Lost Art Music Festival, Foxhall Resort 2022

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 6/27/22

Turning into Fox Hall Resort, carefully manicured, lush, green grass spreads out before you as the brown picked fence rolls by the car window. The sweeping Fox Hall Resort was the beautiful backdrop for this year’s Lost Art Music Festival. The festival sits on one of the many green spaces, just steps from the VIP cabin, and just down the road from the main club house with amenities like a bar, restaurant, and infinity pool that looks like it is falling into the lake behind it. Back down the road, Lost Art Music Festival’s sounds fill the air with warmth, Americana, folk, big band, rock, 90s sound, country, and everything in between. Grab a shady spot, comfy chair, and stay awhile.

The first thing we got into was The Lone Bellow BBQ and Wild Heaven Beer Pairing Inner Circle Artist Experience. This is what makes Lost Art Music Festival truly special are the up-close and personal experiences you can get with your favorite bands and brands. This one paired three Wild Heaven Beers with BBQ from Chef Mike Lasage (of Drunk & Lucky Social Club). The pairings were Euro-Style Pilsner paired with the Fresh, Herb Salad, Garden Beer Season 9 Saison paired with charred corn, and Kersenrood Barrel-aged Flanders Red Ale with Ki Ten Dang Thai Style BBQ’D Chicken Drums. They were all great, the Pilsner is dry and goes with the lemongrass in the salad, the charred corn’s earthiness goes with the mellow Saison, while the vinegary, tart Kersenrood paired with the spicy, savory of the sauce on the chicken. The chicken itself was tender, juicy, and perfectly cooked, phenomenal! The Kersenrood is a new beer by Wild Heaven not yet available in the tap room, so that was a treat. Even though it said “red ale” it drank more like a funky sour with tons of balsamic vinegar on the back of the throat. Worth mentioning is the best quote from the pairing, “Saison is the duct tape of the beer world,” Mike Lasage.

Then, The Lone Bellow came in casually and played a few songs like Georgia Wheel. They are a band out of Nashville with roots from Georgia, Zach Williams is from Acworth, Brian Elmquist is from Sanderson, GA and Kanene Pipkin is from Virginia. Their sound is truly Americana with hints of country and rock, but this was an acoustic set with heart. At the end, they stuck around to chat with experience goers, take pictures, and answer questions. They are some of the nicest, down-to-earth people!

Lost Art Music Festival also has a stellar VIP experience! We beat the heat with an air-conditioned cabin full of tables to relax and came with three drinks to enjoy during the festival. They also had indoor, air-conditioned bathrooms which were much needed on the hot day. Outside, they had a beautiful, covered porch with rocking chairs, great for sitting in the shade and listening to the music below. On the side, the cabin had a large stone deck with tables and a fireplace. Plus, down near the stage, they had a covered VIP area that was slightly raised and gave us a great view over the crowd.

We also enjoyed several acts on the main stage like Rayland Baxter, Southern Avenue, and of course our new friends, The Lone Bellow. First up was Southern Avenue, they were a large band with everything from an amazing guitar and drummer to fun singer! They were a mix of funk, jazz, rock, and all came together with all types of instruments to create a big band sound. We must give a shout out to the amazing drummer who impressed us with her skill!

Next up was The Lone Bellow. We witness their acoustic set in the artist experience but with the entire band that includes drums and plug-in acoustic guitar, they were a mix of country, rock, with lots of drum and guitar to round out the songs. All three main members of the band take turns singing and write their own music. Each of them had their own specific style and personality, which made it fun to watch. There’s something for everyone to like about them.

Finally, was Rayland Baxter. Dressed in a plain white t-shirt, he started out country, switched to rock, and back and forth. Something that we really liked about Rayland Baxter and his band was the 90s grungy reverb on some of the songs. We’re big early 90’s rock fans and enjoyed every minute of it.

As the sun went behind the trees, the stage fell into the shadow. The lights coming from the stage could be seen brighter and swirled around the ground on the people standing up front. A coolness came over the green. That’s it for this year’s Lost Art. See you next year!

