l'Atmosphere French restaurant in Waterford is well named; it has atmosphere in spades. this small but perfectly formed French bistro is just off the quays, on Henrietta Street, at the Tower hotel end.
It is on Henrietta Street in Waterford, tucked away between Merchants Quay and the main shopping area of the city. L’Atmosphere is an authentic French bistro and wine bar run by Arnaud Mary and Patrice Garreau since 2005.
Arnaud Mary cooks French classics and seasonal and fresh dishes for a constant stream of locals as well as a smattering of the tourist trade. The room is traditional with scored rustic plasterwork and exposed rock and brick walls. The ceiling is high, with thick beams and more plaster, and the wooden floor and simple wooden tables and chairs complement the look perfectly.
We kicked of with an Amuse bouche of homemade black pudding, with a scallop on top, and a prawn in a foam, with little lemon drops. The pudding was spicy and soft, and the prawn packed full of flavour, while the delicate sweet scallop was a perfect foil.
The tasting plate brought an embarrassment of riches; smooth chicken liver pate and coarse farmhouse, goats cheese mousse and taboulah, curried chicken and wild salmon risotto, beetroot purée and a solitary snail, garlic end and parsley and served in his shell, as well as little breads and a pork and cabbage combo.
This was delicious, and I was thankful John had the Cos salad starter, since he could be an extra mouth to feed. We persevered and did it justice.
John main course of line caught wild salmon from the river Suir was simply delicious, while my confit duck and Toulouse sausage cassoulet was a feast served in a pot, and ladled to my plate. A little pork belly and a duck and pork dumpling were added for extra flavour; while a plate of roast potatoes were served on the side. I could have fed a family of four for a week, but it was delicious.
Desserts brought john a meringue and chocolate confection, while I again had a tasting plate comprising a strawberry macaroon, dinky little lemon pie, a chocolate pot, a strawberry slice and the most devine lemon and basil parfait in a shot glass.
Arnaud brought us a digestive of some Muldoon Irish whiskey liquor, a new product to Waterford, and the collaboration between a local woman and American partners. Perhaps someday the Muldoon factory will replace the glass factory.
L'Atmosphere is superb