The Farmhouse at Serenbe

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 4/18/21

In between the rolling farmlands and the thick forest of South Atlanta sits a small town composed of small business, restaurants, and beautiful houses line the streets. One side, the farm is full of goats and horses, and on the other there is a cozy Inn where you can stay for the night. Serenbe, has come into its own as a day trip destination boasting everything from shopping to dining to the arts and everything in between. Recently, we took a short daytrip down there to explore the community, take in the grounds of the farm and Inn at Serenbe, then enjoy dinner at the The Farmhouse at Serenbe. This day had the perfect weather to sit on the sunporch at The Farmhouse at Serenbe and enjoy a cool Everlasting Lemonade and a stellar Herb Encrusted Lamb Rack. We can’t get over the delicious fare here with everything from carpaccio, foie gras, pork chops, lamb, and lemon cake. Plus, they grow a lot of their veggies in a garden on the grounds and locally source everything else. The Farmhouse is one of those spots you’ll remember forever.

Sitting on the sun porch and gazing out at the lush green lawn and beautiful sunshine, we sipped on the Berry Bramble, which was blackberry forward cocktail with the right balance of sweet from the fruit and spice from the ginger. This one is definitely refreshing! Our favorite cocktail of the day was the Everlasting Lemonade. This patio sitting sipper mixes lemonade and tart strawberries together into a slightly sweet and tart drink. Reminiscent of long summer days in the south, we’d recommend this one to anyone.

Starting with a pair of appetizers, we sampled the Wagyu Beef Carpaccio and Hudson Valley Foie Gras Terrine. The Wagyu Beef Carpaccio starts out with rich, tender beef brightened up with a fantastic, creamy truffle cream, earthy and crunchy capers, plus some deep truffle oil. As you roll around all the ingredients together on your fork, you get a good mix of meaty, creamy, earthy, and a little bit of crunch from the lettuce grown right on the grounds. On the other hand, the Hudson Valley Fois Gras Terrine combines meaty foie gras, tangy and bright dried fruit compote, and an amazing wine-tasting Riesling jelly. What’s amazing out this bite is that it tastes like a gourmet peanut butter and jelly! We’d recommend piling all the ingredients on the toast for the best bite!

For our entrees, we were treated to the divine Double-cut Pork Chop and an amazing Herb Encrusted Lamb Rack. The Double-cut Pork Chop is simply perfection of a pork chop being juicy, thick, and well-seasoned. The meat is so good, that the accoutrements are just icing of the cake. They’re just as special with sweet, creamy, and chunky grits mixing with the tangy and rustic collards and the apple adds a well-rounded brightness to the overall rich dish. When we say divine, we mean heavenly for sure! Needless to say, with how good the pork chop is, we were floored by Liz’s favorite, the Herb Encrusted Lamb Rack. Starting with the tender and succulent lamb perfectly cooked and adorned with mustard and herbs for a tangy, crunchy, and earthy bite. We cannot begin to describe the explosion of flavors this lamb brings. On top of that, the rutabaga puree beneath is sweet and creamy, the root vegetables are earthy, all mixing with the hearty lamb sauce and jus create an unimaginable bite. This dish will always be one of the best we’ve ever had, well, ever.

Being so full, we did save a little room for the Lemon Cake & Blueberry Compote. We love our lemon desserts and cakes. The cake itself was moist, yet dense that went so well with the thick, light icing, and the blueberries around it. The light and not over-sweet bite we needed to end our experience at The Farmhouse at Serenbe.

As the sun set over the rolling farmland, it splashed purples, blues, and pinks into the sky. If you ever need a little day trip or getaway just outside of Atlanta, this is your spot! Can’t wait to get back and try even more of their restaurants and spend a night in the Inn! If you could go to Serenbe would you?

 

 

 

 

 

Two Urban Licks: Brunch Edition

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 4/14/21

Right off the beltline in between Inman Park and Ponce City Market, Two Urban Licks is perched on a small hill with an inviting patio, amazing outdoor space, and even warmer interior. Just imagine the warm sun above and the clatter of patio diners enjoying a meal near you, then the smell of fresh food wafting from the kitchen where a wood burning oven’s fire glows ever so slightly. It’s also the perfect place to sit and watch people walk, run, or scoot on the beltline while sipping on a mimosa and feasting on everything from salmon chips to confit turkey wings, as well as brunch items like amazing brisket and eggs, a phenomenal biscuits and gravy, and flaky catfish and grits. Bring your brunch bae along for a sensational brunch adventure.