Candler Park Music Festival 2022

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 6/9/22

The faint sound of music in the distance moves through the air and beats in harmony with the swaying trees. You’re mesmerized. Laughter can be heard as you near the gates as throngs of people weave in-and-out of the lines to get in to see where the sound is coming. On either side of you, artists have lined up with their clothing, artwork, wares, and even vinyl to woo you into buying before the show. That’s when you come into an open clearing where you finally come face-to-face with the sound, It’s Candler Park Music Festival.

As you bob through the crowd, children play on small blankets, while there’s an older gentleman nodding his head, and to his left a beautiful woman sways to-and-fro as the beats move her. The lights from the stage create strange patterns on the ground, a dance of blue, red, and green. In the VIP area, the audience crowds the sky deck to get a view of all the fun below or sit at round, white tables in the shade. But the photo pit is the sweet spot. Sandwiched between the artist and the fan, you see the electricity, the love, the desire for both to walk away with smiles on their faces after a good show. There’s nothing like it!

Candler Music Festival has been around a while, so the ease of getting in and enjoyment is high here. While we were there, we saw two great acts, Yonder Mountain String Band and the electric Grace Potter. These acts couldn’t be more different. Yonder Mountain String Band is a country and bluegrass band that remained mostly acoustic with fiddles, bass, acoustic guitars, banjos, that harmonize so well together. They take turns singing and each member brings their own style and flair to the band.

Then there is Grace Potter. Someone we’ve never seen but heard of in the past, and we were blown away by her energy, her pizzazz for her music, and electricity around her. You could tell she loved it all! One part rock, other pop with some country mixed in, this singer songwriter has a little bit for everyone. She plays the piano, the guitar, and even if you don’t think you’ll enjoy her music or her genre, the show itself is worth the ticket. It’s high energy, fun, and keeps you dancing the entire night. We’d love to see her again just to see what she does next.

Whether you’re into rock, country, jam, Candler Park Music Festival has it all. Browse the artist market, check out the food and drink vendors, buy some vinyl or a t-shirt, hang out on the lawn, try a Scofflaw, or if you’re VIP make sure to take a trip up to the Skydeck! See you next year!

Brassica, in the Waldorf Astoria Buckhead

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 6/5/22

Marble and brass extend out from the warm wood bar, dotted with happy hour patrons enjoying fancy drinks and small bites. To the side the dining room is packed with warm leather booths juxtaposed to the orange and blue ornate plates and the slats in the wall that peer into the hall next to the restaurant. On the back end, the décor changes to a modern black with white tables and dark napkins. This beautiful spot is Brassica, the opulent French-Inspired Southern fare restaurant nestled in the lobby of the Waldorf Astoria Buckhead. They put just the right spin on traditional French and southern dishes, while offering upscale cocktails and an extensive wine list.

Brassica does everything well, including their cocktail and wine offerings. For the cocktails we tried the fancy James Bond inspired Vesper. Shaken not stirred, botanical gin, vodka, and the right amount of lemon make for a boozy, strong, floral, smooth cocktail where the flavor profile changes as you drink. If boozy isn’t want you’re looking for, go for the Roman Punch, it’s like drinking tea on the porch! Lemony, tangy, and sweet, it’s smooth as you can get. That might be dangerous. Plus, they have a great wine list that pairs with the great French-inspired southern menu. We tried the Licia Albarino from Spain and a Cabernet that were both delicious and went so well with the dishes we got, the Trout, and the Roasted Rack of Venison.

For starters, you can never go wrong with a solid Beef Carpaccio, tender and savory with tangy olives, earthy capers, and the sharpness of the cheese and tangy onion. A great bite when you roll it all up into one. We paired that with something we don’t see every day on menus, frog legs! The Sauteed Frog Legs are deconstructed and taken off the bone, and surround a crunchy, buttery toast with roasted garlic on top. Then underneath a fantastic creamy, earthy parsley cream adds the right amount of balance to the tender frog, buttery, crunchy toast, and sharpness of the garlic. This mix and match dish is a keeper.

Of the sides, we are in love with the Butternut Squash Jambalaya. This one is an experience all on its own, served in a smoked dome and the smoke released at the table. The smokiness is prevalent in the dish and pairs with the lightly spicy Cajun spices and creamy rice then contrasts the hearty and earthy butternut squash. Beyond that we had to opt for the Mac N Cheese that is served in a pot. It is creamy brie and tender macaroni all topped with a layer of sharp cheese.

