Another Great Review from Local Foodie

Atlas Bistro

Finally have a chance to get this post up, and I cannot believe we do not have a thread on Atlas Bisto because of how amazing it was. They had always been on “the list” of places to try, I wish we would have moved it to the top sooner. It is located in a strip mall on Scottsdale Road toward Tempe in a strip mall, as most of the good restaurants in the area are 😀

Walking in it is a bit confusing as you go through AZ Wine, which is a very large wine store, with a great selection of Sake, Wine, Half Bottles, Craft Beer (Aventinus) so turn to your left and there you will see the dining area, if no one is immediatly there someone will pop up shortly as there are only two people working the front of the house. It is BYOB so you can bring a wine if you would like to or get there a bit early and browse, or bring your own wine and during the meal add something extra if you run out of wine (which we did!)

Below is the menu choices that we had on offering

First Course

Smoked Paprika Braised Pork Shoulder, Queso Cotija, Guacamole, Shaved Baby Radishes

Korabuta Pork Belly, Butternut Squash Hash, Tamarind Peach Glaze

Hand Rolled Porcini Gnocchi, Maitakes, Ginger Cabbage, Black Bean Miso Cream

Second Course

Grilled Romaine, Fried Rainbow Valley Egg, Spanish Anchovies, Capers, Raisins

Roasted Striped Beets, Gala Apples, Horseradish Cream, Prairie Breeze Amish Cheddar

Applewood Smoked Duck Breast, Peaches, Sweet Corn, Cranberries, Almonds, Arugula, Frisee *Add $5

Third Course

Grilled Pork Porterhouse, Spaetzle, Spaghetti Squash, Bacon Brussel Slaw, Amish Asian Pear Butter

Niman Ranch Tri-Tip Steak, Roasted Fingerlings, Baby Rainbow Carrots, Black Mesa Ranch Feta, Caper Aioli

Wild Caught Market Fish, White Beans, Cherry Tomatoes, Fennel, Baby Spinach, Green Goddess (Swordfish)

Now on top of this there were a couple items on top of the normal menu, there were Sweetbreads for the First Course (+5 supp) and there was another option for the second course but I do not recall what it was

Course 1 – I had the Sweetbreads which were had a sauce that was delicious (i cannot remember what kind, the good kind) with a plum apple slices to freshen it up for some acidity and they had a cornmealish fried texture to them — I had been to Blackbird (1 star Michelin Chicago) who also served up a sweetbread 1st course, and this preperation blew it out of the water, and that was our favorite app we had there — Also they gave a very good portion size as well, this was not a Restaurant Week portion to make tons of money this was their normal portion just at a discounted price – one thing that always drove me crazy about RW is that many places don’t put their best foot forward and try to make a quick buck, instead of trying to gain return clients

The Mrs had the Pork Belly, which I have to say was one of the best pork belly’s i have had in a very very long time. It seems they are always overcooked and stringy instead of melt in your mouth lucious. The flavoring and cooking of it was perfect, again to releate it to Blackbird (because two of the 1st course apps were the same ingredient) Blackbird overcooked theirs and it we left some of it on the plate, I was lucky to get one bite of the Pork Belly from my wife

Our friends we went with, he ordered identical to me, and his wife went with the Gnocchi, she really enjoyed it however I did not try any of it

Course 2 – I had the Smoked Duck Salad, which was not exactly what i was expecting and I was pleasantly suprised. For some reason I expected warm duck, but it was chilled duck with just a light touch of smoke, to set off the flavor against the tangy peaches and sweet corn, it was amazing and way better than what i had pictured in my head – there was also TONS of duck in it, every bite huge piece of duck – just great

The Mrs had the Grilled Romaine with Anchovies, which was also very good, nice anchovies on it and she really liked it, however the duck salad was where it was at – our friends wife went with the off menu salad and she really liked it, I passed on trying it because it wasn’t beating the duck salad

Course 3 – 3 of us had the Grilled Pork Porterhouse which was one of the best pork dishes that I have had, the only other one that i would rank up there when they had it on the menu was the Stuffed Pork Chop at Cowboy Ciao (no longer on the menu) this was was equal to it or better, they cooked it pretty close to medium rare which is perfect for me and everything about it was good, lots of flavor – The Mrs had the steak (when Todd was explaining the menu he was very elaborate about everything on the menu and then he was like “we have steak too”) so that was really on the menu because you have to have a steak on the menu – It wasn’t bad but when all the other flavors on every other course is off the charts, just a good steak isnt the same – however as a good husband I gave multiple pieces of the Pork Porterhouse to Mrs Dapuma

Dessert was also very good, we had a chocolate tart / cookie type thing, amazing both couples ordered the same thing and there was not a bite left of either one

Another thing I liked was that if you need more wine, want beer, need more sake…just pop on over and buy it – and if you like your drinks, it is much cheaper than going to say Cowboy Ciao where they have a 200%-300% markup

Aventinus makes a great dessert beer and it is much cheaper than port

Again, comparing it to a 1 star Michelin restaurant in terms of how good it was (mainly because the apps were the same ingredients and we had went there a couple weeks prior), we both preferred our meal at Atlas better than Blackbird and it was half the price

We were happy we went and look forward to going back, if it has been at the top of your to go to list for awhile and you kept putting it off, stop putting it off and move it to #1


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