May 30

The Prettiest Appetizer I Ever Did Eat.

Is this beautiful or WHAT?

Prime beef carpaccio, English peas with shoots, pickled green tomato, mustard, and urfa chili.  Perfection.

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And if you can believe it, it tasted even more amazing than it looked!  Check it out at Empire State South.

xx, L

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Categories: Appetizers,Where we're Eating

Jun 25

The Fattest Day of My Life.

A few months ago, I had the extreme pleasure of dining at the Park 75 kitchen table in the Four Seasons Atlanta.  It was a truly incredible culinary experience.  It was also the fattest day of my life.  I think it’s taken me a while to actually write about it because I am still recovering – and in the very best way.

As you’ll read on the Park 75 website, the restaurant invites you to pull up a seat around the kitchen table and dine as if you were a guest in Chef Gerstenecker’s home.  The Kitchen Table experience includes a multi-course, family-style menu served with two glasses of wine per person.  Reservations are required, and no special menu requests are accepted.  $75 per person.  Below are a few snapshots of our evening.

The kitchen table.

Chalkboard menu.

Hot boiled peanuts to start.

Wine in mason jars (my personal favorite way to drink it) and champs.

Crab-stuffed squash blossom.

Spicy tempura tuna rolls (Also, the single worst food photo I’ve ever taken…)

Duck and kale flatbread.

Seafood paella(One of my favorites of the night!)

Pan-seared hake and ratatouille.

Pimento mac and cheese(Park 75 is a mac and cheese expert!)

Wood-grilled rack of lamb.

And the best part of the entire evening: Make your own brownies!

Here’s the step by step…  (My brain actually exploded while eating this.)

I can’t recommend this culinary adventure enough!  It’s an excellent idea for a celebration or to impress a client or food snobby friends.  The kitchen staff is especially friendly, and it’s super fun to watch them prepare these decadent delicacies.  $75 per person is a total steal for all this goodness.  Bring your appetites!

xx, L

Park 75
Four Seasons Atlanta

75 14th Street NW
Atlanta, GA  30309
404.253.3840

Park 75 on Urbanspoon

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Categories: Appetizers,Chocolate,Guilty Pleasures,Hotels,Midtown,Where we're Eating

Mar 04

What’s Old is New Again: Lobby Bar and Bistro

Although this restaurant hasn’t really been on my radar for a few years, Gorms and I had an AMAZING pre-Oscars dinner a few weeks ago at Lobby Bar and Bistro in the Twelve Hotel and Residences in Atlantic StationYou need to know about it…

As I was getting ready for dinner, I thought about how cool Lobby’s bar space is, but I couldn’t recall anything that really stood out in the past about my dining experiences at the restaurant.

Well, I was in for quite a surprise when we arrived, because since I last visited – Lobby got a face lift.  Lovely renovations to their dining room and a hip new Cellar space for private parties.  (I’m obsessed with the Cellar space…)

AND this…

Chef Russell Hays (who is kinda a big deal, y’all) took over Lobby’s kitchen in November of last year.  Gorms and I spoke with Russell at length about the changes he’s making to the menu, his career path (worked in France/ at the Ritz Buckhead/ Joel/ Peasant Bistro/ Buckhead Life Group – in no particular order and among many other super exclusive gigs), and his personal take on the Lance Armstrong drama (he’s an avid cyclist).  This is huge that he’s now calls Lobby home!

We told our new friend, Russell, to just send over whatever he thought would really wow us.  He said he could handle that, so we set aside our menus.

I started off with some wine: a lovely red blend with a feisty name.  (Someone needs to wash out that bottle’s mouth with soap!)

And here’s where the rest of the night took us:

Korean BBQ Tuna: sticky rice, tempura eggplant, serrano chili.  This was an absolutely fantastic way to officially kick off our feast at Lobby!  It was delicious.

Heart of Palm Salad: orange, avocado puree, hazelnut, blood orange vinaigrette.  I’m not huge on heart of palm, but Gorms raved about this dish.  It sure was pretty, too!

Slow Cooked Chicken Thighs: smoked mushrooms, creamy polenta, parmesan.  This really won us over!  SCCT is not a dish I would have typically ordered on my own (do you have beef carpaccio or tuna tartare, please??), but I’m SO glad that Russell sent it over to our table.  It was succulent, flavorful, and it made me question what I’ve been missing for the past 30 years…  Okay, 31…  It’s an absolute “must try” on Lobby’s menu!

Lobster Risotto: carnaroli rice, thin beans, zucchini, black truffle.  So good.

Seared Scallops: brown butter cauliflower puree, asparagus, caper-raisin emulsion.  Beautiful and the scallops were perfectly cooked.

Grilled NY Strip: roasted potatoes, asparagus, hen of the woods mushrooms, peppercorn-brandy sauce.  Heavier than I’d normally order for myself after all of the food that preceded it, but it was still excellent.  If I were going to order this again, I might stick to one appetizer and entree instead of five, but other than that it was great!

We were stuffed, but that didn’t matter because everyone knows you have a separate stomach for dessert.  This was our outstanding dessert sampling:

Passionfruit Soup: exotic fruits, vanilla ice cream.  A complete surprise!  Reading about it on the menu, I would not have opted for this dessert over any of the others.  As it turns out, it was my favorite!  Tart and refreshing – it was exactly what I wanted to eat after our enormous meal.

Chocolate Ganache and Hazelnut Crunch Bar: espresso anglaise.  Although Russell learned how to make this in France, it reminded me of my favorite dessert at Rathbun’s.  I hope Kevin R will still let me visit his joint after I tell you that this was done better at Lobby!