The chef surprised us with a pair of Little Gem salads that is one part crunchy with pecans and apples and one part earthy of the greens. The best part is the buttery, tangy brown butter vinaigrette. It goes so well with the overall flavor profile of the salad. This is so good you may want to lick the plate. Another fun surprise we can talk about here is the cornbread that comes before the meal. It’s thick, dense, sweet, and savory bread that’s topped with a beautiful, warm brown butter sauce that give off hints of caramel. It’s some of the best cornbread you can get in Atlanta. It almost is like a dessert!

We can’t stop thinking about this stunning Roasted Rack of Venison shared plate. Have you seen venison presented so perfectly (see article cover)? It is tender and savory with a balanced amount of seasoning. On top boozy, sweet, and tart marinated cherries marry with the meat for an explosion of flavor, then underneath creamy and smooth mashed potatoes and savory, earthy Brussels pair with a savory, meaty sauce that just knocks the flavors out of the park. This is the best Venison we’ve EVER had! Go try it! The other main that we got is the Pecan Rainbow Trout. It is tender and flaky fish with a light crunch of the fish skin on the top. The pecans dotted on top roll into the creamy corn and sauce below for a warm, crunchy, overall great bite that is popping with flavor. This is a light dish that goes so well with the heftiness of the Venison.

To finish out our meal, we had to try the Oven Roasted Georgia Apple. It’s a whole cooked apple, skin on, that’s stuffed with sweet apricots, topped with a sweet, caramel sauce, spicy cinnamon, and paired with a cool dollop of ice cream. The uniqueness of the crunchy apple skin, sweetness of the apricots and creaminess of the sauce and ice cream make for the perfect pair.

This was epic.

Lapeer

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 5/9/22

The beautiful white building sits next to a sprawling green that makes its large “steeple” stand out amongst the downtown space. Is that a lighthouse? Inside, warm decorative lighting descends upon the large, ornate bar. The enclosed sunroom is stunning with earthy wood tables, mixed media ceiling, and beautiful lighting. Lapeer not only is stunning in ambiance but also in their wonderful food! Like this steak, a perfectly cooked filet that literally melts in your mouth and has the right amount of seasoning. No sauce required! It’s really the PERFECT piece of meat! But, the newly rebranded steakhouse doesn’t stop there, everything from the savory steak sauces to the elevated cocktails, the amazing apps, and even some of the best chocolate cake is all top notch! This is the perfect spot for a date night!

Why not start out with a cocktail? They have some good ones like the 5pm Somewhere! This great, balanced cocktail is tart and tangy with a good bit of creaminess from the foam. They also have an extensive wine list with several varieties of wine by the glass and even more bottles!

Starting with the amazing apps, the Beef Tartare and Seafood dip, the tartare starts out with a ton of savory meat, while the onion and mustard bring out the flavor with tang! The entire bite ends up tangy, creamy, savory, and then a crunch of the buttery bread. One the other hand, the Lapeer Smoked Fish Dish has a myriad of flavors from the creaminess of the dip to the saltiness of the fish and then a smokiness on top. Whatever you do make sure to mix it with the Kraken Blood hot sauce, it gives it a kick!

We opted to share a beautiful center-cut filet mignon and got almost every side you could imagine. Of all the sides, the crave-able Creamy Potatoes Gratin is hands down the best side. It is one part rich and creamy, then on the other side sweet and savory. Icing on the cake is the crunchy cheese on top! The Broccolini is earthy and tender inside with a nice char and crisp on the outside. This delicious side has a ton of flavor! On to the Charred Cabbage, which is tender and mild then on the top a healthy char. Underneath, the moat of savory sauce blends with a perfect amount of tang and sweetness. Last but not least are the creamy, dreamy whipped mashed potatoes that definitely pairs well with any of the steak sauces. They are buttery, creamy, and just right! We recommend pairing with the amazing steak jus sauce for ultimate bite.

The star of the show, though, had to be the Center-Cut Filet. It is perfection with the right amount of seasoning outside and juicy and savory inside. As we mentioned earlier it doesn’t really need any sauces, but they have some great ones that pair well with it. On the side they have roasted garlic, so we rolled that up with the Steak Jus and this was a great combo with the steak or even those crispy fries on the side! You really can’t go wrong with any of them!

