You don’t need to twist my arm to hit a concert in New Haven, as it normally means that a delicious dinner and cocktails will also be on the agenda… here we come Atelier Florian!
Since we were headed to College Street Music Hall that Friday, we found a sweet parking spot right near the venue on the New Haven Green. Tip: paying on the meter until 9pm in New Haven beats $8 in the garage.
We then walked on down to Atelier Florian which was only a couple blocks away, near the corner of Chapel & Park.
Atelier Florian’s tag is “sophistication in the European tradition, with fabulous sea-to-table dishes and sustainable meats and produce”. Let’s face it though, we really just wanted a new experience at a place with some happy hour pricing (4-6:30pm).
Not having a reservation, we were happy to pony up to the bar. Isn’t the bar where everyone tells you to eat these days for real excitement?
Oyster shooters were a must. Tip: If there’s a raw bar menu, GET a shooter! They could have amped-up the horseradish in their cocktail sauce, but it was still worth it at the half-off happy hour pricing.
The beer selection was solid for a ‘Euro-sea-to-table’ restaurant with representation from Palm, Two Roads, Allagash, and more (the owners also own Rudy’s, so I guess this shouldn’t be a surprise). If you’re into cocktails, there are close to a dozen choices including a signature, gin sage martini that was quite nice (note: tap beer, wine, and ‘Florian’ cocktails were all half-off).
On to the half-priced apps from which we choose the Crispy Brussels – w/ maple salt, fiore sardo (raw, hard cheese made from whole sheep’s milk), and lemon. Very solid with just the right amount of sweet from the maple. I know they have been all the rage the last few years, but why stop?!
For an entree, I chose the Umami crusted steak burger and my wife the Turkey Sliders, which were both lunch-priced. Not being surrounded by so-called umami dishes here in CT yet, I had to try this “5th taste”. I didn’t reach a new dimension, but the burger was a delectable mouth full with gruyere, caper aioli, onion jam, tomato on a toasted brioche. No need for details with the Turkey Burger Sliders as they were just so-so.
We’re tempted to give the sea-to-table entrees a try next time around since we only scratched the surface with their meats and produce. I’d still say it’s a recommendation for a pre-show or post-work happy hour. Although, we would love to hear from anyone that’s dug into their dinner menu!
-The Sweet and Sweaty
1166 Chapel Street, New Haven, CT