Facing Peachtree near Piedmont (tower place complex) is bistro Niko. One of a very few French eateries in the city. Quite a large space reminiscent of FAB it’s got the same high ceilings and lively crowd amid plenty of French fare. Some outdoor seating available (and if you want to hear your dining companions this may be a better option). Lively after work bar scene as well. If you’re into that sort of thing. I am not but hey, that’s just me. I know some of you need a stiff one after a 9-5 grind.
Friendly attentive staff (I never know if they are extra friendly because I am taking photos and notes but I appreciate it nonetheless) and plenty of staff. Just what I like to see. My water glass will never want for water and my wine will flow freely. Really does anyone like a server spread too thin? This is a service industry after all.
It’s restaurant week and we ordered from both menus. I have to say this regular menu at Niko reads like poetry for a foodie that is completely enamoured of French cuisine. All the greats are there and then some. This more than a bistro, it’s full on French food.
First up is some salmon croque monsieur. This is incredibly rich. Salmon rich, cheese rich and fried in butter rich. Plan to share it and have some high acid wine with it. Good stuff but a little goes a long way.
Coq au vin. Two juicy fat hind quarters of a chicken. Wow. This one left me a little speechless. I haven’t had a coq au vin quite this good. Dark, deeply flavored and tender as you want it. Impeccable presentation and a flavor that is far better than I expected. Full on 10 out of 10.
Beef bourguignon. Luscious (no other word for them) braised beef cheeks that came out steaming hot, full dense rich demi sauce that could be inhaled 2 feet away. I am not positive but I suspect the noodles are house made. Delicate and an ideal texture for the dish. The sauce perfectly portioned so sloppy or overly wet was never an issue. The cheeks literally melt in the mouth. More tender than a short rib and the flavor was another speechless inducing moment if not several of them during the duration of consumption. I absolutely would have ordered it again if I had room to eat more.
Baba au rum is ok. It’s very light but a bit bland. Delicious vanilla pastry cream in the center, tangy citrusy sauce (I was getting peach and kumquat but I can’t confirm) . I didn’t finish it. The crème brulee is excellent. Heavy cream base, good healthy vanilla flavor. That did get finished.
Nice wines, atmosphere, food and service. I am absolutely returning.