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Your Total Guide To eating & drinking
Review: Atelier Restaurant
Total Bath were invited along to review the menu at the lovely Atelier Restaurant, an intimate French style brasserie nestled away within the Hilton Bath City Hotel. Here's how we got on...
Entering the restaurant it becomes immediately apparent how warm and inviting the set-up is, with soft leather upholstery and rich mahogany furnishings.
We were seated at a window table by our waitress for the evening, Cora, and were afforded a lovely festive view out over the river Avon in the crisp December evening.
Cora was delighted to walk us through the extensive menu, offering background information, suggestions and recommendations of complementing courses and beverages.
For starters, we opted for Toasted Garlic Butter Brioche and Chicken Liver Parfait, respectively. Our waiting time was minimal and the food promptly arrived, pristinely presented.
The Brioche was light, with a refreshing crunch and generous helpings of buttery garlic topping. Lavished with a fricassée of wild mushroom and fresh herbs the combination provided a lovely organic taste, matched with a contrasting texture of crispy bread and succulent, juicy mushroom.
The chicken liver parfait also came accompanied by brioche, and served with a tangy, zestful apple chutney. Presented in beautifully diced triangles, the chicken liver parfait was full-bodied yet not overbearing, and was offset exquisitly by fresh salad garnishing. With two appetite-fuelling starters polished off, we quickly turned our attention to the mains.
Immediately catching the eye, we ordered Beef Bourguignon, served with a beaufort cheese mash. On its arrival, piping hot, the food was nicely compact within the bowl and brimming with flavour.
The gravy had a pleasant, fluid consistency, and enveloped the tenderly cooked beef well when applied to the fork. The beaufort mash, in comparison, was thick and creamy and presented a palate-pleasing aftertaste as a result of the cheese infusion.
Our second main saw us opt for the chef's special, Steak Haché Burger. Served stuffed with camembert cheese and topped with caramelised onions on a light, brioche bun, the burger was chunky and packed with flavour. The chef had evidently put loving labour into grilling the steak to perfection, before allowing it to rest expertly to retain its rich aroma, heightened by the fruity onion topping.
The plate was finished with rustic chips served in a small, alternative mesh fryer and a complementary cup of hollandaise sauce. The chips were an impressive combination of a crispy exterior with a fluffy potato filling, and worked well so as not to overload the diner and make the meal too heavy.
Leaving immaculately clean plates, we reached for the dessert menu, in awe of the tasty treats and delights. After much deliberation, the process of determining two desserts proved such a challenge, we had to go for three.
First up we decided to indulge in the delightfully tempting Tarte Au Citron, served with a raspberry sorbet.
Held together with a sweet biscuit base, the dessert crumbled in the only way tarts should when broken with the spoon, secreting an exuberant, zesty lemon filling. It was evident how intricately planned the dessert was, with every component on the plate playing its part in providing flavour - from the delicate fruit splodges surrounding the tart, to the light sugary dusting atop its centre.
The sorbet was light and exceedingly refreshing, offering a very summery feel to a dish consumed in December. As far as sorbets go, this was one of the best we have tasted. There was a real emphasis on the fruit and a lot of hard work had gone into marrying this raspberry tang with the citron of the tart.
Accompanied to the table, the tart was served alongside our second order of a classic Crème brûlée.
Plated along with the chef's signature mint and red berry compote, the Crème Brûlée came nestled in a traditional pot and generously sprinkled with a light dusting of sugar atop the fine crust of caramel. Consistency in a Crème Crûlée is paramount, and something the chefs of Atelier clearly hold in high regard. The custard was mellow, and leant itself well to the accompanying red berry compote. An old classic well and truly perfected.
Our inability to only select two desserts off the ever-tempting Atelier menu soon saw a third plate arrive at our table - Valrhona Chocolate Tart with mint Chantilly cream.
As with the Citron Tart, the chef had again displayed mastery in perfecting the biscuit base. The chocolate within had a collaborative chewy texture and rich flavour, inviting the diner to combine a smidgeon of strawberry and a dash of Chantilly cream. The different components of the dessert worked well in unison, making it clear to see why this dessert is a stand out favourite among customers.
Finally, our lovely three-course meal at the Atelier Restaurant was washed down with a large glass of Pinot Noir, Vin de France.
The soft, fruity red was not only easy to drink, but a pleasure to do so. The bright raspberry and red berry was punchy in flavour, giving a different measure of appreciation with each sip. Rarely is a wine so accommodating so as to span adequately across courses and please the palate throughout. The Pinot Noir triumphed emphatically in doing so and, at £27.00 for the bottle, is well worth the investment for an evening's dining.
Total Bath would like to offer its thanks to the Atelier Restaurant for their delectable food and unparallelled levels of hospitality. We cannot wait to return.
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