Being a destination patio on the beltline, we started out with Cool It Ginger cocktail that was served frozen with a perfect mix of pineapple and ginger for a savory, spicy balance, then finishing with booze on the back of the throat. This is an amazing patio sipper that will get you through the summer. On the other hand, we’re suckers for a good old fashioned and opted for the Up In Smoke! With a ton of citrus up front and the booze on the back of the palate, this one is a solid smoky old fashioned cocktail. Your father would approve. If cocktails aren’t your thing, they have a fantastic assortment of Mimosa flavors from traditional orange to blood orange to grapefruit. You can’t go wrong on a beautiful Sunday sitting on the patio with one of these babies.

Before we arrived, rumor had it that Two Urban Licks does some fantastic Salmon Chips. Rumor confirmed! We got the Salmon Chips and they’re so beautifully presented, almost too pretty to eat. From the crunch of the seasoned hearty potato chip to the flaky and cool salmon, the spice of the chipotle cream to the earthiness of the capers and onions, that’s one completely satisfying bite. It really has the gamut of flavors, meaty, crispy, tangy, earthy. More please. To go with our Salmon Chips, we got the spectacular Confit Turkey Wings. The second you bite into one of these you know it’s going to be special with the tender, smoky, and crunchy turkey! Then, amazing flavor explodes from the lemon pepper rub as it mixes with the creamy blue cheese sauce. This ends up being lemony, creamy, savory, and crunchy all in one bite. I didn’t share.

Moving onto the brunch dishes, we got three very different bites, but we’d highly recommend each! Starting with the Catfish and Grits, the catfish itself was perfection with the three ways it should always be served, crispy, flaky, and tender. The fish was perched on top of a concoction of creamy grits and creole seasoning that was reminiscent of N’awlins. Our pro tip is to use the lemon squeeze they give you because it elevates the flavor of the entire dish! Going from creole to barbeque with the Brisket and Eggs. This was John’s favorite bite with the rich, deep, juicy, brisket seasoned with a plethora of flavors. It is paired with a savory jus and a couple of savory runny eggs that when mixed with the brisket balanced some of the richness with some brightness and savory. Finally, my favorite dish was the Biscuits and Gravy. Imagine a large, flaky, crumbly, and buttery biscuit piled high with crispy and crunch chicken that’s tender and juicy inside. You got that picture, now introduce some eggs and top it with creamy, savory, and rich sausage gravy with hearty chunks of sausage. This is what dreams are made of with all the complexity of all the ingredients coming together. Our tip is to make sure to get every ingredient in one bite including the well-seasoned and crispy potatoes on the side. Drool.

Whatever you do, PLEASE stay for dessert because they have this Peanut Butter Pie that literally have people falling all over it to try. It’s creamy, peanut butter forward, but ends smooth on the palate. The best part is they top it with jam so you have a peanut butter and jelly vibe and these charred marshmallows that add to the sweetness! It’s so good you will want to put this on your must try list. If you don’t get ANYTHING ELSE at Two. Get this.

Next time you’re on the beltline stop by for a cool cocktail and Peanut Butter Pie at Two Urban Licks and get in a reservation for brunch. You won’t regret one bite of it.

Milton’s Cuisine & Cocktails

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 4/9/21

Not too far from Alpharetta, there is a sleep town square in the city of Milton. Nestled in a beautiful house with an expansive, inviting porch, the bright spot downtown has to be Milton’s Cuisine & Cocktails. We sampled a bit of everything from the happy hour plump filet mignon, amazing deviled farm eggs, crispy fried green tomatoes, spicy Nashville hot chicken tamales, rich blackened salmon, sweet carrot cake and a few dynamic cocktails. Get ready for a food adventure.

As we sat leisurely on the patio, we sipped on several of their fun cocktails, like the Poncho Appleseed, Applewood Smoked Old Fashioned, and Smoked Cherry Gin Ricky. They were all balanced and good. The Poncho Appleseed is one part apple and cinnamon and one part margarita. This feels like fall with cinnamon on the rim and apple forward on the front with hints of citrus and a tequila finish. As for the Applewood Smoked Old Fashioned, we enjoyed the boozy goodness with orange notes up front and smoky on the back of the palate. It’s a solid by the fire sipper. Then, the Smoked Cherry Gin Ricky was oh, so sweet and sassy. The cherry flavor up front is sweet, tart and pairs well with the floral gin that hits you on the back.