To end the night, we opted for the amazing Chocolate Cake. It’s really the perfect amount of chocolate, not over-powering or over rich. The cake itself is darker chocolate with a little more flavor and then the icing gives it depth with a milkier flavor. It’s a great combination. On top, they added chocolate crunchies that add a fun texture to the bite. The perfect way to end an incredible meal.

Bastone

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 4/2/22

The lure of neon red draws you in from the road, while the outside patio sits ready for hungry patrons. Inside there is a mirror wall that casts beautiful light into the dining room, while the large bar that is the length of the restaurant puts out amazing cocktails.  From the genius of Pat Pascarella, the brand spanking new Bastone is an upscale mozzarella and wine bar that doesn’t skimp on their perfect pasta dishes, carefully curated wines, amazing apps, cool cocktails, and let’s not forget the magnificent mozzarella flight! The Porchetta Group has another winner! Let’s dig in.

Starting with the sips, they have huge, carefully curated wine list that boasts one of the best crisp white wines we’ve ever had, the Cincinnato Bellone from the rare Lazio region. It’s the perfect wine to go with the creaminess of the mozzarella. Want to try Italian beer? They have a crisp and cool, Birra Lucana, that’s the right body and lightness to go with the cheese, as well. Run, don’t walk to try the Ace of Spades. It’s so cool with the ingredients themselves: gin, salted pasta water(!), tomato, and a mozzarella ball! The salted water starts salty but ends with the carbines of the pasta mixed with a piney gin then stuffed with what Pat said was a “caprese salad in a glass.” They’ll blister tomatoes, basil and olive oil and add it table-side for an exciting experience cocktail. It’s different, yet something everyone should at least experience. He’s spot on with his description. Must try.

Something that Bastone does so well is Mozzarella, and they show it off with their signature item, the Mozzarella flight. It’s the combination of Fatt Amano (favorite of the four), Burrata Siano, Stracciatella, and Burrata Di Stefano. The Fatt Amano was both of our favorites being a little more bold and saltier, while the Burrata Siano is milder with a light creaminess and tang on the end. As you go down the board, you’ll get Stracciatella that is sweet and smooth, as well as Burrata Di Stefano! We also got a hand-pulled mozzarella in house from Pat himself and it was so fresh and bright! If you want a little meat to pair with that cheese, they have meat and cheese boards. We got the Taglierino mini board that had a large array of meats for the size, mozzarella to pair, and vegetables like garlicky artichokes that round out the flavors.

We didn’t find a bad bite in their tasting plates, like the Caldi Arancini or the Freddi Lamb Tartare. Arancini is always a go-to as it’s crunchy, savory, and creamy and this one didn’t disappoint. We call them crunchy balls of goodness! They’re stuffed with savory short rib, earthy butternut squash that melts into the cheese. It’s crunchy, sweet, savory, and creamy! On the other hand, is the Lamb Tartare that’s fresh and bright with a ton of fun flavors. It starts hearty and savory with a good crunch, then a mustard-forward tang comes in on the back. Pile it all on the crunch and salty chip for the best bite.

We’re not going to lie, the pastas at Bastone are the real showstoppers. Something that Pat does so well is his fresh, homemade pastas that are perfectly cooked in salted pasta water! He always says, “Salt your pasta water!” The first one is the Orecchiette with a fun presentation: a bone sticking right out of the middle. So, with a bone marrow indulgent middle, perfectly cooked hat pasta, pancetta for salt and savor, and tangy stew, it was a well-rounded bite. The favorite bite of the night is the Cresc’ Tajat. It is stuffed with rich herbaceous sausage, fantastic creamy sauce, and perfectly cooked inside out corkscrew pasta. It went from savory up front to creamy and sweet on the back, the myriad of flavors culminates in one of the best bites you can have here.

Not only is the dessert pretty to look at, but it also tastes just as good. The Pear Lemon Torta was tangy pear enveloped in creamy meringue, mellow tart, and creamy ice cream. The lemon explodes from the middle and then mellows with the as you eat all the other ingredients. So, yes, stay for dessert.

