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I’ll be honest. I visited Bistro Niko during Buckhead Restaurant Week. So, this review is somewhat more of a first impression. Having had many mediocre meals lately, and many more where the chef had a heavy hand with the salt, I wondered if Bistro Niko, one the newest editions to the Buckhead Life Restaurant Group would live up to the reputation that the Group has always exuded.
I waited until just a couple days before said Restaurant week began to make my reservation at Bistro Niko, believing I could easily snag one in this sad economy. I was floored to see that Bistro Niko in Buckhead was full almost every night and I was lucky to get a reservation for 6:30 pm on Tuesday.
As we entered the restaurant from what seemed like the rear, we passed by the open kitchen. I watched as staff hussled to get dishes out of the kitchen and to the diners in the full and vibrant dining room. As the name would suggest, Bistro Niko is a French Restaurant and most of the menu is in French with English translation, a tactic I don’t much care for. Really – who is reading the French?
So, our server, Corey brought us the menu and told us about some specials which went right over my head as I was fixated on the restaurant week menu. When we asked him about Bistro Niko’s special menu, I braced for the friendly smile on his face to disappear as he learned we were only there for the Prix Fixe menu, but it never did. He graciously pointed to a small square space on the bottom of the menu where Bistro Niko’s Prix Fixe menu is. Turns out, you can always get a 3 course meal here, it will just cost you about 5 bucks more than during restaurant week.
I was a little disappointed that the menu was somewhat different than the one posted online. There were no piquillo peppers stuffed with cod and potatoes, or Veal Osso Bucco, or Coq Au Vin, to be had. But all was not lost. One of the managers even came over to explain to us that they change out the 3-course menu quite frequently. Very nice touch.
So, we ordered the rabbit ravioli and smoked salmon sammies. Yeah, that’s not their official name, but you get the idea. Both were excellent choices, each with its own distinct flavor. And at around $10- $11 per appetizer, a superb deal. Corey even made sure to leave the broth of the pasta as he could see we were sopping it up with our bread.
For entrees, we ordered the duck breast and the shrimp in fried wontons. The duck was tender and juicy. I expected it to be a bit more dried out but it wasn’t at all. The outside could have been a tad more crispy but that’s my only criticism. As for the shrimp, this was the highlight of the evening. It seems simple shrimp with fried wontons I know. By the way, that’s not the proper menu term either, I just can’t think of what it is. It was crispy and delicious. And the lemon aioli that came with it was the perfect accompaniment for dabbing our shrimp wontons.
As our dinner was nearing the end, I looked around at the packed dining room. I assumed it was incredibly busy due to the Buckhead Restaurant week, but when I inquired with Corey, he said no, it’s just always like that. Perhaps it is a reflection of the very reasonable menu pricing. Although Bistro Niko looks all fancy pants inside, most menu items are under $20 and many appetizers under $10. Or then again, maybe it is just the well-seasoned food, not overloaded with salt and other unnecessary seasonings.
Oh, and the service? Still outstanding like I’ve come to know at all the Buckhead Life Restaurants. Our server, Corey was helpful, friendly and extremely efficient. He was jovial and could interact with us, but left us alone to enjoy our dinner. All in all and great experience. Definitely go check this place out. Now.
3344 Peachtree Road Northeast
Atlanta, GA 30326
404 261 6456