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R.I.P. Element

October 5, 2007

I guess the word is out now, or soon will be, that Element Gastro-Lounge and Food Lab has closed its doors. The last service was Wednesday night; M and I were joking that he happened to be off that night, so it’s not his fault!

I ate at Element probably 20-some times during its short (4-month) existence. My fiance’ was the chef de cuisine there, so I guess I was a little biased. But I’ve never considered myself a foodie; I’ll take a good crab cake or fish taco over anything that’s sous vied or contains foies gras, or whatever the hip new thing is in the cooking scene. But all that aside, Element’s food was truly outstanding. It pushed the envelope just enough to be something that you couldn’t easily find in other Atlanta restaurants (even the heavy hitters like Rathbun’s, Shaun’s, etc.), but at the same time it really just cut to the heart of what I think most anyone with a palate can appreciate — bold, interesting flavors; artistic presentation, fresh ingredients. You got those things in spades at Element.

It’s a real shame that what you didn’t get was a hip, cool place to be seen. Sure, it was all the rage among the foodies for the first month or so, but the foodies in Atlanta probably constitute, what, 5% of the dining-out population? And where were these foodies over the last month or so?  I think that was ultimately Element’s downfall; the fact that its atmosphere left a little to be desired, and its small fanbase was either too flaky or too busy looking for the next big thing or watching Iron Chef to really support a struggling venture long-term.

Here’s hoping Blais and crew can find their niche elsewhere… anyone looking for a sous chef? I know a good one who’s getting married in a month so his fiance’ is a just a tad bit stressed about his newly found unemployment, hint hint.

One Comment leave one →
  1. October 5, 2007 10:39 am

    Oh poo. I’m sure he’ll find a place quicky, the food was great!

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