Date Night finds a bit of Paris on Peachtree. Tonight, we celebrate our wedding anniversary with the parents, our solo offspring, and his adorable girlfriend.
Bistro Niko is owned by the Buckhead Life Group. Our previous visits to sister restaurants Pricci and Kyma did not disappoint and our expectations for tonight are high.
When you walk in from the parking area, the first thing you see is the kitchen.
The white tile is so Parisian. It’s a busy kitchen and fun to watch.
As we shall see, some good food is headed from this kitchen to our table. There is a large bar in the front of the restaurant.
The bar has a patio that overlooks Peachtree. You can pretend you are sitting on the Champs-Elysees in warmer weather. As it’s a blustery, cold night in Atlanta, we will have to wait for spring.
The dining room is spacious, but it is LOUD.
We get a 92 on the Date Night decibel meter, which is just a little quieter than standing 50 feet from a jackhammer. Between the active bar and the chatty diners, it’s hard to hear your dinner companions. There is a “quiet room” off of the main room for people who wish to dine with fewer decibels.
When in France, start with…Belgian beer? It’s no secret that French are not known for their beers. Sure, we should have had wine, but the beer menu is full of our favorite Belgians.
Extra points for the proper glasses. We don’t even have to tell you what beers we got. It’s right there on the glass. Hiding behind the beers are little gruyere biscuits. They are hot, full of cheese and are perfect with the fresh butter on the table.
The French love their caviar. So do we. You don’t find this on a lot of menus.
They make their own right here. Well, they don’t grow the fish, but they mix the roe themselves to keep the price at around $5 an ounce. This salty treat is served on little hunks of brioche croutons.
The mussels come highly recommended and the table shares an order. If you order these as your main course, they come with fries.
The mussels are huge and it’s a good thing we only get two each. We don’t want to be full by the time the main course comes out.
When we go out to eat with a party of six, we get more food shots. The women at the table order the coq au vin.
The chicken is incredibly tender. Put away your knife. It’s not needed. The vegetables are soft, but not overcooked. There must be a half a bottle of wine in there. This is a must-order if you go.
Julia Child would be proud of me as I get the boeuf bourguignon. I have made this a couple of times and know how much work it takes. Why not let Niko’s chefs do the work tonight?
This one is made with kobe beef, which makes it very tender. Like the chicken, it’s full of wine. I really enjoy this dish, especially when I drown the noodles in the wine sauce.
Before we have dessert, we should say how good the service is here, just as it is in the other Buckhead Life restaurants. Plates vanish when they should and new silverware appears by magic. Our water glasses never get close to empty. The staff does a nice job tonight.
How did they know it is our anniversary? “Bon anniversaire” to us!
We end the meal with profiteroles, the perfect dessert. The pastry is stuffed with custard and ice cream. It’s nice and light and a great way to finish a heavy meal.
Score factor (out of 5): We give Bistro Niko a 4, which is the highest we have awarded so far. French food oozes romance and if you bring a date here, it says you are serious. We would have gone higher if it wasn’t so loud. Sure, you can sit in the “quiet room”, but then you will miss all of the action in the main dining room.
The bottom line on Bistro Niko: It’s very French and, believe it or not, fairly affordable. The entrees are between $20-$25, and the portion size is larger than many places that charge much more. The service is highly professional, and the food is excellent. Bon appetit!