Last week, restaurateurs Hicham Azhari and Fikret Kovac opened their newest venture, Opulent, in historic downtown Roswell in the former INC space on Canton Street. Along with culinary director Bob McDonough, Azhari and Kovac are the team behind two other Canton Street favorites, Little Alley Steak and Salt Factory Pub.
The look: The long, narrow bar in front/dining room in back configuration conjures the retro design of the 1920s — with smoked mirrors, white tiles with gray grout in various shapes and sizes, dark wood and saloon-style booths with brass coat hooks. Images of Charlie Chaplin surround the cozy back room.
The scene: One recent evening, the bustle of Canton Street was translated from the sidewalk patio to the bar and inside seating areas beyond. Busy servers hustled back-and-forth, while couples and families with children settled in among cafe tables and banquettes. At one point, a friendly manager circulated through the throng, offering greetings and soliciting suggestions.
The menu: Salads and starters include arugula with fennel, pink lady apples and candied walnuts ($7), mussels and clams with andouille sausage and serrano peppers ($12), and pan-seared scallops with mushrooms, bacon and leeks ($14). Among the recent mains, find salmon with red peas ($22), confit chicken with celery root mash ($19), and brick-pressed braised beef with blue cheese polenta ($19). The “Amazing Burger” is American Kobe beef with gruyere cheese, roasted shitake mushrooms and garlic aioli ($15).
The drinks: There’s a big, bound steakhouse-style wine list with by the glass offerings starting at $8 and bottles topping out in the $400 range. On the current cocktail list, there’s the Opulent Sparkle, with cava, pomegranate and a sprig of rosemary in a flute ($11). The Smoked Rose mixes Four Roses bourbon, mint, pineapple and applewood smoked chips ($10).
The extras: Look for lunch 11 a.m.-3 p.m. every day with less expensive versions of some the dinner entrees, and sandwiches with frites, such as a salmon BLT ($12), a fried chicken biscuit ($11).
Dinner: 5-10 p.m. Sundays-Thursdays; 5-11 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays. Lunch: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. daily.
Salads, $6-$8; starters, $7-$17; pasta, $17-$19; entrees, $15-$28; sides, $5-$6.
948 Canton St., Roswell. 770-998-3114, opulentrestaurant.com.
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