Pan-fried caper halibut was straightforward in comparison, a golden fillet resting on tangy mussel and squid brodette (filled with chunks of squash, zucchini, and tomato) with fingerling potatoes and crispy caramelized onion slivers. Much more intricate was the filet mignon trio, served on a four-sectioned plate. There was paper-thin carpaccio, sprinkled with crunchy wheat berries; a slice of Argentinian matambre (herb-flecked game sausage rolled in steak) on a pool of wine reduction; and a juicy grilled piece of filet with fresh asparagus and crab-filled hollandaise. In the fourth corner was a single crunchy onion ring and a squiggle of homemade ketchup.

Ever the hedonist, I had to order foie gras for dessert. And, yes, this seared lobe from La Belle farms was the perfect vehicle for sugar high-inducing apple butter and a tiny oatmeal-raisin waffle. Those accompaniments were great, but ultimately it worked because the buttery foie was cooked just right.

It was a hot and steamy night, so my friends' choices had a refreshing appeal. The pistachio-crusted goat cheese "Moon Pie," served with saba-braised strawberries, was yet another cheeky interpretation of a classic, resembling postmodern sculpture more than the iconic marshmallow sandwich. And coconut cheesecake, as light as mousse, floated on a wafer-thin island of chocolate graham-cracker pretzel, surrounded by a pool of eye-opening mango-guava coulis.

Two's company: Chefs Joshua Riesner (left) and Brandon Crouser are the creative team behind Atlas Bistro.
Jackie Mercandetti
Two's company: Chefs Joshua Riesner (left) and Brandon Crouser are the creative team behind Atlas Bistro.

Location Info


Atlas Bistro

2515 N. Scottsdale Road, Ste. 18
Scottsdale, AZ 85257

Category: Restaurant > Contemporary

Region: South Scottsdale


Penn Cove mussels: $15
Gazpacho: $10
Filet mignon trio: $30
Coconut cheesecake: $10
480-990-2433, »web link
Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 5:30 to 9 p.m.
Atlas Bistro, 2515 North Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale

All the way to the last aching bite of dessert, we were pleased with what we ordered for dinner.

Next time, though, I might have them just take away the menu and feed me.

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