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?