The reason we ventured to Milton’s is to try their happy hour steak special and this one didn’t disappoint! Just imagine a plump and juicy cut of beef that is so succulent you won’t want to share. We swear it must also be marinated in red wine because it has so much rich and deep flavor, but we were told just salt and pepper, now that’s a good piece of meat! John decided it was his and kept quipping that he loved it and couldn’t get over the flavor. Plus, they have an array of great sauces for any palate! For us, we’d recommend the truffle butter. It’s earthy and creamy and adds that “je ne sais quoi” factor to the steak. We also enjoyed the bearnaise, creamy, and the red wine sauce, which was savory. Pro tip: mix the red wine and truffle butter. That’s pretty tasty.

On top of that, we sampled our way around the appetizers as well. We got everything from the Deviled Farm Eggs to the Fried Green Tomatoes to the Nashville Hot Chicken Tamales. Starting with the Deviled Farm Eggs, these babies some of the best in the city with a creamy, savory, tangy mustard filling that worked so well together. Then, topped it with meaty bacon, crunchy and tart red onions, and slathered in truffle oil and an aioli. This dish comes together into an explosion of different flavors. Must try. Also, rich and decadent are the Fried Green Tomatoes. They’re crispy on the outside with gooey goat cheese and tangy tomatoes inside. Adorned with pepper coulis and truffle oil, you get the gamut of flavors from spicy to savory to sweet to creamy to earthy. Can we have more? Finally, the most unique and fun dish of the appetizers was the Nashville Hot Chicken Tamales. Stoked to try these, they stuffed shells with crispy and spicy hot chicken, hominy grains and crisp pickle pieces. They paired it with extra pickles and a Pimento Cheese spread on the side for you to add the amount you like to the filling. You could literally eat the Pimento Cheese spread with a spoon, it’s that good. Pro tip: mix in a ton of the cheese spread and pickles to taste for the best bite. In love.

Of the main dishes, they suggested the Blackened Salmon and a slew of sides. First off, the Blacked Salmon was perfectly seasoned and blackened piece of tender and juicy fish. This spicy and peppery salmon was on top of an amazing bed of creamy pimento cheese grits, earthy wilted spinach, and an amazing lemony sauce. All of these flavors paired so well together from the creamy of the grits to the earthiness of the spinach to the heft and spice of the fish, to the lemon in the sauce. On the side we got baby iceberg wedges, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, and creamed spinach. One of our favorites was the creamy and earthy cauliflower that soaked in all that truffle oil and garlic and topped with sharp Parmesan for an outstanding toasty bite. We also enjoyed the brussel sprouts that had pieces of sweet, cooked apple to go with the earthy sprouts and hearty and crisp bacon. Spot on. The most unique side was the creamed spinach with a runny egg on top! A moat of creamy and earthy spinach ramped up with the savor and heartiness of a runny egg! It was deep, rich, and tangy. The favorite though, had to be the baby Iceberg wedges! Smaller than a large wedge, these came with pickled onion for tang, everything bagel seasoning for that extra flavor, and some of the best avocado buttermilk ranch dressing that ever went in our mouths. Let us tell you that everything bagel seasoning really makes it well, everything. Prepare to drool.

For the dessert, they brought us the Carrot Cake because it is one of their staple items. Now THIS is carrot cake! Milton’s mixes carrots and cake together that’s crispy on the edges , fluffy cake with a light crunch in the middle, then topped with a crazy good cream cheese frosting, candied orange peel, and nuts. It’s so much flavor and worth every bite. Funny story, my mom gave me carrot cake for my first birthday, I’m not sure I’ve had it since until now. I was missing out.

Stuffed to the brim, we bid farewell to Milton’s Cuisine & Cocktails up in Milton. What would you want to try?

Corner Cafe and Buckhead Bread Company

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 3/27/21

As we drove down Piedmont into the heart of Buckhead, it had been a few years since we visited Corner Café and Buckhead Bread Company. The hustling breakfast and brunch spot has no lack of flavor and every dish they have is out-of-this world good!  They have dishes like these ‘Bananas Fosters’ Pancakes or Chicken and Waffles that will fill your syrup craving. Or if you’re into those not so sweet items, they have some of the best benedicts in Atlanta, starting with this Smoked Salmon Benny. Warning, this will make you hungry.

Upon arrival, we quickly got the Prosecco Sunrise that’s a twist on a traditional mimosa with your typical prosecco, orange juice, but they also add grenadine. We love the refreshing and balanced flavor, as well as how pretty the sip is! Speaking of sweet, Corner Café has a sassy Banana Fosters Pancake plate that are fluffy cakes topped with a delicate whipped cream, caramelized bananas, and macadamias. We loved the mix of earthy and hefty bananas served warm and sweet mixed with the delicate pancakes and perfectly sweet syrup. Make sure to slather as much syrup on it and let it soak into the cakes, dessert for breakfast or brunch is the way to go!

