Tucked in the back of West Side Provisions District, across the street from Yeah!Burger, you will encounter one of Atlanta’s most distinctive and chic dining experiences. The name Abattoir (French for “slaughterhouse”) may not suggest a refined dining experience, but the restaurant boasts a hip, low-key atmosphere and compelling cuisine that will please carnivores with adventurous tastes. While the restaurant can accommodate vegetarian customers in a pinch, diners of the leafy-green persuasion will want to look elsewhere for a nice evening out. Those who crave cooked animal parts, though, will be deliciously rewarded with a wide selection of cured meats and juicy entrees.
The charcuterie is not to be missed, with highlights including rich blood sausage and finely- smoked jerky served with spicy mustard and dried fruit. The assorted pickle plate is surprisingly sweet, featuring onions, carrots and cucumbers. Both of these appetizers allow diners to sample a number of exotic flavors in portions perfectly suited for couples keen on sharing. The beef tartar, served with jalapenos, pine nuts and Asian pear is also exquisite.
The restaurant officially styles itself as a “chop house,” and its cuts of beef are excellent. Poultry fans will have a difficult decision between the duck soup with duck meatballs and the chicken schnitzel with bacon jam. Those seeking lighter fare would be well-served by the Georgia trout, green tomatoes and Jerusalem artichoke.
If you have room left over for desert, try the Meyer lemon tart with pomegranate and honey pear, the apple tarte tatin with thyme sorbet, or the maple crème caramel with bacon beignet.
Abattoir also has a full bar featuring a number of craft beers and a wide selection of wines. Cocktail connoisseurs will appreciate the restaurant’s well-done aviation and sidecar as well as several after dinner drinks and liqueurs.
While the ambiance is trendy, it is by no means stuffy, and you can get by with a nice pair of jeans just as easily as a suit or dinner dress. Formal attire would not be out of place, though, and the stylish interior, which strikes a balance between crafted wood and industrial metal, presents a decent opportunity to suit up.
The only real catch is the price. Although there are a few inexpensive items on the menu, on average, dinner for two, after appetizers, entrees and gratuity can easily set you in the $60 to $80 range. Cocktails will add more of course, and if you spring for a fine bottle of wine, the sky is the limit.
Between the unique cuisine and effortlessly cool decor, Abattoir is sure to make for a memorable Valentine’s Day date.