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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?

 

 

 

 

 

Atlanta Fish Market

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 11/11/20

In the heart of Buckhead, one place that has withstood the test of time is the classic seafood spot, Atlanta Fish Market. Greeted by a gigantic fish and a gaudy neon sign, they serve up seafood that’s so fresh that it’s flown in every day! Of the menu, this go-to spot has it all from captivating carpaccio, sassy sushi, killer cocktails, delicate sea bass and salmon, to even scrumptious dessert. It’s apparent Atlanta Fish Market corners the market on fresh fish. Drop an anchor and join us for a see-food extravaganza.

What’s a good meal without the cocktails that go with it? We sampled three that included The Bramble, Beachside, and Sidecar. Pinkish purple in hue, the Bramble is boozy, and sweet with the blackberry puree, make sure to mix it up because it balances between the two and you get a dynamic drink. The Beachside is an easy, breezy cocktail that reminds you of the “islands.” With hints of coconut rum and the slight tart of the grapefruit, you’ll go from sweet to tart throughout the entire sip. The one that ended up being our favorite was the Sidecar. It was mellow and balanced with the sweeter cognac and the booziness of the Gran Marnier. What we loved was that it was so clean with just a hint of lemon on the back. Which one would you want to try?

To get us started on food, they brought out the Yellowtail Carpaccio. The fish itself is marinated in olive oil and was so tender that it literally would melt-in-your mouth. Plus, it was perfectly seasoned then topped with shallots and onion that mixed together into a meaty and tart bite. Our pro tip is to add the fresh lemon squeeze for a little bit of brightness. All together we’d recommend skipping the bread and just eat it plain. It’s everything you’d imagine and more.

The addition of sushi at Atlanta Fish Market is a welcome sight because with the fresh fish would come the best sushi, right? Both rolls we tasted were simply dynamite! The first one was the Tiger Roll. Imagine the tender tuna, crunch of tempura, the creaminess of cream cheese, and a sweet and spicy of the sauce all rolled up in seaweed for everything sushi should taste like! Plus, we loved the addition of the asparagus because it brought a little extra crunch and earthiness, so it ended up being creamy, crunchy, earthy, and just plain GOOD. A must try. The second roll that knocked our socks off was the Volcano Roll. This spicy number was super colorful in both sight and taste! Starting with the crunchy cucumber intertwined with the mellow and spicy tuna and the creamy avocado, then the spicy comes in to punch your mouth. We mean that in a good way, too. The best bite is to choose the pieces with the avocado and fish together on the outside because you get more of the creamy flavor and it mellows some of the spice. This one has all the flavors and another must try.

Don’t get us started on how much we adored the Hong King Combo Chilean Sea Bass and Faroe Island Salmon Entree. This wonderful dish is a simple, fresh, and tender sea bass and salmon duo atop a moat of a fantastic sweet soy sauce and wilted spinach greens. We cannot express how perfectly fresh the fish turned out to be or how it literally fell apart in your mouth. Surrounded by sweet and rich soy forward sauce that’s perfectly balanced, not too salty, complimented the tenderness of the fish and the earthiness of the greens. Then, insert rice to soak up all the deliciousness of all the ingredients! Still dreaming of this plate.

The literal icing on the cake was the Mousse Cake. The light and airy chocolaty mousse combines well with the decadent and rich chocolate cake layers. We swear they must have some type of alcohol cooked into the layers it’s so rich and deep! Stop, do not remove the sugar crisp on the top, instead crunch it up and mix it in the cake and mousse because it elevates the cake with some crunch and bite. Every bite was calorie free, we’re sure! Worth it.

What we loved so much about Atlanta Fish Market is they have a little something for everyone; sushi for the sushi lover, entrees with the freshest fish, lobster and oysters for the shellfish lovers. What sounds the best to you?

Pricci: Authentic Italian

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 10/14/20

Good Italian isn’t hard to find in Atlanta, but the moment you walk into Pricci, you’re taken back to a time when waiters doted over their guests, warm greetings where you almost felt like family, and classic dishes were made so well, you didn’t want anything more.  The Buckhead Italian staple does everything well from the savory meatballs, fantastic focaccia bread, meaty carpaccio, hearty pappardelle special pasta, desserts, wine selection, and a premium veal chop that will leave your mouth watering. Authentic Italian, homecooked classics, are back in style at Pricci, so let’s get going on an Italian culinary journey.