26 Thai Kitchen and Bar Brookhaven

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 12/6/21

Immaculately decorated with an expansive patio, 26 Thai Kitchen and Bar’s newest location in Brookhaven is one-part delicious Thai and sushi and one-part beautiful ambiance. Yes, this location has sushi! Everything from the creative cocktails to start to the delectable Nigiri, creative ceviche, spicy tuna tartare, the stunning Ka Pow Kai roll, and sensational sushi, they have a great variety for all palates. Let’s dive in.

Sitting on the patio, there is a light breeze as the wait staff brought us a KOH Samui cocktail. This drink starts bright and citrusy up front and then ends tart on the back. As we sipped, we delighted in the Nigiri, which was absolutely amazing. The salt water and freshwater eel are both so tender and fall apart in your mouth. Of the two, the freshwater eel is divine with a slight char and full flavor. It’s some of the best eel we’ve had in a long time. Plus, don’t count out the salt water eel, which was a little bit fuller, thicker, and tons of flavor, as well. The octopus was just ok though, it needs more flavor and tenderness.

Next to pair with our Zen Sake, we opted to try some of the other raw dishes, like the Ceviche and the Tuna Tartare. First up, the ceviche is so fresh and packed with peppers and radish! It starts almost sweet up front and then as you eat, there is a myriad of spice on the back. The spiciness grows as you eat, so this ends up being a spectrum of flavors from sweet to spicy with a good crunch. Another one of the great appetizers is the Tuna Tartare. It is spicy, creamy, spicy, and a great crunch from the wonton. The best bite is to add soy sauce for an extra saltiness and richness that revs up the flavor!

One of the things that 26 Thai in Brookhaven does that the other locations don’t is sushi! Starting with the stunning Ka pow kai roll, this one is the most unique fusion roll we’ve had with crepe on the outside and rice and asparagus inside. Surrounding this is some delicious minced and slightly spicy chicken with bright, crisp, peppers. Fun tip, go ahead and add soy sauce, it actually adds a little more richness to the meat and rice. Beyond this Thai and sushi mashup’s amazing flavor is the best sushi presentation we’ve seen in a long time on a circular wood board and piled high.

Along side this, we got two more sushi rolls, the Under the Sea and the Sahara Roll. The Under the sea is surprisingly light and refreshing with tender meat and creamy avocado that can be paired with the soy and wasabi for even more flavor. The best part is this one feels healthy for those watching their weight! We also thoroughly enjoyed the Sahara Roll, as well. This roll is sweet and rich and then you get the creaminess of the avocado and the tender fish on the back. Then, there is the slight crunch of the wispy tempura flakes and if you top with soy sauce and wasabi, you’re in for a treat.

What would you try first?

Atlas: Four Hands Collaboration

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 11/8/21

The moment you walk into the St. Regis, you’re greeted with a towering chandelier and sweeping staircase leading you to a dimly lit library with a sprawling illuminated bar and intimate tables filled with couples and friends smiling over delicious dishes. At Atlas, there are three words to describe it: impeccable, perfection, opulent. This does not only describe the ambiance, but some of the best food in all of Atlanta. The night we went was during the Four Hands collaboration 7-course tasting menu that married the genius of Chef Money and Chef Paul Liebrandt, the guest chef, in one miraculous meal. It’s a culinary masterpiece with the beautiful plating, scrumptious tastes, wonderful wine pairings, and the best white-glove service. This is definitely one to remember and we want to share the details with you.

 

When you arrive and sit down at your table, they immediately send over treats before you get your meal, like the Foie Gras Bon Bon, the “Cloud”, Puff Pastry, and Liquid Olive. Being about one bite each, the perfect little tastes are packed with flavors like the foie gras is rich and meaty, the cloud is earthy and literally melts in your mouth, while the puff pastry is dill forward and crispy, and the liquid olive was smooth with a little bit of olive on the end. We think the cloud was the best with the balance of cheese and beet flavor and were very impressed with the liquid olive, not too strong.

 

The first course is the Golden Caviar. Starting out, they place the caviar from their exclusive collection on the trout and accompany it with a tuna belly and a fantastic aioli. The caviar itself is a wonderful mix of saltiness and slight fish that accompanies that perfect pop. Underneath is the light, silky trout and juxtaposes the earthy micro greens. On the side, the crispy lightly fried tuna belly is perfection with a tasty creamy and earthy aioli for dipping. This course (and the next two) was paired with a delicate Rose champagne that is light and crisp to go with the lightness of the fish and caviar.

