meaning, per my one year of college French, either "shellfish" or "whooping cough"). Having checked the menu out on line, I was looking forward to lobster knuckles -- the very best part of that crustacean -- but it was not to be; they weren't on the menu (which is printed daily) last night. They were offering a three-way cold shellfish app: shrimp, crab and oysters, and that's what we got (classic mussels and bouilliabaisse were also available). The shrimp were poached or steamed and almost perfectly cooked -- maybe 20 seconds overdone; the sauce wasn't anything special. The generous portion of crab -- several lumps about the size of lobster knuckles, come to think of it -- was bland. I'm not sure where this went wrong. Fresh crab with truffle butter -- what's to screw up? But it could have been chicken for all I could tell, and the sauce -- brownish with little flecks of something -- was buttery but otherwise indistinct. Disappointment 3.

Luckily, things started to turn around at this point. The oysters were terrific: Wellfleets (instead of the promised Kumamotos) with a dab of creme fraiche and a sprinkling of Tabico caviar. There was just enough acid in the creme to highlight the mild meat; the caviar lent a salty boost and and interesting texture. This was a really nice change from the usual cocktail sauce or mignonette (which more often than not hide the oyster's flavor). As for the substitution, I was happy. I think the best thing about Kumamotos is their very cool shell; give me Wellfleets, Beausoleils or Malpeques for flavor.

Did I mention the cocktail? A well-made, perhaps slightly oversweet French 75 to follow the champagne. It was an excellent accompaniment to the coquillage (come to think of it, it might be good at soothing whooping cough, too). At this point, we picked out a by-the-glass Rhone from the extensive wine list (pretty much a given at Concentrics restaurants): many offerings from a bunch of regions, grouped by a sensible and fair pricing structure. I'm not much of a wine guy, but the Concentrics wine programs seem like great models to me.

We were informed (several times, in fact) that Trois is known for its foie. If it's not, it should be. This was one of the best foie dishes I've ever eaten, and I eat it whenever I can. It's a generous portion -- a quarter to a third of a lobe -- seared and plated with local blueberries in a coriander gastrique. This bested the foie at Eugene (which, overall, is a better restaurant).

For the mains, Trois offers two sets of choices: "Classique" and "Modern." I don't know what they're trying to pull here. The Classique menu includes such great French traditions as sous-vide duck and confit "brick," not to mention perch. Perch? The Modern side of the menu lists recent inventions like suckling pig, beef tenderloin and pan-roasted trout. The only logic that seems to apply is pricing: the classics are all $18; the moderns are priced from $23 (the pig, which is actually pork belly) to $33 (the tenderloin, which is actually, tenderloin, I guess).

We opted for the pig: a generous portion of belly is marinated for an extended period of time with a whole bunch of stuff: dark soy, garlic, molasses, coriander are the ones I remember. Then it's bagged and cooked sous vide, and set aside until it's fired. At that point, it's flash-fried, sauced (a version of the marinade, I think) plated with baby vegetables and run under the broiler for a last-minute crisping. It's terrific -- crispy to the point of brittleness on the outside; tender, moist and porky-rich inside, with subtle Asian notes that survive the overall robustness and rusticity of the dish.

We also got the oxtails, which might be more accurately described as Giant Scallops with Oxtail Sauce: two perfectly roasted scallops the size of tennis balls (well, almost) in a pool of shredded beef, butternut squash and carrots. Yeah, it sounds a bit odd, but it worked. I'm not that familiar with Chinese food, but I seem to recall the beef and scallops combination on a menu or two. In any case, only the pairing is similar here: it's a country French preparation through and through.

For dessert, we tried the banana tatin and the Fuji apple sorbet. The former is a saucer-sized cake of banana and a few other things, with a quenelle of white chocolate ice crean. The banana was horribly underripe, and the cake was subsequently disappointing. The ice cream, however, was great, with a pleasing but not overpowering chocolate flavor underpinned by a good pinch of salt. The effect was that of a variation on the famous salted-caramel ice cream of Normandy. Despite us having lapped up the ice cream, when we told the waiter that the cake wasn't very good, it was taken off the check without another word. The apple was more successful. Again, the ice cream was the standout, but the accompaniments: a small moist ginger cake, a smear of mascarpone and a little heap of caramelized apples were pleasing alone or in combinations. Only a cube of apple jello seemed out of place and, well, kind of silly.

Really good coffee. The menu says it's Illy; all I can say is it's the best Illy coffee I've had.

Dinner for two, one cocktail and two glasses of wine each: $186 before tip.

The decor and atmosphere are very nice.  Everything is very white and modern with some brightly colored accents and a giant bonzai looking tree.  I liked it.  It was certainly more modern than I and most Atlantans are used to.  One flaw was apparent right away when the greeter walked us upstairs and all the way across the restaurant to get to the podium where the waiter took us to the table.  That's not going to work.  For one, it leaves the podium at the entrance unmanned for quite a bit of time.  For two, we had to walk past several members of the wait staff as they were trying to rush out to the tables.  They need to move the podium in the restaurant closer to the staircase to alleviate this problem.

They seem to have changed this a bit, but it's still an awkward arrangement. First, you have to yell at the hostess over the noise from the bar, which is right behind the hostess stand. If you have an unusual last name, this involves some irritating back-and-forth. After a moment we were told to wait at the couch, which is on the other side of the entrance, for the upstairs hostess to retrieve us. Then we were asked to go ahead and climb the stairs and meet the hostess at the top. We ran across her halfway up (it's a two-story ascent). We went through the name thing again (why?), and were seated with a good view of the open kitchen, but not before crossing paths with a couple of runners going back and forth to the bar (yes, there's a separate bar for the dining room; there's also a separate kitchen for the main bar downstairs) and the pass.

The room is pleasant enough -- it's relentlessly modern -- and the seating is laid out well, though the whole place is quite noisy. Amick must want it that way; all the Concentrics places I've been to have had the same auditory profile.

All in all, I think Trois has a ways to go before sniffing the other top Atlanta restaurants it aspires to compete against.  I don't think it was even close to as good as the tasting menu I had at One.Midtown.Kitchen, and it ended up being the same price.  It was pretty good, but I expect better than pretty good for $50.  There are many better places in town at that price point.  I won't be going back until I start hearing more favorable reviews.  I expect that day will come, though, as Lieb is a highly decorated chef.  I suspect that most of what I experienced was just a restaurant going through some early growing pains.

While I agree that the tasting menu at One featured more interesting and, overall, tastier food, I'm not sure it's fair to compare a meal prepared in a kitchen that serves as many as 400 covers a night with a dinner prepared just for you. The proposition at Trois is French-influenced food in a modern atmosphere, and I think it succeeds, despite a few flaws. I also agree that there are appealing alternatives at this price point, Eugene being tops among them; likewise, if a good bar and a noisy room are among your criteria, Repast is an good choice. But what really prevents me from making a hearty recommendation for Trois is not its culinary execution, which is excellent for the most part, but its lack of a consistent personality. For me, the combination of classic and (for lack of a better term) neo-classic French menu, chilly room design and dull background roar is assertive in the wrong ways. It doesn't create a coherent atmosphere, it just makes me nervous.

A last note: it was great to see Chris Bischoff, Chef Lieb's number two, at the pass. Chris was at One with Blais, then moved over to Trois to help get it open. The kitchen crew seems adept and coordinated; I don't doubt that Chris is responsible for a good part of that.

Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...