The food at Clark & Schwenks Seafood & Oyster Bar aims to fill a gap in the Atlanta restaurant scene. C&S, for short, is a collaboration between two Atlanta food scene veterans with experience in fine French & American restaurants in Atlanta and a dual passion for excellent food. The focus is on fresh seafood, a well-stocked raw bar, and classic prime steaks. Combine that with a menu that is formidable and spans the fare of the classic Manhattan steakhouse to that of a Parisian brasserie.
Reservations are encouraged but not required. We strongly recommend making reservations on weekend evenings or for large parties.
To make reservations, please call the restaurant at: (770) 272-0999 or simply use the form to the right.
Rich Clark got his start in the Atlanta restaurant business in 1988 at the Ritz-Carlton as a captain. He started at the well-known Buckhead French eatery Brasserie Le Coze under Maggie Le Coze, owner of the world-famous Le Bernardin in New York. Clark and C&S co-owner Jon Schwenk met in the kitchen at Brasserie Le Coze and stayed friends and batted ideas around together since.
In 1994, Clark parted ways with Schwenk temporarily to run the Blue Ridge Grill in Atlanta. Clark stayed at the Blue Ridge Grill for a year and a half before taking over as G.M. of the Atlanta Fish Market in 1996, part of the influential Buckhead Life Group, where he worked for six years.
“I got a lot of good experience at the Fish Market,” says Clark. “I learned how to do volume preparation there, and it was a good education, but I’d much rather have a smaller place where I can pay closer attention. That’s what I want C&S to be.”
In 2002, Clark became a managing partner at the brand-new Atlantic Seafood Co. in Alpharetta, GA. Atlantic was another chapter in the learning experience for Clark, but he felt like he had too little say over the comfort food-oriented menu.
Over many years, Clark and Schwenk had talked about starting a place of their own and what the menu would be like. Finally, at the beginning of 2007, they felt ready to strike out on their own and make that vision happen.
“I looked around Atlanta and saw a need for a really good old-school restaurant,” Clark says. That restaurant would be C&S, specializing in classic New York and Paris brasserie-style cuisine. Clark has a passion for French cuisine and says that it comes from the French appreciation for balance, focus on vegetables, fish, and meat as the primary vehicles of flavor, and most of all, emphasis on the freshness of the ingredients. His childhood in the South gave him the back ground in fresh and simple country food.
“On my grandfather’s farm in Alabama as a kid,” he says, “we had four ponds for fishing and all kinds of vegetable gardens and things. Hunting was a part of our lives, too. We hunted deer, turkey, and quail on the property for food. We hardly ever ate anything that we didn’t get for ourselves from the earth. ”
Clark will focus more on front-of-the-house operations at C&S, but the menu was and will be designed by both himself and Schwenk.
Jon Schwenk started in Atlanta, like Rich Clark, at Brasserie Le Coze in Buckhead. A native of Long Island, NY, Schwenk comes by his passion for and knowledge of French cuisine naturally; his grandfather was a French chef and owned a fine restaurant on Long Island where Schwenk helped as a young man.
While Clark moved around to many different operations in Atlanta, Schwenk stayed at Brasserie Le Coze and remained true to his beloved French cuisine under Maggie Le Coze. Clark and Schwenk stayed in contact and dreamed up their perfect restaurant over the years and decided that 2007 is the year to make it happen. Schwenk left his job at the beginning of the year, like Clark, to focus all his attentions on bringing C&S into reality.
Schwenk insists that everything be made in-house, from scratch, even the cocktails (no pre-made mixers) and the sauces, no matter how much extra work that means. It’s far more important to him to craft the perfect meal for his guests than to make it easier on the kitchen. He also made sure that almost every ingredient in the kitchen is certified organic and locally grown.
“I want the customers to be able to taste the earth in our vegetables,” Schwenk says. “A lot of people think that because French food is rich that it’s not healthy, and that’s absolutely not true. It’s fresh, it’s heavy on vegetables, and the rich stuff is used in moderation. We feel it’s important that it’s organic, too.”
Schwenk will be handling the back-of-the-house operations for C&S, focusing on the food and helping with the beverage side of the restaurant, and of course making sure that both ends of the new shop run smoothly together, which shouldn’t be too hard, seeing as how he and his counterpart are old friends and share the same vision.
C&S Seafood and Oyster Bar
3240 Cobb Parkway
Atlanta, GA 30339
Monday – Thursday:
ll:30am to ll:00pm
ll:30am to ll:oopm
5:00pm to 10:00pm
5:00pm to 9:00pm
We are located on Cobb Parkway, just South of Cumberland Boulevard in the Riverview Village Shopping Center