 

On to the second course, we got the Beets, which were paired with preserved plums and soft goat cheese. On top, the earthy and tangy beets are frozen in a ball then below is a moat of cheese, plums, and roasted beets that you can mix up together to get an amazing earthy, creamy, tangy bite. This one was so much fun to eat, a real treat.

 

Just behind this course, was the Scallops, but we opted for the Hamachi Crudo instead since we don’t eat shellfish. The presentation on this one was the absolute best of the entire meal. Served on a hand plate, it felt “hand delivered” to you! The fish is served raw but is so tender, it literally melts in your mouth and goes flawlessly with the creamy avocado, bright citrus vinaigrette, and amazing cold cilantro jalapeno sauce. In love with all the flavors creamy, earthy, spicy, bright, and add the crunchy beet flakes for one of the best bites of the night.

 

Moving on the fourth course where we got to pair a perfect poached cod and a bright Chablis. One of the best poached cods we’ve ever had, it was fall-apart tender. It’s light and mellow and pairs so well with the multiple forms of grapes that accompany this dish. The sweet and tart of the grape gives this little number an earthy and tart with a slightly salty end. The Chablis on the other hand was acidic that juxtaposed the sweet and salty of the dish. Just perfect.

 

When you didn’t think it couldn’t get any better, course five knocked it out of the park with the Westholme Wagyu. Buttery, slightly charred, and melt-in-your mouth wagyu that was too tender and delicious to even use the Italian knife they let us pick out. Topped with a candied fig that gives the meat a sweet, brown sugar, earthy, and tart bite on top of the already perfectly cooked wagyu. On the opposite end of the plate is a too beautiful to eat flower and gelatin concoction. It adds the right amount of creaminess. Overall, when you mix all the flavors together you get a creamy, rich, sweet, salty and a myriad of other flavors that let’s you know this IS the dish to remember. Paired with a heavy Cabernet is just right.

 

On to the dessert portion, they brought out course six, the Green Apple palate cleanser. They pour a citrus green apple sauce over this frozen, green apple treat for a boost of brightness. The entire dish is earthy and crisp with a complex mix of tartness and nuttiness from the pistachios, granola, diced apples, and mandarin. Then, for the finale, the Vol Au Vent is a decadent, crispy, bold bite. With layers of flaky pastry and bold caramel and apple flavor all around. Then, on the side, a rare dessert wine ice cream is boozy and sweet that goes well with the bold apple and caramel flavors. Paired with a Royal Hungarian dessert wine is rich and drinks like brown sugar, what a great sip with the dessert.

 

As a thanks, the Chefs brought out Petit fours after our meal. These candies are so fun, what looked like an Oreo, matcha gummies, and more. Just like these gifts, the entire meal is a total gift from beginning to end. From the delicious meal to the best service, it was one to remember.

 

Would you go to Atlas for a tasting menu?

Barcelona Wine Bar: The Date Night Spot

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 10/25/21

The metal, wood, and soft hues from the setting sun enveloped the Barcelona Wine Bar Westside wrap-around patio. At the bar a couple chat over a shared bottle of red wine with an assortment of small plates. Now this is date night done right with the ambiance, impeccable food, and endless wine bottle list, all meant for sharing. We imbibed on the fantastic Aperitivo Board, bubbly BarCava, spicy Grilled Pulpo, great Grilled Broccolini, divine Potato Tortilla, creamy Jamon & Manchego Croquetas, and finished it off with crispy calamari. Who’s ready to go on a Friday night date night?

Sipping on some bubbly, the BarCava is an exclusive sparkling wine made just for Barcelona. It’s bright, tart, and crisp with tons of bubbles. A must try. To go with our wine, we started with the Aperitivo Board, which was an assortment of tasty Serrano, Feut, Mahon, tangy and creamy Patatas Bravas, spicy peppers, buttery almost, and sharp and creamy Manchego. You can mix and match in any combination, which we both loved the Serrano with the Manchego and a dollop of the spicy mustard on top.

