REVIEW: Beetlecat, Inman Park, Atlanta, Fulton
The foodie community is on fire about Beetlecat, Atlanta’s celebrity chef Ford Fry’s newest restaurant. Anchoring the trendy Inman Quarter mixed-use development, diners are packing the restaurant in droves to discover what the buzz is all about. Recently named Restaurateur of the Year for 2015 by Atlanta Magazine, @ChefFordFry continues the expansion of his empire and, from all appearances, Beetlecat is sure to continue his midas touch of culinary success. [Ford Fry’s other restaurants]
First, some logistics. While a public parking deck is available, I would recommend valet parking simply because parking is crowded especially on weekend nights. It’s very reasonable ($5/6 buck plus tip) and gets you into the restaurant that much faster. If you walk through the atrium on go through the first yellow door on your left. then go upstairs to the hosting station. No reservations are accepted. Seating is first come, first served. Our table was near the front door and it seemed like it was never more than 3-4 deep because there is so much seating available.
Once seated, we met our server who quickly brought our refreshments. Here’s where the fun begins. Get out of the mindset of an appetizer, entrée, sides and dessert. It just doesn’t work that way in this “tapas style” dining with shareable small plates. Each dish on the menu is a treasure to be sampled and shared. Yes, it’s very different from traditional dining, but once you get into it there’s a whole lot of fun in store for you. Although we are not oyster fans, I would be remiss to post this story without mentioning – if you are an oyster lover, you’re going to LOVE Beetlecat!
We got started with a Lobster Roll, some Celery Root Soup and Steamed Shrimp. When you order, things come out of the kitchen as they are prepared and in no particular order. For us, the soup came out first and it was delightful. Creamy, rich and almost frothy, it had a wonderful flavor that was very pleasurable. You’ll even notice a little sprinkle of espresso on top. Yes, it works well with it!
Our Lobster Roll came out next. Served on a hamburger bun, it’s piled high with a large helping of lobster meat along with a generous portion of aioli that brings heaven that much nearer to thee.
When our shrimp arrived, Melanie reminded me she preferred shrimp served hot. Well, most of what is served at Beetlecat is chilled or room temperature. It was delightful though to see Melanie enjoy the shrimp, just as much as I did. The shrimp were seasoned so well and absolutely delicious. The other interesting thing was that the shrimp were butterflied which is something normally seen when frying shrimp but seldom when served like this. Nice touch!
Next, we decided to try the NY Strip and another serving of the shrimp (yes, the shrimp were that good). The NY Strip is thinly cut and served on top of a crunchy toast that absorbs much of its flavor from the steak. On top of the NY Strip, is a serving of escargots and buerre monté. Even if you aren’t a fan of snails, I think you’ll find this dish really marvelous. The escargots were tasty and the steak had a rich, seasoned flavor. Combining the two, was pure inspiration.
We couldn’t leave without trying dessert. We decided to get the Lemongrass Cheesecake which was splendid with the cranberry jam and white chocolate streusel. This was accompanied by a aloe gel that set off the taste of the cheesecake.
Beetlecat‘s goodness doesn’t come cheap but it’s eclectic style and flavorful small plates ensures Atlanta hipsters will be basking in its decandence. Its one of our MUST EAT at places in Atlanta! Guten appetit!