Tag Archive for: charcuterie

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?

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?

The Mill Kitchen & Bar

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 8/20/20

With views of the Roswell Town Square, The Mill Kitchen & Bar has a wraparound patio with rustic drop lights, bright patio umbrellas, and the fireplace centerpiece. The moment you arrive and greeted with beautiful stonework, rustic touches, and colorful flowers; you know you’re in for a treat. From southern staples to steak to expansive light bite menu, there’s a hint of something for everyone. They’re right it’s really southern fare with an upscale twist. Let’s take a walk around their menu, shall we?

You know how they say the bread indicates the caliber of the meal? Here are The Mill Kitchen & Bar you can judge them by their Pimento Cheese Fritters. We had several starters on our Mill journey like the best little Pimento Cheese Fritters ever, an amazing charcuterie board with mix and match ingredients, and a tasty Tuna Tataki. Starting with our favorite little bite of the night were the Pimento Cheese Fritters, we can’t say enough good things about these decadent treats. From the sharpness of the perfectly blended pimento cheese to the crisp of the breading to the bacon jam that adorned it’s top, it’s one flavor sensation. It’s rich and creamy with the right amount of tart, crisp, and meatiness.  Stuff dreams are made of if you ask us! Pivoting to something healthy was the Tuna Tataki, which was tender tuna, sweet and spicy watermelon Pico, and crisp wonton. This gorgeously plated and colorful dish is a looker. With the slight spice of the peppers and black pepper on the fish mixed with the sweet of the watermelon, it’s a nicely balanced dish. The savory of the soy with the perfectly seared fish plus the crunchiness of the wonton are best enjoyed mixed together and every ingredient in each bite. So good.

John’s favorite was the Charcuterie board that is one of the best for mix and match loaded boards that will leave you full. This board boasts smoked salmon that smoked in house, ham pate, pickled vegetables, pesto, mustard, rustic bread, cheese, sausage, and so many more little things! It’s GINORMOUS and we seriously loved that you could put so many unique and fun flavors together. For example, we took the smoked salmon and combined it with the goat cheese and bread to make what we’d like to call an almost lox bagel. It was creamy, smoky, and crisp. Then, the waitress, Liza, mentioned you could even make your own Bahn Mi bread with it. She was right! We combined the pickled carrots, ham pate, cucumber and onion salad, pesto, and mustard and piled it on the bread. WOW! It’s salty, sweet, meaty, sharp, and crispy. Everything we love in our Bahn Mi. Plus, they have traditional smoked cheddar, meats like the Andouille that you can combine with any of the above ingredients. Find your own favorite taste! What would you try from this LOADED board?

For our entrée we tried the Grilled Lamb Loin, which if you pick out of the dish and try alone, is a dynamic piece of meat with the right amount of char and cooked at that perfect medium temperature. It falls right off that bone! The loin is atop fluffy fried Jasmine rice that was seasoned well with Greek spices and surrounded in a fantastic tzatziki sauce that is creamy, dreamy balanced. The right amount of sauce, rice, peas, ham, and grilled cheese, and a bite of that amazing lamb, you got a flavorful mouth full. Fun fact about the Halloumi cheese is that it doesn’t melt. We loved that it gave a burst of mild creaminess. We even ate the leftovers the next day and it was still so tender that it fell off the bone! Insert heart emoji here.

What’s a meal without something to keep you cool? Let’s not forget that The Mill Kitchen and Bar has a wonderful cocktail and drink menu for all tastes. We tried the Strawberry Gin Smash and what a great balance they have on the sweetness of the strawberry and the earthiness of the gin. You might think it’s too sweet, but it isn’t, it’s just the right of refreshing, cool, sweet, and earth. Pineapple Dreams was Liz’s favorite was the culmination of vodka and pineapple perfectly mixed and set atop cherry juice. It’s a beautiful little number with yellow on top transitioning into red on the bottom. Drinks like a tiki cocktail, finishes sweet. Tip: make sure to stir it all together. Ahhhmazing.