Warm Chocolate Cake: vanilla bean ice cream, mi amere chocolate sauce.  I mean, it’s hard not to lick the plate when eating this one…

Pistachio Creme Brulee: red fruit jam, chocolate tuille.  Gorms liked this one best.  It was pretty special.

We. Ate. So. Much.  !!!

The only thing that Russell didn’t bring us that I wish he had was a cot to nap on after we finished our massive meal…  Don’t judge.

In all seriousness, we were incredibly grateful to have tasted such wonderful dishes at Lobby.  It was like connecting with an old friend who has really taken off in life!  Lobby is making significant strides to break away from being a hotel restaurant with hotel food and setting itself apart as something truly special in Atlanta.  And it is VERY special!  I’m so happy to have rediscovered it, and I see a big future ahead for it.  Their menu changes seasonally – so I am thrilled to head back soon to see what Russell has up his sleeve for spring!

xx, L

Lobby Bar and Bistro
Twelve Hotel & Residences – Atlantic Station
361 17th Street NW

Atlanta, Georgia  30363
404.961.7370

Lobby at Twelve on Urbanspoon

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Categories: Appetizers,Atlantic Station,Chocolate,Hotels,Midtown,Where we're Eating

Aug 24

Get Hooked on Fifth Group’s Lure!

Oh gosh, this post is WAY overdue.  Apologies for my serious MIA-ness this month.  I’m officially back!  Okay, so about three weeks ago, Kevin and I joined the Caseys to try out Fifth Group’s newest hotspot: Lure.

Located on Crescent Ave. in the old Vickery’s space, Lure is an urban fisherman’s dream!  The rustic/ contemporary wooden decor makes you feel like you are in the belly of a ship.  Here’s a peek inside:

On the Friday night we visited Lure, the crowd was young and lively – and the bar was the place to be.  Lure has an excellent bar set off to the side by the front door overlooking the restaurant.  They also have a creative drink menu featuring a lengthy selection of wines by the glass, bottle, or on tap, as well as some fun cocktails and beers.  Their adult beverage highlight is shochu.  Lure sez that somewhere between a martini and a glass of white wine is the beverage taste experience and domain of shochu.  Like a wine or spirit, full of grace and nuance, each has its own character and unique flavors.  Lure offers eight shochu options.

These were some of our lovely cocktails for the evening.

Eventually, we made our way to our table and immediately started ordering.  We began with Fried Rhode Island Calamari & Ipswich Clams served with pickled shallots, parsley, tartar, and lemon.  Delish.

Although this photo was terribly unsuccessful, this appetizer was a serious hit at our table.  Grilled Octopus & Pork Lettuce Wraps mixed with herbs and spicy Vietnamese sauce is NOT to be missed at Lure!  It was out of this world good!

Then, it was time to get serious.

For my entree, I ordered the Pan-Fried Sole Fillets with bread crumbs, capers, brown butter, and sauteed spinach.  I ate every last bite.  This is a solid dish.

Sam selected the Grilled Whole Georgia Rainbow Trout served head-and-all with pickled ramp butter and new potatoes.  It arrived with instructions as to how to debone.  It was serious business, y’all.  Must be a true fish lover for this entree!

Or maybe not so serious…

sam

Jessica was the envy of the table when her Fish & Chips order came out.  We pretty much stole all of her french fries.  (Sorry, Jess!)  Lure’s F&Cs are Acadian redfish in lacy sourdough batter with fries and malt vinegar.  Soooooo goooooood.

I’m still kinda confused about what Kevin ordered.  In fact, I was too busy watching Sam debone his fish and plotting how to steal more of Jess’s fries without her noticing, that he could tell me he had anything on the menu and I would believe it.  I did get a picture of this in front of him, though:

Fried Oyster Slider with remoulade and watercress on a soft bun.  The flag sticking out of it made us all smile.

Our server successfully talked us into dessert to cap off our evening.  Creamy soft serve ice creams with some tasty toppings hit the spot.

We were all big fans of Lure, and all of us agreed to visit again.  Fifth Group Restaurants continue to be reliably delicious. While I have to admit that we didn’t have the best server I’ve ever had, I think that new-restaurant-service-issues are pretty typical and can be easily fixed as the restaurant matures and the staff gets more familiar with the space, menu, and clientele.  Other than that minor blip, I really enjoyed our experience.  You could say that I’m hooked on Lure!  :)

(Get it?  Get it?!!) 

xx, L

xx, L

Lure
1106 Crescent Ave. NE
Atlanta, GA  3009
404.817.3650
www.lure-atlanta.com

Lure on Urbanspoon

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Categories: Appetizers,Cocktails,Guilty Pleasures,Happy Hour,Midtown,Where we're Eating

Jul 06

Tuesday at Muse!

Next TUESDAY, July 10th at my beloved Muse Salon and Spa (Love ya – mean it, Daniel.) they are holding an “evening of pampering” including $35 blowouts with complimentary Kerastase treatments, Botox at $9/unit and 20% off all Kerastase and Shu Uemura haircare and Youngblood cosmetics!

PLUS: Voli Light Vodka cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. 

If that’s not enough to get you guys OTP – I don’t know WHAT is!  

Enjoy!

xx, L

Muse Salon and Spa
4620 Kimball Bridge Road
Suite 5-6
Alpharetta, GA 30005
678.393.2214

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Categories: Appetizers,Beauty,OTP,What we're Doing