Last week, while traveling for a conference, I had the opportunity to visit ENO in Atlanta, where Chef Eli Kirshtein of Top Chef Season 6 serves as Executive Chef. It was an accident that we ended up there after showing up at another restaurant with an hour wait. A quick phone call later and we were seated at ENO.
The atmosphere at ENO is modern, with subdued colors and rich woods. On the tables, fruit and gourds floated in square glass containers of water. The wine list was extensive, touting many Pinots (one of my favorites). Like on many wine lists at restaurants, the prices were a bit eye-opening. Many wines that one can buy for less than $30 were priced well above $60. We settled on an inexpensive Malbec that was good but not fabulous.
The service at first was a bit slow. We had arrived late, after nine o'clock, and there were few patrons left, but we still waited quite a while to have our wine order taken and, after that, to have our wine brought to the table and our dinner orders taken. As it turned out, the delay was because they were out of the Malbec we originally ordered and we were offered a replacement at the same price. After that was settled, the service improved remarkably.
My colleagues split an entrée of ribeye with wild mushrooms and beets. I did not taste it, but it looked beautiful on the plate and they reported it being very tasty. There was nothing left on the plate at the end. I ordered fettuccine with pork belly and paprika pepper. The fettuccine was beautifully done, obviously made on site, and perfectly cooked. The sauce was subtly flavored with lots of garlic (the slices were visible), but it was also a bit greasy due, no doubt, to the pork belly. The pork belly itself was diced and its flavor didn't particularly stand out from the other flavors in the sauce.
We finished the meal with a beet parfait, which was surprisingly good. We actually flipped a coin to decide what dessert to select since they all looked good. The parfait barely tasted like beets. It was slightly sweet with a bit of a tang. It was served on a bed of crumbled white and dark chocolate wafers and nasturtiums. A bite of all three was an interesting texture and flavor combination.
All in all, it was an enjoyable meal and I would definitely return. The plates differ throughout the year as Chef Eli tries to cook what's in season. Many of the items on the menu today might not be in a month's time. If you find yourself in Atlanta, I recommend giving ENO a try.