Before we even got our appetizers, we received the BEST bread, focaccia made with garlic and onion with a goat cheese and marinara sauce on the side. As it melted in our mouths, we had to order more because it was some of the best bread. Of the stellar starters, we chose the meatballs (you know we would) and the carpaccio. These two dishes that are on any real Italian menu and both were just divine. Starting with the meatballs, they were rich and meaty with a good mix of meats to even out the flavor, and a generous amount of marinara. We loved that the marinara boat had a little bit of ricotta cheese melted into it and you could chop up the meatball some and get a bite of the ball, cheese, and marinara all at once. Pro tip: top the focaccia bread that comes with your meal to eat the chopped-up meatballs. WOW! Second, the carpaccio super tender and thinly sliced topped with a tangy and sweet vidalia onion aioli. With the tangy, richness, and sweet of those ingredients, it really paired well with the earthiness of the arugula and the creaminess of the cheese. The best part was wrapping it all up on your fork and getting a little bit of those crunchy capers. It was just the icing on the cake: crunchy, earthy, creamy, rich, meaty, tangy, and sweet.

The second that Marco, the GM told us that their special pasta of the day was a lamb ragu pappardelle pasta dish, Liz exclaimed, “did you know I was coming today?” Ragu pappardelle is my (Liz’s) favorite pasta dish on an Italian menu, so I was thrilled. Starting with the perfectly cooked and tender lamb in a hearty ragu, tomato-based sauce which was savory and rich. The addition of wonderfully cooked and tender pappardelle and paired with a hint of blue cheese, it was divine. What I love is to roll up the lamb, sauce, and cheese into the pasta and eat it almost like a little wrap. Delicioso!

If you try anything at Pricci, it’s the veal chop. They bring in their veal from Holland and its diet is totally milk based, so it turns out even more tender, rich, and less gamy than other veal dishes you can get elsewhere. They carve the meat in-house and only receive 4 or 5 level meats. This melt-in-your-mouth carved cut of meat is heavenly. Like we said above, it’s perfectly cooked, light, tender, then topped with a savory and rich sauce that is a balanced sweet and savory. It really brings out the lightness of the veal. Then, paired with potatoes that soaks up a good bit of the sauce and earthiness of power greens in olive oil and lemon and you have a complete gamut of goodness: earthy, savory, sweet, starchy, I could go on. Are you sold yet?

Whatever you do, stay for some dessert and amazing in-house brewed espresso. The coffee was so rich and creamy, you didn’t need to add any sugar or cream. It was perfect all by itself. The crème bruele was everything you’d want in your vanilla custard-based dessert, perfectly flambeed with a crunchy and buttery top. John adored the gelato that had FRESH whole maraschino cherry gelato with very rich and creamy chocolate.

With every course finished, the last sip of wine was gone, espresso was empty, and our time at Pricci ended with the best Nutella brownies we got to take home. Can we go back now?

Piastra: The Perfect Date Night IN

In the early days of quarantine, we took a drive to Marietta Square to pick-up some Italian food for our first date night IN. The square had some kids playing close to the fountain and a couple sipped on wine at a table outside the restaurant. For a Friday night, it was eerily quiet. Piastra reminds us of that local Italian restaurant that you’d go to on Friday Night, grab a bottle of vino to share at the table and split a pizza or a hearty bowl of pasta, while finished off with some silky tiramisu. This time, when we picked up, we got the duck carpaccio, the rigatoni Domenica, and a Salsiccia pizza. What a meal.

Starting with the duck carpaccio, show of hands who DOESN’T love a solid carpaccio? Told you, everyone does! The duck will melt in your mouth. The fattiness and savory of the duck pairs well with the sweetness of the honey in a melody of flavors topped with earthiness of arugula and acidity of citrus vinaigrette. Pro tip: eat all ingredients together. This way it’s every flavor and done so well. This is a must get.

