Local empire builder Ford Fry has an opening date in mind for his latest venture. Marcel, the forthcoming old-school steakhouse that will take over the former Abattoir space, will begin service on Monday, July 6. Fry announced his intentions on Twitter Monday evening, and his PR team confirmed Tuesday afternoon.
"Marcel is an ode to when times and tastes were simpler; I think we all miss that," Fry said in a prepared statement. "The entire menu is truly classic — no modern-day innovation. My chef team has a strong desire to cook food that makes us lay back and smile.
"The Westside of Atlanta doesn't have a steakhouse, so we thought why not put our own spin on it? Atlanta is full of classic American steakhouses, so we are taking a slightly different angle, and taking inspiration from steakhouses of the past, making things all about celebration and simple, great meat cooked over wood along with classic cocktails."
Marcel takes its name from Marcellin "Marcel" Cerdan, the world-champion French boxer who died in a plane crash in 1949. The restaurant will serve classic chophouse fare, looking back to the tradition of European beefsteak dinners. Chef Brian Horn of Fry's JCT. Kitchen & Bar is on board to oversee the kitchen.
"I want our guests to feel well taken care of and happy," Horn said. "I want to keep the food simple and super tasty. With the right technique and service, we can make that happen: we will have full-service teams handling every table, about a dozen captains, a maître d', and a sommelier. Overall, I am hoping it will be a grand experience for our guests from start to finish."
The classic menu includes:
- A petit or grand seafood platter
- Lobster chowder in puff pastry
- Oysters Bienville
- Garlicky escargot
- Veal parmesan with fior de latte mozzarella and San Marzano tomatoes
- Côte du porc with hen of the woods mushrooms and brandy jus
- Sole Meunière
- L'Entrecôte with frites and sauce vert
- 14 oz. bone-in filet
- 16 oz. New York strip
- 24 oz. dry-aged côte de boeuf
- Lobster by the half or whole
- Alabama jumbo lump crab Oscar
- Alaskan king crab
Pastry chef Chrysta Poulos will serve desserts such as s'more baked Alaska, blueberry-and-mascarpone mille crêpe cake, "fruit on the bottom" crème brulée, and lemon tart. The beverage program, created by Lara Creasy, features classic cocktails from the 1940s through the '60s, and the wine list includes more than 100 bottles.
Marcel, which seats 134 in the plush interior and an additional 34 on the patio, will open for lunch Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and dinner Sunday through Thursday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., and until 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. A Friday and Saturday late-night menu will be available from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m.
The restaurant joins JCT. Kitchen and The Optimist as Fry's Westside restaurants. He also operates King + Duke and St. Cecilia in Buckhead, No. 246 in Decatur, The El Felix in Alpharetta's Avalon development, and Superica in Inman Park's Krog Street Market. He's working on a sister restaurant to The Optimist in Inman Park's Inman Quarter development and another "Mex-Tex" restaurant in Buckhead.