Something that we love about Barcelona is the small plates that’s perfect to sharing. You can try more of the extensive menu this way and explore a variety of flavors. You can get everything from light dishes like the pulpo to decadent like the Potato Tortilla to hearty, fried calamari. Speaking of the dishes, one of our favorites was the Potato Tortilla. This fun dish is served like a piece of pie and starts creamy and sharp and then melts in your mouth. We found this dish eye-roll good from the richness of the cream and potato to the earthiness and tang of the chive dip on the side.

After that hearty dish, we went a little lighter with the Grilled Pulpo and Grilled Broccolini. The octopus is simply grilled and tender and topped with a mix of olives, tomatoes, and a spicy bright vinaigrette. It’s a spicy, earthy, and tender dish! On the other hand, the broccolini is slightly crunchy with a fresh, fantastic lemon aioli that comes off as bright and creamy. Impeccably paired with crispy capers for an earthy bite on the end.

To end the night our tour around the Barcelona menu, we tried the Jamon & Manchego Croquetas and the Crisp Calamari. The Croquetas are crunchy, rich, creamy, and oh-so gooey. All of the complex flavors that all go so well together. Go bold or go home, right? We ended with the Crisp Calamari. This fried goodness is the right amount of light crunch and tender squid. Juxtaposed with a tart, tangy and bright dipping sauce for the perfect bite.

What would you want to try?

YAO Atlanta

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 10/6/21

The moment you step into Yao, you’re met with a long, ornate bar and lounge area that’s dressed to the nines. Beyond the beautiful entry, the dining room is stunning, dotted with blue, cool chairs and a vaulted, soaring ceiling that houses a large wood wall. What Yao does so well is marry the stunning ambiance with the delectable food and sippable cocktails seamlessly. They do everything with beauty and grace, like the stunning Yao’s Ice Cream, gorgeous Salt and Pepper Whole Fish, plump Pork Belly, divine Duck Salad, as well as the amazing cocktails! Let’s take a tour, shall we?

Sitting and gazing into the dining room, we started with two amazing cocktails, the Mr. Yao and the Cherish. The favorite of the two is the Mr. Yao cocktail that starts out sweet, then morphs into a tangy, earthy, sour sip. It’s complex from start to finish with a distinct wine flavor that gives it a defined earthiness! The gorgeous The Cherish is easy on the eyes and the tongue. The cocktail is one part tangy and the other foamy with an almost floral and earthy end. It’s dynamic and sippable.

Moving into the small plates and appetizers, we were thrilled with the little watermelon bite they brought us prior to our meal. It is the cutest little dish in a small spoon with a huge Yao flag sticking out the top. The bite itself is sweet, salty, and an earthy light crunch. It is such a good little bite! Of the appetizers and small plates, we have to state up front, we’re huge pork belly fiends. If it’s on the menu, we get it. If you get one appetizer or small plate at Yao, please get the Pork Belly. It’s a perfectly cooked, tender piece of meat with a rich and buttery first bite finished with a hearty soy back. Plus, the addition of the dried fish gives it extra saltiness to complete the flavor complexity! Some of the best pork belly we’ve ever had, and we’ve had a lot.  Another one of our favorites is the Duck Salad. Absolutely eye-catching and heaping, the skin-on duck itself is rich and crunchy, while the sauce is slightly sweet with tangy pomegranate and earthy pine nuts. The greens brighten this dish, and it’s stellar, never had anything like it.

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On to the entrée, we settled on the Salt and Pepper Fish and we’re so glad we did. Beyond the STUNNING presentation, the fish is flaky inside surrounded by a light crunch and brightened by the tangy scallions and garlic below the fish. Then, we paired it with the Sichuan Green Beans that were a good balance of spice, savory, and crunch. The best part is down in the bottom where the sauce pools. One of the best things you can do here is to mix and match the flavors of the fish and the green beans. It’s divine.

Whatever you do, stay for dessert and the Yao’s Ice Cream is an experience all it’s own. Surrounded by dry ice a served SMOKING, not only is it beautiful and the presentation flawless, but the flavor is creamy and smooth!  The addition of the salted egg yoke provides for a change in flavor profile and texture! Then, you have to eat to the back for a gelatinous surprise! The perfect way to end this fantastic meal.

Are you ready to go Yao? What would you try?