The best all-around ingredient we loved at Piastra was their mild fennel sausage, crafted in house. The two main entrees we sampled had it in both. While fine Italian restaurants are known for their wine selection and pasta, can’t they also be known for an outstanding Pizza? We got their Salsiccia with the mild fennel sausage and pomodoro and it was an all-around great pizza. From the sausage, crushed tomatoes, and mozzarella, to the tasty and well-seasoned bread, it would be a crowd pleaser for any meat pizza lover. We’ll have to try this when it’s pipping hot at Piastra when restaurants re-open. If it’s this good when you get it home, it must be even more amazing hot!

The other dish we got that featured the sausage was the Rigatoni Domenica. Talk about a truly authentic delectable pasta dish, you got it right here. The sausage was savory, meaty, slight spicy but mild, and very tender. You mix that with handmade rigatoni that’s perfectly cooked between soft and al dente, covered in a tomato-based sauce and a hint of cream, that’ll hit the spot. Creamy, savory, sweet, spicy, such a wonderful dish. Next time, we want to try a Secondi Salmon, Pork Chop, or half Chicken. They all sound amazing.

Piastra is open for curbside pickup and delivery through DoorDash and Zifty. They also have $10 and $15 bottles of wine. Who’s hungry for Italian fare and a good bottle of wine tonight?

Ocean & Acre: Land and Sea Perfectly Paired

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 11/24/19

Land and Sea come together in perfect harmony up at Ocean & Acre in the Halcyon Forsyth complex! What really sets them apart is the innovative and truly unique menu offerings like ceviche with beets, wagyu beef carpaccio, lamb belly, and savory pork chops. If meat isn’t your thing, they have tons of fish, a take on fish and chips, oysters, and even more shellfish to choose from. Like we said, perfect harmony! Beyond this, we really enjoyed the medley of flavors that they paired together in each dish to make them remarkable. Ok, enough talk, let’s take a journey through their menu, sip on a cocktail, and sit by the fire. Come on in.

Starting with the raw bar, the Bass Ceviche was one of the most unique small plates we’ve ever had with light and flaky bass mixed with beets and in a beet vinaigrette. It was earthy, fresh, and light with every flavor you could imagine in such a simple dish. Yes, you must like beets, but they are perfectly cooked and are actually the perfect pair with the fish. Light and delicious.

Maintaining our foray into the lighter side of Ocean & Acre, we opted for the wagyu beef carpaccio. The most tender slice of tartar beef paired well with some oil, herbs, and a light whipped cheese. The best bite is to wrap up the beef, cheese, herbs, and oil and stuff it all in your mouth. Savory, creamy, light.

We took a turn from there into hearty with the Smoked Lamb Belly. The meat was fresh with very little game, a different take on a pork belly dish. What was truly amazing about this dish was the best side on Ocean & Acre’s menu: the polenta. We cannot sing the praises of this more! With the creamy polenta flavor up front then the tart and sweet of the craisins and raisins on the back it’s a savory sweet MASTERPIECE. Could. Not. Stop. Eating it. Great for the cold weather!

Our main course consisted of some of the most flavorful, savory pork chops we’ve had in a long time. Perfectly cooked with herbs and a hearty au jus, this chop was well, perfect. It comes with two, cooked onions to add flavor to the sauce, as well as mushrooms. Two people can share it, it’s that big. Suggestion: get the pork chop with a side of the polenta from the lamb belly dish. We ended up mixing them together and WOW. This is THE combination to try! Highly recommend.

Let’s not forget their drink menu which had a good mix of classics and signature sips to try. The one we like the best was Barracuda. It’s their drink of the week this week, November 22nd 2019 through the Thanksgiving. They have an in-house infuser and backed it with habanero, blood orange and tequila. They paired this with crème de chassis on the top. Perfecto. We also enjoyed both the Rosetta, the drink of the week last week with whipped egg and cloves, as well as a fun tiki drink called Ebb Tide: pineapple, rum, mint. A tiki mule if you will. Wonder what fun drink of the week they will come up with next week? Can’t wait to find out.

We must say that the Halcyon up in Forsyth is really a destination for anyone living in Atlanta. They have a brew pub, sports bar, movie theater with delicious eats, and more. Let’s not forget this absolute gem, Ocean & Acre. Take your family, friends, and life mate, grab a cocktail and sit by the fire. You’ll be glad you did.