John turned to me and said he really enjoyed the Chicken and Waffles. Crispy chicken with gooey cheddar cheese on top, they started out crunchy and sharp and then the waffle hits the palate for a little bit of sweet, as well as the bacon for a meatiness. The best part was the spicy chili syrup that gave the whole dish a ZING. Pro tip: dip all the bacon in the spicy syrup and you’ve got candied bacon!! These have to be one of the best chicken and waffles in the city.

Whatever you do, make sure you get the Smoked Salmon Benedict! Now, THIS is how you benny. Boasting smoked salmon atop a potato cake and smothered in egg and sauce, it almost like a lox bagel and Benedict combined into one dish! With the salty and savory salmon pairing with the savory egg, brightness of the hollandaise, and the creaminess of the potato it was one tasty number. I decided these are my absolute favorite benedict in Atlanta. These are a must try when you go to Corner Café.

As the brunch rush began to slow and we chatted with the staff, we just love how warm and inviting Corner Café is from the staff to the management and how they made our experience worth every calorie. We can’t say enough good things about this spot.

Buttermilk Kitchen plus Milkdrop Biscuits

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 3/22/21

The southern charm of the cottage on Roswell Road near Chastain Park pulls you in from the street with the smell of fresh baked biscuits and the chatter of families standing out in the parking lot, laughing, and talking after an amazing meal. Buttermilk Kitchen is one of Atlanta’s well-known brunch, breakfast, and lunch spots and after tasting a few things from the menu, we know why. Everything from the Friday special, Ray’s Waffle Burger, to chicken biscuit to the boozy fried chicken and waffles to the gooey grits bowl and rounding out the meal with some fresh cut Benton’s bacon and the cornbread loaf; we were in brunch heaven.

Let’s kick this off with the Cornbread Loaf and Grits Bowl. The Cornbread Loaf itself is a heart and dense bread with a light crisp on the edges. Buttermilk Kitchen puts it with a fantastic honey spread that’s sweet and a creamy butter that adds so much extra flavor to the loaf. A great bite before you get the rest of your breakfast! One of the dishes we tried was the Grits Bowl. It’s a flavor extravaganza with hearty, creamy, and cheesy pimento cheese grits stuffed with savory chicken sausage, tangy tomatoes, earthy spinach, and topped with a runny egg. All together we mixed it up and it was creamy and sharp with hints of savor, earthiness, and tang. Make sure to get all the ingredients in one bite!

Of the main dishes we really enjoyed the Chicken and Waffles and Chicken Biscuit.  The Chicken Biscuit has the perfect harmony of crispy and juicy chicken, buttery and fluffy biscuit, and tangy and slightly spicy jam.  It starts out crispy and savory with hints of butter juxtaposed to the spicy and sweet of the jam that kicks up the flavor. This was Liz’s favorite with all that sassy flavor! Our pro tip is to take some of the pickles they put on the side and add them to the sandwich. It adds some salt and tang!

John’s favorite was the Chicken and Waffles. They start out with a buttery, sweet, and gooey waffle with a slight crisp on the ends. Then, on top is some very tender, juicy, and crispy fried chicken left on the bone to give it a little more dep flavor. The best part has to be the maple syrup that’s mixed with whiskey for a sweet and tangy up front and a boozy bite on the back of the palate. It elevates all the flavors of the waffles and chicken and ends up in an explosion of taste.

We also were excited to sample the Ray’s Waffle Burger that’s only available on Fridays! It’s fantastic with a mix of stuffed cheeseburger topped with Benton’s amazing crisp and hearty bacon, a maple aioli and waffle buns. The burger is cheesy, sharp, and savory and mixes so well with the crisp bacon, the sweet aioli, and the crispy, buttery waffle. Whatever you do, get some of the maple syrup that goes with the chicken and waffles to add to this. WOW! That’s amazing with it! The whiskey forward syrup goes perfectly with the savory of the beef and bacon.

Is there a dish that sticks out to you?

Milkdrop Biscuits

Did you know that Chef Suzanne Vizethann recently launched a pop-up, Milkdrop Biscuits, where you can get an array of fun, savory, sweet, biscuit concoctions? Next door to Buttermilk Kitchen, they are for pick-up on select Saturdays only and sells out during the week before, so you know they must be good. We tried the Chefie’s Snack with Golden Arches(2), Hot’lanta, and Not Your Momma’s Sausage. These hearty biscuit sandwiches definitely hit that Saturday morning spot!

