LOVE AT FIRST BITE

Byline: Rebecca Kleinman

Francophiles will be glad to know that, after an onslaught of Pacific Rim menus, French cuisine is still alive and well in Atlanta.
Chef Jean-Marc Carelle has brought every ounce of Frenchness to the recently opened Le Saint Amour. As far as he’s concerned, he might as well still be working in the French restaurants where he trained. “I’ve been here since July last year, and I haven’t even been out of my kitchen yet,” he said.
The menu is as French as the chef behind it. Raviole d’escargots (an escargot dumpling in lobster sauce), marmite de riz de veau (cassoulet of sweetbreads and veggies), mousseline de poisson sauce homard (fish mousse with lobster sauce) and last but not least, souffle au chocolat. Dinner entries change monthly, and each diner is presented a loaf of fresh-baked French bread to take home.
The decor is pretty, with each of five dining rooms individually decorated, giving the restaurant the feel of a rambling country house. Both the library and the new outdoor patio are great for a relaxing glass of wine.
Le Saint Amour is open for lunch Tuesday through Saturday, for dinner Tuesday through Sunday and for Sunday brunch. Sundays also offer the Chef’s Surprise: a three-course prix-fixe menu. Call for reservations. 1620 Piedmont Avenue NE (near Ansley Mall in midtown), 404-881-0300.

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