After being tantalized by the creative menu, I decided to pick Abattoir for my anniversary dinner this year. The inside was beautiful, with an industrial yet homey feel. The service was formal but friendly, and the atmosphere was not too crowded or loud (at least not on a Wednesday).
Much like its neighbor restaurant, JCT Kitchen, in the same building, Abattoir made me feel like I was dining at a friend’s home – but a very rich friend with a very large home (and an attentive waitstaff). The menu ranges from small plates to more substantial mini-meals if you will. Everything looked good, but once we found out that it was Midtown Restaurant Week, we decided to go with their special prix fixe menu to get the most bang for our buck.
The prix fixe menu consisted of the quinoa salad (quinoa, arugula, pecans, roasted squash, maple sherry), steak or trout, and tres leches for dessert. The salads were the most substantial thing on that list – very generously portioned, hearty and tasty. My only complaint was that I wish they put the arugula on the bottom instead of the top so it would have wilted just a little bit and soaked up some of the other flavors. Instead I kind of had to dig under it to get to the good stuff.
Both the steak and trout were perfectly good (I got the fish and my husband got the meat). The steak was grilled eye of rib with mushroom and parsnip puree, and the trout was served with fennel and what I believe was hominy (which I wasn’t a big fan of…). These main dishes were pretty small though and while they tasted good overall, they both lacked the ‘wow’ factor I was expecting from such a fancy (read: pricey) establishment.
By far the best thing on the prix fixe menu in my opinion was the tres leches with roasted citrus. It being my favorite dessert, I rarely meet a tres leches I don’t like, but this one was certainly remarkable – super moist and sweet.
Despite the small size of the entrees, this would have been plenty of food for both of us. However, we wanted to sample a bit more of the menu, so we also ordered the crab fritter and the house made pickles. The crab fritter, while tiny, packed a lot of flavor. That was probably the best thing we ate at Abattoir. Sadly, the pickles were underwhelming.
While Abattoir is a perfectly nice restaurant, for the money, I unfortunately would rather go elsewhere – such as JCT Kitchen, which is always outstanding. It was very nice, though, that the waitstaff brought us a free anniversary cupcake at the end of the meal – though my husband said that it was also underwhelming in flavor (I didn’t taste any of it having just housed the tres leches).
The Fresh Factor
As you may have noticed above, I have debuted my new “Fresh Factor” rating with this post. Basically, this is my totally subjective rating (on a scale of 1-10) of how awesome a place is – based primarily on atmosphere, flavor, service and creativity. If you’ve been reading my posts long enough, you know that I am always on the lookout for unique experiences and flavors!Tags: Abattoir, Atlanta Restaurants, JCT Kitchen