As we left the patio, the temperature had cooled, and the night sky was getting a little darker. We can’t wait to try even more entrees and shareable plates, as The Mill Kitchen and Bar has an extensively delicious menu, like the Short Rib or the Red Snapper, maybe even the Blackened Brie. Of this culinary journey, what would you want to try most?

Cru Food and Wine Bar Atlanta: Wine Oasis

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 7/27/20

On a bustling corner at The Battery Atlanta, there’s a wine oasis dotted with bluish-purple umbrellas, marble tabletops, warm vibes, and surrounded by several colors of delicate flowers and greenery. Cru Food & Wine Bar at the Battery Atlanta has mastered the art of superb wine procurement from magnificent champagne and Smell the Roses flights to a wide variety of dishes that compliment the wine on their menu. We can’t think of anything better to pair your favorite vino with than a solid charcuterie or small plate, and even a succulent filet mignon. Wine not join us on a culinary journey from our time at Cru Atlanta?

What’s the first thing you think of when you think of wine? Charcuterie and cheese OF COURSE. Yes, all caps. Cru Food & Wine Bar has exemplary flight pairings with carefully curated list of cheeses and meats. We got the Premier Cru which boasted of salami, prosciutto, soppressata, and manchego cheese and accompanied with a selection of pickled vegetables, tasty mustard, and rustic bread. What a great way to start our wine journey. To go with it we opted for the Smell the Roses flight which had 3 delicate and well-balanced Rose wines. Our favorite was Chateau Gassier Esprit. It was crisp and light with a delicate amount of tart, apples, citrus-like notes. Plus, who can go to a wine bar without sampling at least one champagne? The one we sampled was the Laurent Perrier Brut La Cuvee from France. It was everything a true champagne should be with brut bubbles and a slight tart finish. What’s your favorite wine varietal?

Beyond your traditional wine bar fare, Cru Food & Wine Bar also offers a wide array of sharable plates. The Ahi Tartare is mild and tender with creamy avocado, crunchy cucumber with a hint of earthiness combined with bitterness of the olive. I (Liz) don’t usually like olives (AT ALL) but the combination of the avocado, cucumber, and tomatoes, cuts the bitterness, while the olive actually adds to the flavor. Mix all the ingredients up on the plate and add some of the rustic bread, it’s a great bite. After something light, we decided on something a little heavier, like the Wagyu meatballs. With wagyu as the main ingredient, these meatballs are the right amount of meatiness, yet lighter than expected. Paired with a bright and light sauce that we loved, topped with basil that added a good amount of earthiness to balance the richness of the meat and the creaminess of the cheese. Our tip is to cut the meatballs up and pile all the ingredients on the rustic bread for a solid complete bite.

Want something a little sweeter? Cru Food & Wine Bar has these goat cheese beignets that are surprisingly decedent treat. Almost dessert-like, we’re in love with the creaminess and tart of the goat cheese, the crunch of the beignet, and the sweetness of the honey. That last touch really adds a ton of rich, sweet flavor. The secret ingredient in this dish, though, is the mascarpone. It lightens up the goat cheese and gives it more of a creaminess to the inside. Make sure to get every bit of honey, beignet, and filling into one bite and get ready for a flavor explosion. This was the biggest surprise of the night and ended up being my (Liz’s) favorite thing!

Earlier we asked what’s the first thing you think of when you think wine, but now we have a follow up. What’s the second? Before you answer, you were thinking steak, right? We knew it and this one is filet mignon at that! This beauty is a perfectly tender piece of meat cooked medium with the right amount of seasoning, sauce, and the tart of the blue cheese. The tasty sauce on the plate around the steak was a chianti-based that was slightly sweet to balance out the tart of the blue cheese and heaviness of the meat. Add in the earthiness of rosemary to round out the flavor! On the side, the au gratin potatoes are like a hearty potato pie with layer upon layer of cheese and potatoes, which goes so well with the sauce. It was also paired with green beans that had the right crunch and seasoning, adding a little hint of freshness and brightness to round out the succulent dish.

