Old School Supper @ La Grotta Ristorante
Gorms kidnapped me a few weeks ago for dinner at one of her favorite spots – a spot that she was positive I’ve never been to: La Grotta Ristorante Buckhead. She was right. It was absolutely not on my radar. I’ve passed it for years on Peachtree St. driving in between Midtown and Buckhead, but it did not appeal to me to eat in a restaurant below an ugly condo development (sorry I’m not sorry). However, due to such snobbery, I’ve been missing out on an Atlanta tradition since 1978 that has been voted “Best Italian Restaurant” by Atlanta Magazine for the past 18 years. So, that was pretty shocking news to me.
Anyway, I did not enjoy walking through the condo building to get to the elevator to take us down to La Grotta, but it was nice that they had valet and I was perfectly fine once we arrived. It had much more atmosphere than I was expecting AND it was packed with Buckhead-folks. Needless to say – I was even more shocked. It was kinda like being on a set in The Sopranos, but filled with friendly people wearing Vineyard Vines.
Gorms and I got the sweetheart table + they sat us next to each other so that we had a view of the entire restaurant. It was pretty adorable.
Our dinner was REALLY good, too! I was very impressed! Here’s what we feasted on:
We started off with a little taste from the chef. (Thanks, Chef!)
Then, we moved on to the really good stuff…
Carpaccio Di Tonno Con Avocado e Caperi: ahi tuna carpaccio, avocados, citrus vinaigrette, fried capers, cherry tomatoes.
Prosciutto Di Parma con Melone: shaved prosciutto ham w/ fresh melon, mint, aged balsamic
Linguini Neri con Calamari: black linguini, calamari, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, garlic, white wine cream sauce (My favorite dish of the night.)
Then, Chef Antonio came out to chat with us about our entrees to make sure we were ordering correctly. What a nice fellow!
And he talked me into the Cappellini con Pancetta, Gamberetti, Olive Nere (which I had removed), Aglio, Pomodoro Fresco, e Mascarpone – translated – cappellini prepared with pancetta, shrimp, calamata olives, garlic, fresh tomatoes, and mascarpone cheese. The serving was enormous, so I got to bring some home to Kevin. We both very much enjoyed the lovely dish.
Gorms and I finished off our meal with the Torta di Cioccolato e Nocciole – chocolate hazelnut mousse cake.
I was pretty full to say the least…
I really enjoyed my first experience at La Grotta, and I truly look forward to going back. I’m also going to try not to judge restaurants solely on what I perceive their atmosphere to be, because I am more than a little embarrased that I’ve lived in Atlanta for almost 10 YEARS and have just now visited La Grotta! Shame. On. Me.
La Grotta Ristorante
2637 Peachtree Road NE
Atlanta, GA 30305
Tags: ,buckhead betties, clean plate club, comfort food, don't judge, Gorms, I'm just saying..., incredibly bold statements, Italian love affair, LMR, Table for Two, Things that are awesome..., very important people, You Can Find Me in the A
Tea for Two at the Ritz: Lady Date
I love spending as much time as possible at the Ritz Carlton. Whether it’s staying at one of the Ritz properties or dropping in for a drink, I try to hit up the RC as much as I can.
So when my lovely maid of honor came to visit a few months ago and it finally was not a wedding or baby-related weekend of celebrations for us, I made sure that our schedule was filled with fun and relaxing Atlanta stops.
Neither one of us had been to afternoon tea in a while, so we asked our favorite RC concierge extraordinare, Jessica Gorman, to set us up with a little Sunday afternoon rezzie in the RC Buckhead’s Lobby Lounge.
Now let me tell you WHAT. It was fab. Totally fab. And I truly use the word “fab” sparingly! (Exclamation points are used almost every other sentence. “Fab” is reserved for the truly fab.)
Here’s the Q+DD from the RC: Traditional Afternoon Tea is a gracious way to spend an afternoon with new friends, old friends and best friends. Tea is served in the English tradition, with loose tea steeped in individual teapots and poured through sterling silver strainers into bone china teacups. Tea selections include black, red, green and white teas as well as herbal infusions.