Speaking about the biscuit itself is crisp on the outside and perfectly flaky and light on the inside. Plus, the right amount of butter to add that buttery finish. We have to say, sorry mom, Not Your Momma’s Sausage, is better. Imagine that biscuit mentioned with a sweet jam, savory and floral sausage, whipped eggs, and slathered in cheese. Being a fan of the McMuffin with egg, there is no comparison, hands down this biscuit is the new king. Sweet, savory, sharp and buttery.

Of all the biscuits, Golden Arches was Liz’s favorite. This one has this crazy good, smoky bacon that pairs PERFECTLY with the soft and buttery biscuit, sharp cheese, and creamy egg. It’s smoky with hints of butter, sharpness, and savory egg and Chef Vizethann told us that bacon fat is on the biscuit. Must try. What’s a biscuit spot without a chicken biscuit? The Hot’lanta Biscuit is crispy, perfectly fried and juicy chicken sandwiches between two fluffy biscuits. Don’t mess with this one, the heat grows as you eat and it’s the perfect mix of spice, savory, and buttery biscuit.

What do you want to try?

The Cigar Cellar

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 3/3/21

Dark stained wood lines the wall, a black piano sits in the corner, several plush leather chairs dot the floor space, as the large, elegant bar wraps around the entire room and displays all the beautiful liquor assortment perfectly. In the middle of the space, a humidor with all types of cigars illuminates the low-lit interior of The Cigar Cellar, a new cigar lounge with swanky cocktails and divine eats. On Valentine’s Day we ventured up to this new spot to check out their new brunch menu including superb Steak and Eggs, fresh French Toast launched that very day, as well as a killer Breakfast Burger, Mimosas, Bloody Marys and a fantastic signature Old Fashioned. So, let’s light up a cigar, sip on the Cellar Signature Smoked Old Fashioned, and get some stellar food. Who’s hungry?

Nothing goes as well with a freshly lit cigar than a perfectly balanced old fashioned. The Cigar Cellar’s Cellar Signature Smoked Old Fashioned is one experience cocktail to behold! Executed flawlessly, the cocktail is placed in a dome and filled with smoke and presented to the customer and the dome removed and the smoke released unveiling the beautiful old fashioned inside. Beyond the beautiful presentation, the cocktail itself is a flavor extravaganza starting sweet and boozy and ending with a light smoke finish. This is a must try! All of their glass wear and cocktails are presented well, we loved the design on the Bloody Mary glass in particular.  Stunning.

From the brunch menu, we selected the French Toast, Breakfast Burger, and Steak and Eggs. Starting with the French Toast was pretty spectacular with a slight crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. From the crunch of the nuts, the tang of the fruit, and the right amount of maple syrup, the toast had a ton of flavor all the way around. The second entrée we sampled was the Breakfast Burger with Bravas Patatas.  This delicious option has everything you’d want with a savory runny egg, hearty-cut bacon, gooey sharp cheddar cheese and double angus patties all encompassed in a toasty-buttery bun. The burger is perfectly seasoned and is a great bite! The accoutrement to the burger were the Bravas Patatas that were perfectly cooked and crisp, hearty, and warm, topped with a spicy, sweet aioli that’s amazingly good. Our pro tip is to put some of the potatoes and aioli on the burger, you’ll thank us.

Of all the bites we tried, our favorite had to be the superb Steak and Eggs. Fall-apart tender and meaty pieces of steak atop of some crunchy, sweet, spicy potatoes and grits and next to that sensationally seasoned over-medium eggs! Just imagine the meaty and tender steak mixed with the crunch of the potatoes, spiciness and sweetness of the grits and sauce, then even more taste with the addition of the runny egg to liven up the dish with some savor. Can’t stop thinking about all the flavors combined; we’d recommend getting all the ingredients together in one bite. Divine.

As we sat by the fire on the patio, we lightly chatted with a couple at a table near us and finished sipping on our drinks. This will be a Valentine’s Day to remember for sure. What do you want to try?

Fia Restaurant in The Burgess Hotel

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 2/23/21

Dressed to the nines, the couple breezed through the heavy double doors and made their way to the lavish Mr. B Bar for a pre-dinner cocktail. Next to the bar, the Library’s large green, tailored coach was inviting as the fire in the fireplace leapt and danced on the cold day near the end of winter. The beauty of The Burgess Hotel in the heart of Buckhead is breathtaking, you’ll forget you’re in a boutique hotel, more like in a bond movie. Adjacent to the Library, there’s a flavor-forward wood-fire grilled restaurant called Fia Restaurant. Fia, meaning little fire, is anything but that, it boasts big, larger than life flavor, as well as delicious grilled fare that is pretty unforgettable. Burgess, who owns the hotel, got the spices and flavors from his extensive travels and it really shows in his food! Everything from the savory Braised Lamb Shank, the perfectly Charred Octopus, an amazing Pork Belly bowl, sweet and savory Coconut Pecan Old Fashioned, and unbelievable Grilled Whole Branzino are literally on-fire with flavor. Let’s take a tour of the Fia menu, shall we?

