Foie gras, frog legs, and escargot are commonly found on plates in Provence, a southeastern region of France. They’re also commonly found at La Petite Maison, an eatery that takes its cues from the region’s cuisine. Red velvet booths, candlelight, and an intimate patio contribute to the romantic ambiance.
Truly appreciating food means understanding where it comes from and how it arrived at the restaurant. As a boy growing up in Paris, Chef Remy Kerba learned to value the origin stories behind ingredients. Chef Kerba grew accustomed to joining his father—an impassioned gourmand himself—on trips throughout the city’s open-air markets and the vibrant countryside of Normandy of Provence. These childhood memories of meeting farmers and vintners from across France stuck with Chef Kerba and he developed a culinary style that combines a deep respect for tradition with a contemporary spirit of experimentation. This signature style flavors the menu at Le Giverny Bistro, which resides in the Emory Inn and tempts diners with updated, bistro-style French cuisine. Chef Kerba values the pedigrees of his ingredients above all else, and the kitchen seeks out seasonal produce and sustainably raised meats from local farmers and producers whenever possible. The dishes can include subtle New World influences, as in the case of the baked brie with local honey alongside its fresh mint and grilled flatbread. However, entrees such as the Southern-fried chicken breast with mashed potatoes and a lemon-caper butter sauce take an inverted approach and use Old-World flavors to elevate regional American classics. Wireframe models of the Eiffel Tower and the Cliffs of Dover are the only distinctive French accents in Le Giverny Bistro's dining room, which embraces a refined, yet welcoming, aesthetic. Crisp white linens adorn the tables, which are flanked by simple, straight-backed wooden chairs. Cinched drapes allow plenty of light to stream through the wall of windows, and a separate dining area warms guests beside the glow of a stone fireplace. To help contribute to the casual-and-romantic vibe, the bistro hosts live acoustic music on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday evenings.
Owner Arnaud Michel grew up in Montpellier, so it only makes sense that Anis Cafe & Bistro feels like one of that city’s casual restaurants. In terms of ambiance, a patio with flickering candles and a wide spread of imported French wines and cheeses do most of the legwork.
Tuesday through Thursday, Atmosphere Bistro gives dinner guests two options: $25 or $35. That is, if they’d like to try the prix fixe menu that Zagat ranks as one of Atlanta’s best. Both options include a starter, an entree such as trout or steak, and a dessert.
When the Danish film Babette’s Feast debuted in 1987, its focus on food and community deeply affected Marla Adams. She had been cooking at restaurants for years, but the film inspired her to open her own, where today she cooks filet mignon, roast duck, and other French classics.