And it doesn’t stop there! We feasted on delicious tea sandwiches, pastries, bubbles, and strawberry service to accompany our lush RC surroundings and great conversation. Here’s a tiny peek at some of our favorite treats:
Amy and I had the loveliest time. I highly recommend booking afternoon tea for you and your girlfriends soon! And it does not have to be for a special occasion! It could be just for fun or maybe even in anticipation of Downton Abbey’s return! (OMG, I can’t wait…)
Ritz Carlton Lobby Lounge – Buckhead
3434 Peachtree Street NE
Atlanta, Georgia 30326
Tags: ,buckhead betties, fancy pants, girls rule - boys drool, Gorms, I'm just saying..., Ladies Who Lunch, LMR, More culture than frozen yogurt!, Moxie? We got it., Mrs. Wolkove, people watching, PLU, put this on your bucket list!, SUNDAY FUNDAY, sweet tooth, Table for Two, tea time, Things that are awesome..., Things that are GORG, Things we love!, very important people, You Can Find Me in the A
Bhojanic in Buckhead Now Open!
One of my best girlfriends, Anjali, is a blog regular. Y’all know her. She’s a blast, and she is also responsible for introducing me to the Indian culture. I’m a little obsessed with it now, and I’m plotting how we are going to set up our kids one day so that they can have a gorgeous Indian/Jewish wedding. (My fingers are crossed that I can make that happen!)
Anjali gave me my first sari. (Isn’t it pretty?!)
She arranged for me to get henna done for my first time.
And I’ve gotten to experience some incredibly beautiful cultural + religious events + ceremonies with her family.
One of my favorite things Anjali introduced me to over the years is Indian food – which I’d never tried before she and I became friends. I love it now, but I think I was intimidated to try it before only because I didn’t know anything about it or what to order. Anjali took me to Bhojanic in Decatur to try Indian food for my first time, and she guided me through the menu. After that, I was hooked!
There was a problem, though. Bhojanic was located in Decatur, an area of town that I adore but rarely make it out to. Well, my problem has been officially solved! Bhojanic opened a Buckhead location yesterday in the Shops Around Lenox!
Now, it’ll be so much easier for me to drop in to taste some of THIS deliciousness.
Here’s a little bit about Bhojanic from their website:
In a city that is becoming increasingly populated with Indian culture, one would think that there would be an abundance of traditional, home-style Indian cuisine available. In Atlanta, this is not the case but thankfully, Atlanta is home to a truly fabulous, home-style Indian eatery that has the traditional taste of home with a warm and cosmopolitan ambiance.
The owners of Bhojanic understand the need for authentic Indian fare. With over 20 years of experience in catering and food service and a beloved first location in Decatur, the owners of Bhojanic are skillful at making delicious and creative Indian food nestled in lovely surroundings. The quality of food, the delightful atmosphere, and the excellent service that this restaurant provides are unmatched! The finest vegetables and meats are used to create the flavorful experience of the Indian culture.
The food you find at Bhojanic is exactly like the food cooked in the homes of Northern India. Using yogurts, authentic Indian spices, and other fresh ingredients allows the food to remain nourishing, light, and filling. With a wide selection of food at Bhojanic, there are choices for everyone.
Welcome to the ‘hood, Bhojanic! I’ll see you very soon!
Bhojanic (Buckhead Location)
3400 Around Lenox Drive
KR SteakBar… I Love You.
KR SteakBar is Buckhead’s newest hot spot. Located next to ADAC in Peachtree Hills, it’s the fourth restaurant Kevin Rathbun has opened in town. KR SteakBar serves casual Italian-inspired dishes. It was designed by The Johnson Studio – and it’s majorly sexy, y’all! I mean, YOWZA.
So naturally, Kev + I had to see what all the hype was about. And we never can resist a double date with this lovely couple…
We had to pull some strings to get a last minute Saturday night reservation, and as soon as we arrived we knew why the string-pulling was necessary. It was totally packed. Totally. Hardly any space to move. It was quite a scene – particularly around the bar area. I must admit, I was starting to fall in love…
After a short while, we sat in a booth nearby the open kitchen and began to peruse the menu. Our server informed us that we needed to order several dishes in each category of the menu (salumi, pastas, appetizers, and entrees). We thought that sounded a bit excessive - even for the four of us big eaters – but she was right. Most of plates at KR SteakBar are truly designed to share between two people.