Upon arriving, we were quickly greeted with a tasty signature cocktail called the Coconut Pecan Old Fashioned. This isn’t your father’s cocktail that’s for sure! They use coconut washed bourbon as the base so even though it is boozy, there is an element of sweetness to the cocktail throughout. As you sip this starts boozy, ends sweet, and a little spice from the spiced pecan Demerara. Make us another!

Of the appetizers, we made great choices with the Charred Octopus and the Pork Belly. Starting with the octopus that’s seriously tender with a smoky, light char to round out the flavor. Paired with the tangy and bright artichokes, an earthy bed of capers, salty olives, there is so much complexity on the palate. We can’t stop thinking about this healthy option! On the opposite end of the spectrum is a deep and rich pork belly dish that is chocked full of dynamic flavors. It starts with a slightly crispy outside and tender inside pork belly that melts into a sea of creamy and sharp grits. Decadent and topped with tangy pickled onions and an outstanding sweet glaze, this was so good that everything together ended up being creamy, sharp, crispy, tangy, sweet, and tender. Yum.

After enjoying these two starters, we had to go big for the Braised Lamb Shank and the Whole Grilled Branzino. The Braised Lamb Shank was served with a decorative cone on it and revealed to us when placed on the table. Beyond the fun presentation, the lamb fell off the bone and slathered with the hefty, rich, and lightly tangy sauce.  The flavor was so bright, tangy, and yet ended smooth that went to so well with the sauce and rice. Plus, we knocked it out of the park ordering the Brussel Sprouts on the side. Some of the most tender sprouts we’ve had with a great little char were fantastic! The sweetness of the pear that was vibrant and light mix so well with the char and the earthiness of the sprouts. Now, the best bite of the night had to be the Whole Grilled Branzino. We don’t know exactly what spices were on the charred and crispy skin, but they were so well balanced and savory that it made every bite different and fun! The fish was perfectly cooked and served whole paired with a cabbage-y light salad with a bright and lemony sauce. Now, that’s how you season, cook, and grill fish with tender fish up front, crisp skin, and every flavor profile seasoned on the outside. Wow!

To finish up our experience, we opted for the Chocolate Cake. What’s better than ending a fantastic meal with a little chocolate? This one was rich and mostly dark chocolate with hint of raspberry paired with some light and fluffy cake. Would go so well with an after-dinner aperitif or even a good little cup of espresso.

At the end of the evening, the bar was dotted with a few guests and the library’s fireplace glowed from across the hotel. The perfect end to the perfect evening. What would you like to try?

The White Bull

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 2/16/21

Our Foodie Unicorn

On a gray, cold, overcast day with freezing rain in the air, we headed to Decatur Square to enjoy a meal at one of Atlanta’s best restaurants, The White Bull. This is one of those places that you dream about as a foodie and a reviewer. You know we were counting the days to go and try Chef Pat Pascarella’s amazing creations and when that day arrived, we were blown away by so many dynamic plates. They have everything from the fantastic Cold Chicken Sandwich, the savory Poutine, fresh Half Chicken entrée, some earthy Burrata and Beets, smoky Smoked Trout, rich Brussel Sprouts, and some buttery Bread and Butter. It was worth the wait.  Alright, let’s not leave you in suspense; we’re ready to get down to the details.

With a diverse array of starter dishes and share plates, The White Bull has some spectacular bites. With all of them so good, it’s hard to pick a favorite, but probably the simple smoky smoked trout was the stand-out with a mellow fish spread with the perfect amount of smoke, charred bread, and tangy pickled onions. It was a ton of flavor, salty, savory, smoky, charred, and tangy. Also, we really enjoyed the Burrata and Beets with its naturally earthy and savory flavors with a hint of sweetness. We loved the addition of the anchovies for a natural salt and savory source to pair perfectly with the creamy cheese and roasted earthiness of the beets. Don’t let the anchovies scare you, they’re a great way to amp up the flavor without the sodium! From the sweet and tang of the sauce to the earthiness of the Brussel Sprouts, we loved these morsels! Plus, along with the creamy and sharp cheese paired with bacon bites for a dash of savory, these are some of the best sprouts in the city. John’s favorite starter was the Bread and Butter, a masterful piece of light and airy focaccia with melty butter and topped with piney rosemary. We found it was perfect for dipping in the main entrée, the Half Chicken or plain with some good, old fashioned butter. Warm and hearty.

