Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts Atlanta
1927 Lakeside ParkwayTucker, GA 30084
For this meeting of the Black Thai Supper Club, we went to Lumière, the restaurant attached to Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts. Culinary students practice their classroom skills and diners get to experience fine dining at a fraction of the cost (we estimate that our $50 worth of food should have been well over $100).
The bread of the two pizzas was slightly undercooked, but the toppings were quite good (fresh mozzarella, summer tomato and pesto; roasted chicken, red onion confit, spinach, garlic cream sauce with fresh mozzarella). The best of the bunch was the red onion confit - slightly sweet and still crunchy.
The fried green tomatoes with toasted pecans and buttermilk-herb aioli was odd. The breading and the pecans obliterated the flavor of the tomatoes.
The pork shoulder, slow roasted, was tender, fatty and flavorful. The corn bread dressing was rather plain and the melon salad didn't match the whole flavor profile.
The grilled lamb chops were cut inconsistently. The chops were of varying thicknesses, which led to some pieces being burned, some just slightly undercooked. However, the flavor was still good, even if the orzo was lacking. It was served with roasted peppers and green beans and sauce Provencal.
The grilled flat iron steak was definitely the winner of the entrees, cooked perfectly to medium rare. Again, thinner slices of the steak would have been better as some pieces were difficult to chew. The zucchini-tomato tian added a nice acidity to the dish.
Really, you can't go wrong with crème brulée. This one was not too sweet, and the coconut wasn't too overpowering. The giant blackberries remained untouched because of their unappealing and unfortunate resemblance to insects.
The chocolate dome, with coffee mousse and hazelnut crème anglaise, was very good, although the dome itself could have been a little thinner. It made breaking the chocolate crust to get to the center a bit difficult. The coffee mousse was a nice bitter counterpoint to the chocolate.
The lemon mascarpone cheesecake was wonderful - a hint of lemon in the cheesecake, the reduction gave it a little sweetness and the strawberries a slight tart flavor. I could eat this dessert over and over again.
Off the menu, we also had an amuse bouche of salmon mousse on celery root cracker (salmon flavor was overpowering, the cracker was oily) and an after-dessert chocolate truffle (dark chocolate, bitter and palate cleansing).
I got the sense that we arrived on the first night of the session. The service (also students at the school) was painfully slow, seemed overly nervous and had difficulty splitting our bill amongst the eight diners. The kitchen had a "situation with the lamb" so the timing of the service was off. I liked the concept of all of their dishes, but not the execution. With the exception of the cheesecake, every dish had much room for improvement.
However, I would definitely go back again when the menu changes (about once every six months) and further into the semester so they had more time to perfect their techniques.