Sipping on a cool glass of champagne, we relaxed in the shade and just watched people walk by Cru Atlanta. The people around us glasses clinked, and the light sound of chatter filled the warm summer air. We couldn’t eat another bite, so we just sat full and happy. We know it’s hard but if you could choose one thing to try, what would it be?

Jekyll Brewing: Island Inspired

Through the thick forest of palm trees, you come upon a tree that’s been uprooted and the limbs are twisted into the soft sand below your feet. There are small black bugs scurrying along the waterline where the gentle waves are afraid to come up any further. When you look down the surf line, you notice that there are at least 50 other trees in contorted formations, one reaches to the sky like a skyscraper, the other one next to it fans out into what almost looks like a peacock. Have you been transported to a Martian moonscape? You’d think so, but, no, you’re in the most beautifully unique place on earth, Driftwood Beach on Jekyll Island on the Georgia coastline. This is the beach vibe that you get when you go to Jekyll Brewing in Alpharetta City Center. Our two-part experience brought us unique food and beer options inspired by the island with an array of tasty treats like a whole shellfish menu, low-country options like pork chops, and even southern staples like pork rinds and a fun take on the charcuterie plate. Let’s not forget the bubbly brew, either. Are you ready for some Golden Isles adventure right here in Atlanta? We are!

Remember what Jekyll Brewing first started as, a brewery. They have a large array of beers and seltzers to choose from, like the fact that they have two stouts almost permanently on the menu, to IPAs, sours, and everything in between. One of the best beers on their menu is the Tart Vice that’s a mellow berliner weiss with a ton of raspberry flavor. It’s fruity and refreshing. Also, we must mention that we love their Redneck Christmas Stout! Liz, being a stout drinker loves the minty-cinnamon forward stout that doesn’t make you feel like your drinking a meal. Finally, their HARDly Selzer has so many refreshing flavors: blueberry, blackberry, lavender, hibiscus, peach, and more. They top it with crunchy ice and it’s the perfect thing for their rooftop airstream patio!

Who’s ready to eat? Starting with the pork rinds, when they first arrived, they were still popping from the fryer. Perfectly crisp little numbers that were sprinkled with some slightly spicy seasoning and wedges of limes. The best bite is if you dip the rind in the hot sauce and put some of the lime on there. Meaty, crispy, spicy, and a hint of lime. We also enjoyed the charcuterie plate, which was delightful mix of andouille sausage, Tasso, pimento cheese, buttered crackers, and some very tasty pickled vegetables. The best part was the Tasso, a wonderfully tender cut of meat with some great seasoning. If you put together the cracker, a little bit of the pickled vegetable, pimento cheese, and andouille sausage, what a phenomenal little snack. We also bite into some chicken wings. They are mighty meaty with a ton of chicken, slightly spicy sauce, and some delicious flavoring. Dip it in the buttermilk sauce, cool and creamy!

One thing about Jekyll Brewing that was unexpected is the wonderful healthier options to their southern fare. The tastiest of those was the lite bowl. Tender and juicy salmon nestled on a bed of ancient grains mixed with a light vinaigrette, avocado, tomato, and the best addition, sweet potato! To make this even healthier skip the tzatziki sauce, it’s great even without it. Mix all the ingredients together for a meaty, creamy from the avocado, earthy from the tomato, and hearty from the potatoes bite. Such a balanced and dynamic bowl! We’d recommend you pair it with one of their HARDly seltzer’s like the blackberry!

When you think southern, pork chops and collard greens always come to mind. Why not combine them? The collards were perfectly cooked and loved that it was more leaf than stem, plus it was seasoned just right with a balance of spice and vinegar. The chop itself was very tender, meaty, smoky, and lightly seasoned. Combine those together, so from the char and perfectly cooked chops to the earthiness and saltiness of the greens with the right amount of hot sauce mixed in, we really enjoyed this dish.