Of the menu, the most brunchy of the entrees had to be the poutine. A heaping pile of crunchy, warm, and tender potatoes topped with wonderfully cooked beef brisket, then on the bottom, the savory and garlicky gravy with onions was the perfect combination. On top, mild and light cheese and the savor of the fried egg complete this amazing bowl. The best part is on the bottom, so get as much of the ingredients in the savory gravy and take one big bite. You’ll end up with a creamy, savory, crunchy, tangy, and rich bite. Plus, for the price, this is a TON of food, you’ll want to share!

On our road to The White Bull, we’ve had some great chicken, fantastic, phenomenal even, but one thing we remember about Chef Pat is that he has the absolute best chicken you can find in the city. We sampled it at a Polenta party back in early 2019, and it showed back up again in the Half Chicken dish. Fall off the bone tender and immaculately cooked chicken, skin on to lock in the juices, this dish is mind blowing good and you just can’t match the freshness.  Alone, this chicken is the star of the show, but you add the accoutrements of the sweet, hearty grits, savory garlic sauce, and charred broccolini and you’ve got THE flavor spectrum. Rich, savory, hearty, creamy, smoky, earthy, do we need to even go on? Pro tip, make sure to get the chicken off the bone and roll it around in the sauce, grits, cut off some broccolini and dig in. Put this on your must try list.

The waitress told us that her favorite menu item was the Cold Chicken Sandwich, and after her ooh and ahh-ing we were sold. It has to be good if she loves it that much? She was spot on, this practically perfect chicken sandwich in every way, has it all. The crisp of the fried chicken hits you on the front of the palate then the flavor changes and you get the creaminess of the mayo, the crunchy pickles, and the savory of the hearty bacon jam slathered on top. The flavor is so rich, deep, and complex that you don’t know what ingredient you like more. The combination of flavors is striking, and you will NOT be able to stop eating it! Needless to say, put this on your list too!

What’s a fantastic experience without an amazing cocktail? We got the Wollman Sour that was reminiscent of red wine up front but as you drink it sweetens as the egg white hits your palate and ends up being creamy and sweet. Rustic and earthy then sweet, so delicious.

At the end of our meal, the sleet was coming down pretty good outside, so we sat a while and watched another group order food for the table and talk about how good the food is, we concur! Everything is top-notch. What would you like to try?

Vin 25 in Roswell

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 2/8/21

In a quaint cottage just off the hustle and bustle of Canton’s food district in Roswell, Vin 25’s heated patio glows with firepits and the chatter of diners can be heard down Plum Street. We visited for Roswell Restaurant Weeks, but beyond that, this little slice of heaven is the perfect spot for an intimate date night, a glass of wine with your bestie, or just for a relaxing meal on the patio. Their stellar menu boasts large plates like succulent salmon to amazing charcuterie and fromage boards, unique wines like the Albarino Reserva from Uruguay, craft cocktails, and a whole slew of small plates. Just thinking about Vin 25 is making us hungry, let’s dig in.

Just because Vin 25 sells as a wine bar, doesn’t mean you can’t sip on a tasty cocktail. We sampled the La Rosa and it was a real treat from the mix of lemon, tequila, and sparkling rose. But what really makes this cocktail is that bit of spice from the prevalent amount of black pepper. It gives it just that little edge to elevate it from good to great. Now, being that Vin 25 IS a wine bar, we had to try something different, so we paired our salmon with the wine pairing recommended, the Barbera. A mild red wine out of Italy that is lighter bodied and more reminiscent of a pinot noir. Not too fruity, but not too bold, this one went so well with the earthiness of the foraged mushrooms and Brussel sprouts on the main course. We also were treated to the Albarino Reserva out of Uruguay, which is a white varietal that reminds us of in between a Vinho Verde and a Pinot Grigio. It was tart with a slight acidity but mellows out on the back of the pallet for a smooth finish. What a wonderful wine!

As we mentioned, we went for Roswell Restaurants Weeks and got the 3-course meal that included Winter Squash Toast, 60 South Salmon, and Buttermilk Cake. On top of that we got gigantic charcuterie and fromage board! The board consists of 5 rotating meats and cheeses that can range from Tomme, which was John’s favorite, to Red Dragon from Whales, which was Liz’s favorite. What’s Red Dragon? It’s an aged cheddar that contains grain mustard seeds. Delicious. On the meats, we sampled two types of salami, prosciutto, and more. Who knows what will end up on the board next time! Hope it has the honeycomb and the bacon jam, those were very welcome accoutrement to the meats and cheeses presented! One of the better meat and cheese boards around, if you ask us.

