Saturday, November 08, 2008

Highlight #111: Birthday feasting (Part III) Came for the poutine and stayed for the rest - Restaurant: Bureau

Within a week of our very first date years back, husband and I went on a road trip to Montreal. That trip established the framework of our relationship, in which he, who loves racing, will do all the driving, and I will plan all the fooding. One of the things that we discovered together while fooding on that trip was poutine, a crazy French Canadian combination of fries, cheese curds, and meat gravy. Our very first one was from the famed Montreal pork emporium Au Pied De Cochon, where this humble dish was elevated to new heights with the addition of some incredible pan fried foie.

It has been years since we last had a bite of this stuff, so when I heard that the new gastropub Bureau on Edgewood Ave. had some, we wasted no time heading over for a taste during my birthday week. Before I get to the food, let me just say that we fell in love with the space as soon as we walked in. The red brick walls, the hardwood floors, the high ceilings, and the natural wood divisional structures on the lower level echoed those same elements in our own home, making us wanting to put our feet up.

On the food front, we, as planned, went for the poutine as a starter along with some deviled eggs and chicken liver bruschetta. Comparing the above photo to my earlier description of poutine, you will find that Bureau substituted melted cheese for the cheese curds and put their gravy on the side. I have no problem with cheese, but it's not poutine without cheese curds, which are much milder in my opinion and melt so very differently that they don't cause all the fries to stick together. Also, I prefer the gravy on the fries, the way that it's done in Montreal, where the heat of the gravy melts the cheese curds, which in turn coats the fries. I am certainly not saying that these fries are bad, they are not (how could cheese fries with gravy be?). It's just no poutine.

It wasn't a bad thing that we got the poutine out of the way early because the meal began to climb the ladder from that point on. The deviled eggs dish, which seems to be a requisite on all gastropub menus, was creamy, but not overly mayo heavy. It was a welcomed refresher after the heavy fries.

The chicken liver, which our friends didn't eat, was excellent. Confident in its minerality, no unnecessary additions were made to mask the irony mouth feel, which allowed the natural sweetness of the liver to shine through.

The real star of the night was the pumpkin ravioli. Within the very thin and tender skins were generous pockets of smooth pumpkin puree that was doubtlessly bond together with ample cream. Dusted with nutmeg, the subtle nuttiness of the spice picked up the subtle sweetness of the pumpkin. If I was asked to guess, I'd say that the pasta skins were made from wonton wrappers, a trick I sometimes use to throw together a quick and elegant dish that often surprises pasta eaters who are used to more chewy Italian dough products.

As there was a chill in the night air, J went for the braised short rib. While this was quite a small cut for its 20 plus price tag, it was actually the right size for a meal. Attractively presented and flavored all the way through, we enjoyed this immensely and craved some good wine to go with it. Unfortunately, this is more or less a beer place with a very short and uninspired list of wines. Few places can match the Brickstore in finding that balance between beer and wine.

Not all entrees were small, K's flatiron steak was much bigger and came with a separate side of roasted potatoes. The bite I was offered was tender and glazed with sticky sweet red onions.

With its proximity to our place, the relaxing decor, the beers on tap, and the quality of food, Bureau is sure to make our list of regular rotation. I'll save room that I'd otherwise spend on the poutine for their changing specials.

The Bureau
327 Edgewood Ave. SE
Atlanta, GA 30312


MilpitasGirl said...

so glad to have stumbled onto your site. do you ever go to yelp events? I hope you attend the holiday party would love to meet the mind behind the great food blogging!

Cathy said...


I am glad that you enjoyed the post. I am new to yelp and am not aware of any events for the holidays. How does one get invited to the holiday party?