When you think of a Night at the Museum you probably
think of Ben
Stiller running around with CGI animals coming after him. But recently visiting the Whitney Museum in New York City I realized how
much I love museum cafés and how this little niche was missing in the Atlanta food
scene—until now. The new Lucian Books and Wine (named for
famed artist Lucien Feud) is not a museum but certainly feels like it. The
back wall of the restaurant is comprised of massive colorful coffee table books of famous artists and chefs that you can admire, peruse or even buy. So while there is no museum art, there is
plenty of documentation of it.
The food and wine are curated by Jordan Smelt, an alumnus of the legendary (now closed) Cakes & Ale and Inman Park's Bread & Butterfly. The menu features beautiful little plates if you wanna just have a little snack with your wine (or cocktail, they have a full bar) but if you want some larger plates there's plenty to fill you up as well. I loved the raw hamachi with grapefruit, celery, and berbere, a lovely savory-meets-citrus number. They also do a lovely ricotta with strawberry, beets, and hazelnuts and a delightfully Parisan-style omelet with caviar and crème Fraiche. Basically, a collection of upscale beautiful little plates set in a wonderfully aesthetic setting. So if you're feeling nostalgic for one of those wonderful museum cafés from New York or Paris, this is about the closest you can get without going through TSA at Hartsfield Jackson (or having CGI animals chase you around the Museum of Natural History).