There is no shortage of great restaurants in our fine city which means the choices of beautiful spaces, to gather with your friends and enjoy an excellent meal, are almost endless. This past weekend, to celebrate a friend’s birthday, a small group of us headed to the Atelier d’Argentine, a recently opened Argentinian restaurant with some very special DNA.
A great atmosphere like l’Atelier draws the crowd in but it’s the good food keeps them coming back. One of the things that worked well in the past (when it was DNA) was the beautifully designed space that l’Atelier now occupies. The new owners who took over the space, wisely didn’t change very much about the look of the restaurant. Made up of two very distinctly different areas, there is a roomy lounge area to the left as you enter the restaurant, while to your right, there is a more densely packed seating area. At this time of the year I prefer to be seated on the left side of the restaurant. The atmosphere is warmer, it has fewer tables, a cozy fireplace and, of course, the bar is closer. This is the perfect place to lounge with a sniffer of Grand Marnier to watch people pass by as the snow falls while waiting for dinner. It should also be mentioned that there is a private dining room available that comfortably seats up to 12 people.
The food was very impressive. We started with empanadas, of which you get to try four different types. I’ve had homemade empanadas in the past, made by a friend from Argentina, which were amazing, and I have to say those served by l’Atelier were just as delicious. I could easily have just ordered 20 more and skipped the main course if I hadn’t been so curious to try more food. For the main course, I tried the milanesa de pollo with roasted cauliflower and a deliciously blended sauce. The chicken was tender and perfectly coated in a light breading.
The service was casual and even a little entertaining. As it was a Sunday night, and there were only a few busy tables, the waitress that served us had a little more time to chat and explain the menu. The wait staff seemed well informed and I noticed the sommelier passionately recommending wine to a neighboring table. As I’ve said before, when the staff are happy, it makes us feel more welcome. I’m curious to see more of what this restaurant has to offer.
I know that they have an interesting 5a7 where a selection of beer, wine and cocktails are only $5 so that’s something you might want to check out as well.
I know I’ll be headed back for more!