The first course for the 3-course meal was the Winter Squash Toast. This seasonal vegetable toast had so much flavor! Just imagine the creamy and sweet winter squash purée melts into the crunchy toast and as you bite you go from creamy and sweet to savory of the bacon, tart of the currant vinaigrette, to tang of the pickled onions. Did we mention this one was bursting with flavor? It’s so complex and really tasty! The second course was the 60 South Salmon.  This one is a beautiful plate and just as beautiful tasting. The English pea purée is creamy and a little earthy that pairs perfectly with the tender salmon. Sitting in the middle of the salmon, the brussel sprouts are cooked just right and mixed with foraged mushrooms. This rounds out the flavors of earthy, crispy, and a richness. Such a good dish, and a great portion! Must try. The third course was the Buttermilk Cake.  Not too sweet, not too rich, this moist and delicate cake has a warm and buttery caramel on top of a boozy Rumchatta cream. Those dynamic flavors are well balanced with the addition of strawberries for tartness and almonds and pecans for a crunch.

What’s better than good food is always good company, we enjoyed talking to Mac, the GM, and our waiter about all things wine and beer. They have an amazing staff, stellar menu, and top-notch drinks. We can’t wait to sit on their amazing patio when the weather gets warmer. We’ll have to get the Albarino Reserva again and try a new bite or two. What would you like to try?

Mac’s Chophouse: Brunch on the Square

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 2/1/21

On a beautiful sunny weekend in the middle of winter, staring out the big windows at Mac’s Chophouse is the best view of the beautiful Marietta Square. You’d never know gazing down there it was cold enough to wear a heavy wool coat, the warm sun shown into the dining room, feeling almost like summer. Beyond the beautiful second story views, Mac’s Chophouse has impeccable service and even better brunch dishes. Lazy Susan in the middle, we got a hodgepodge of brunch staples like the wonderful Chicken and Waffles, creamy Eggs Benedict, and the big “bring-your-appetite” Lazy Susan sampler. Then, we took a moment to sip on the Black Thai Affair and a mimosa to perfect the day. Let’s dig in.

Our wonderful waiter didn’t skip a beat in recommending a cocktail, he immediately pointed to the Black Thai Affair. This gem of a cocktail starts out with a slight booze and then finishes with a creamy, frothy, citrus bite. The best part of this cocktail has to be the peppercorn thai basil syrup that gave it a peppery nose that lingered into the sip and on the back of the throat. It was such a wonderful unique addition to jazz up the entire drink. Must Try.

Moving on to the food, we saw they had pork belly appetizer and just had to at least try it.  Perched a top a bed of perfectly crisped Brussel Sprouts, the belly was the right amount of fat and meat, plus well-seasoned. To top it off, a drizzle of barbecue sauce for a little bit of a tang. All together the earthiness and crisp of the sprouts paired well with the savory meat and the tart of the sauce. Get everything in one bite! Moving to our brunch items, we got the Eggs Benedict and opted for the ham, you could also get crab cakes. This duo was rich egg and tangy hollandaise resting on a crisp English muffin and hearty, thick and meaty ham. We’d recommend getting these with the cheese grits and mix them together. OMG, now that’s amazing.

Of everything we got, the chicken and waffles were almost too good to believe. Starting with the crisp and tender chicken topped with candied bacon, all sitting on a warm and fluffy waffle. Don’t forget to drizzle on a generous amount of maple syrup for the best possible bite. It has all the flavors from savory, crunchy, sweet, and rich. Beyond this amazing dish, the Lazy Susan Sampler was another bright spot, and something we’ve not seen on any other menu. It was a hodgepodge of delicious brunch items like a salmon bagel, creamy and cheesy grits, all the brunch meats you can imagine, a slice of dreamy crème brulee French Toast, a waffle, crispy potatoes, and scrambled eggs. It doesn’t get any more complete than this really as you get a good bit of everything on the menu. The favorites from the sampler had to be the amazing cheesy, tart, and creamy grits, along with the perfectly cooked and thick crème brulee French toast slathered in maple syrup, and the little salmon bagel.  Remember to bring your appetite, you’ll need it for this one.

As the waiter took the lazy susan away, we peered back out the window and watched people stroll through the Marietta Square, one couple hand-in-hand, a few young ladies giggling, and a biker stopped to check his watch. We agreed at that point, the food was just as good as the view. We can’t wait to try more at Mac’s Chophouse.