Anis Cafe and Bistro

October 31, 2012

Anis Cafe and Bistro atlantaDeep in the heart of Buckhead’s older residential neighborhoods is Anis Cafe and Bistro.  Earning a rave review from a close family friend and long time Atlanta resident, I knew we had to check it out.

Anis Cafe and Bistro opened in 1994 by Arnaud Michel a native Frenchman inspired by his family’s winery and olive fields in Montepellier, France.  The idea was to create a causal bistro where people could meet and enjoy light fare, coffee, and wine; due to overwhelming popularity, the restaurant quickly expanded offering a full brunch, lunch and dinner menu.  Anis stays true to its inspiration working with the most authentic ingredients: wine and cheese from the south of France, excellent produce, and seasonal seafood.

Anis Cafe and Bistro

image courtesy Atlanta Eater

The restaurant lives in a converted residential home to transport guests to Provence where the cobblestone streets are lined with shops and sidewalk cafes.  I have yet to visit Provence but judging from photographs, Anis accomplished their vision beautifully.

Anis Cafe and BistroMy mom, sister, and I decided to have Sunday brunch to enjoy a sampling of their plates.  I ordered for the table- Nutella Crepes, the Cured Salmon Croque Monsieur, and the Tartar de Tomato with a side of mixed berries, and applewood smoked bacon.  We started the meal with some fresh baked bread and butter, coffee, and mimosas.  The perfect start to a Sunday!

Anis Cafe and BistroAfter the bread course, our entrees arrived already split into threes (such a nice touch).  We ordered the perfect combination of savory and sweet.  The Croque Monsieur was so tasty! Smoked salmon, goat cheese, onion, and capers on toast; I loved the unique twist on this classic French sandwich.

Anis Cafe and Bistro

image courtesy Anis Cafe and Bistro

The tomato tartar was perfect as well: juicy tomatoes, bitter greens, creamy mozzarella, and a dash of balsamic vinegar to top it off!  The crepes were the star for me; bursting with chocolatey hazelnut goodness, and topped with powdered sugar, toasted almonds and sweet bananas. Si bon!

Anis Cafe and Bistro crepes

image courtesy spoonfedatlanta.com

I discovered crepes and nutella on my first trip to France at the age of 14….and I was changed for life :) or so it seemed.  My aunt Catherine suggested my cousin Sarah and I to take a break from my usual dessert order, glace cafe (coffee icecream) and glace cassis (berry), and try a crepe from a stand on the way home.  So we followed the smell of buttery batter and found a shop near our hotel on the Rue de St Germain.  Having no idea what to get, Catherine ordered for us…nutella and banana crepes.  The man behind the sizzling flat top handed us what looked like a giant folded golden napkin in parchment paper.  The smell was so unbelievable and that first bite of gooey nutella magic was just the first of many more.  And I digress…

The food and service were impeccable.  After finishing our brunch on the patio, we explored the rest of this adorable restaurant.  The main dining room is beautiful; exposed brick walls, tablecloths, bistro chairs, and fresh flowers.  The bar is tiny but quaint; reminiscent of a local spot nestled on a busy street in a French town.

Anis Cafe and Bistro

image courtesy of Anis Cafe and Bistro

I could see myself having a drink here in the future for sure….couldn’t you?

The waiting area outside the bar was full of personality as well. Scenes from a Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec painting scrolled on the restroom doors, a chandelier, leather bistro chairs, artwork, and a large chalkboard displaying event news brighten up an otherwise simple space.

Anis Cafe and Bistro

Anis Cafe and Bistro

image courtesy hunch.com

As we began to stroll out, my mom pointed out one more piece on the mantel in the waiting area…

Anis Cafe and BistroI couldn’t agree more Mr. Franklin.

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