I spent a few minutes at the opening party for Bistro Niko — the full-tilt-boogie French restaurant that the Buckhead Life Restaurant Group has opened in the new Sovereign Buckhead building on Peachtree Road. It is quite the looker, a fact you will not ascertain from these blurry phone photos. The Johnson Studio came up with a design that feels both very Buckhead and true to a great train station brasserie in Paris. You want more lousy photos? ‘Cause I got ‘em: See? Notice the terrible lighting and composition? This is the seafood counter in front of the tiled kitchen. You walk right past the kitchen as you enter the dining room, which is a reassuring feeling here because it looks so spotlessly clean. Inside, the dining room is large, with a zinc bar in the rear behind the wall of wine pictured above. Blurry, antiqued mirrors line the walls and groovy swirls on the ceiling frame glowing amber light bulbs. The most amusing detail is a mural that depicts every monument in Paris with utter disregard to Haussmann’s grand plan.
Look for Buckhead Life founder Pano Karatassos enjoying a “Where’s Waldo?” moment in the mural. There were, of course, a lot of nibbles and drinks, but I’m not going to talk about them because a) I only ate one cheese puff and a fried thing, and b) party hors d’oeuvres have little bearing on the food that will emerge from the kitchen once the restaurant is up and running this Thursday.