After breaking the news in July that the space on Piedmont Road that was most recently a short lived incarnation of Agnes & Muriel's, the new tenant, La Fourchette, is finally taking shape. Said to be opening in the coming weeks, the exterior looks a lot better with a new awning and fresh signage. The restaurant's interior has also received new paint and furniture purchased from the now defunct JOËL Brasserie. The new restaurant will be operated by Mounir Barhoumi, (who spent years at Anis, and most recently as the opening GM at Amuse! on Dutch Valley Rd.) and his partner Salem Makhlouf of Pastis in historic Roswell. Barhoumi, a native of Tunisia, tells me that the restaurant will feature traditional Mediterranean dishes such as Brik, a popular Tunisian pastry that can feature a variety of fillings and is commonly deep fried. The prices of much of the entree menu will be from $17-$24.
While Barhoumi plans to stay open late, till midnight-ish, depending on business, it won't be as late as nearby Mediterranean eatery, Al's Cafe Agora on East Paces (Sat/Sun till 4 am.) Additionally, I was hoping he would have falafel on the menu, but alas, that is not currently planned. He does plan to offer "the hospitality industry" a complimentary meal of sorts for those that work the late shift and don't have time for a meal. Working in the hospitality industry myself, I think this is brilliant marketing, considering that I have worked the late shift and would remember and want to recommend any eatery that went out of their way to accommodate.
While an amatuerish temporary website was once live, it has been replaced with a very professional, almost chainish website with lists of chefs and numerous locations worldwide for the restaurant. Upon closer examination, the phone numbers are all bogus and much of the text is in some variation of Latin. Barhoumi tells me the site is up simply as a landing point for now as their webmaster works behind the scenes to create a functioning and accurate site.
With limited parking but a veteran team and a refreshed space, hopefully this eatery will find success where others have failed to do so. I'm told the landlord has already offered up the former Edward's Pipe and Cigar Shop as additional space should the restaurant perform well and need to expand. ToNeTo Atlanta