We ordered, our drinks arrived, and it was time to sit back and enjoy. Pictured from left to right are two of the creative cocktails (lots of fun ingredients and took about 10 minutes to make) we sipped on.
Sophia: bitter truth apricot liqueur, bombay london dry gin, vanilla white pepper syrup, lemon juice, prosecco.
Toronto: rittenhouse 100 proof bonded rye, fernet branca, simple syrup, angostura aromatic, bitters.
And here’s what we ate…
Lamb Tartar with caponata. This was my least favorite dish of the evening, but that was entirely based off of personal preference. It was a hit with others at the table.
Pork Shoulder with shell beans and red onions. Delicious.
Octopus with farro and candied lemon. My favorite plate! I wish we’d ordered five of these!
Pappardelle with bolognese. Splendidly standard.
Tagliatelle Nero with calabrese chili and bottarga. My second favorite!
Lamp Chops with agrodolce onions. Kev got down with these.
Swordfish with fennel and lemon. This bad boy was my entree. I felt like I ordered the best at the table. It was perfection.
Hanger Steak with mushrooms and brown butter. We all tried this one and thought it was very good.
Shell Steak with espresso and horseradish. Not pictured: A side of Polenta with mascarpone. Also a solid order.
We finished it all off with the Olive Oil Cake with pistachio gelato and blood orange. I wish I hadn’t shared it… It was so good!
Our meal looks liked it was huge, but it really wasn’t. I can’t stress enough that the plates are very small – including the entrees. (And not going to lie, we stopped by Taco Bell at the end of the night because we were still hungry…) That being said, I thought the food was really creative and absolutely delicious! I thoroughly enjoyed my experience there. KR SteakBar checks off my entire list of restaurant must-haves: great atmosphere, interesting design, excellent food, and good-looking people. This place is HOT, and I can’t wait to go back. Go see for yourself - but remember what I said about the portion sizes – and make your reservation ASAP or prepare for some string-pulling!
349 Peachtree Hills Ave.
Tags: ,becoming the caseys, Beef., buckhead betties, careful cowboy!, clean plate club, comfort food, don't judge, double date, hype, i need a gym STAT, I'm just saying..., incredibly bold statements, Kevin!, Lets hear it for the boys, LMR, mrs. casey, newsworthy, put this on your bucket list!, see and be seen, sugar rush!, Table for Two, Things that are awesome..., Things we love!, very important people, You Can Find Me in the A, yowz, Yowza.
So, lately I’ve been attending the “free”* yoga classes held at Lululemon Buckhead on Sundays with our buddy Gorms. The Q+DD is this: Lulu hosts a new yoga studio each month with the intention of introducing blossoming yogis to different in-town studios. Gorms and I have taken class from Lime Tree and Tough Love so far and I think I speak for both of us when I say: yoga is not for sissies.
Among some of my latest purchases: the Lululemon Vinyasa Scarf. I pretty much have not removed it from my body since I acquired it.
(FYI – mine is bubblegum pink and white striped and my Barista at Starbucks last weekend told me the pop of color made her “happy to look at me.” Just go with it. I did!)
It comes in all different colors and patterns (I have my eye on the navy and white chevron print right now, in case anyone feels like getting me a pressie.) and apparently there are a zillion ways in which to wear it.
The ever-helpful team at Lululemon Buckhead directed me to the YouTube video which demonstrates several uses. I will save you the Google search and embed it below.
For your viewing pleasure:
All great ideas. HOWEVER: last night, after Exhale Power Flow (and ok, perhaps a glass of vino. Detox/Retox anyone?) I came up with a few more innovative uses for the scarf.
May I present… THE MYSTERY, THE DOGGY BJORN, THE BOOTY WARMER, and THE TURBO TURBAN:
Lulu, you are welcome as I am pretty sure these ideas are earth-shattering. FYI: I am available for freelance opportunities and am willing to be paid in clothes.