Jekyll Island is a utopia of sprawling marshlands and tropical wildlife. Jekyll Brewing brings all the beach and island vibes to Alpharetta. So, grab your large beach hat and take a seat on the patio, you’ll be transported to the Golden Isles. Airstream included.

Der Biergarten: Gluhwein and a Side of Sauerkraut

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 1/16/19

Move over hot sauce, there’s a new elevated condiment in town, Sauerkraut! We made our way downtown to visit Der Biergarten to taste their German-centric fare and sip on their holiday cocktails. From affordable and delicious meat and cheese plates (Gemischte Wurst Und Käseplatte) to a perfectly cooked pork shank (Schweinshaxe) to something we never knew we loved, Sauerkraut, as well as a hot holiday drink tradition Glühwein, Der Biergarten is an immersive German experience in the heart of Atlanta. Ready for an adventure?

Starting with the sips, being during the holidays, they had everything form a spicy cocoa, red beer in a take-home boot, and our favorite find of the night: Glühwein. This traditional winter and holiday drink from Germany that drinks like a hot Sangria, a mix of red wine and spices. It was warm on the cold night and totally different than anything we’ve had before, with the savory, sweet of the red wine and earthiness of the clove spice on the back end. It doesn’t sound like something we’d ever like but surprised us! Along with a great selection of German bier, wine, and fun cocktails, try something new!

Who doesn’t like a good meat and cheese plate? This one was chocked full of jaeger, which is a German dry-aged traditional sausage, hard cheeses, plus a lot of bread to pair it with. We felt this was a REALLY good deal for the price and John decided this was one of the best meat and cheese plates in the city. He knows; he’s a charcuterie fanatic. Also enjoyed the pretzel (Risenbretzel) which was buttery, salty, warm, and hearty. Make sure to use the mustards they bring, as well. Go sweet the with the Bavarian Mustard or spicy with the spicy Mustard. Either way, a good tasty bite.

Then there’s the pork shank. The way it was cooked, rotisserie style with skin on, locks in the flavor and tenderness of the meat, while interesting mix of spices like clove and an herb that taste of licorice, give the crust a rich, unique flavor. Mix it with the savory au jus and the side of sauerkraut. That hits the spot. Speaking of the sauerkraut, not typically a favorite, this was the best we’ve ever found with that typical sour vinegar flavor on the back but hidden for most of the bite by the utilization of bacon. Yes, bacon! It’s savory and sour and a good accoutrement to the savory of the pork. Insert mind blown emoji here.

Are you hungry yet? We are! Meet us down at Der Biergarten!

Bulla Gastrobar: Who Loves Sangria?

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 1/3/19

Cozy and warm in atmosphere, Bulla Gastropub has an expansive menu with a mix of fresh, light tapas to hearty large plates, as well as a hefty wine list and some of the best Sangria Blanca in Atlanta. We’d argue the best! When we went it was before Christmas, so they had decked out the tables with small poinsettias and bows, and a beautiful Christmas tree with tons of presents under it. Being in the festive spirit, let’s find out what there is to celebrate about the menu. Hint: it’s celebratory!

Being more of a white wine gal, I’ve been thinking about how much I really like Sangria. Leave it to Bulla to invite us to National Sangria Day to discover what is probably the best Sangria Blanca I’ve had in a very long time. John liked it too, but he’s more a beer drinker. From the bubble of the cava to the sweetness of the fresh fruit, this pretty lady drinks refreshing and cool. It’s a good, year-round sipper!

Starting with the tapas, the Lacon Al La Gallega is a smoked ham dish sliced very thin like a tartare topped with arugula, dressing, and potato dollops. It ate like a light salad, a very light bite with a ton of flavor and the meat adds salt and heft. Tip: Take the dollops and wrap them in the arugula and ham. It’s creamy, savory, and the right amount of salt. We also got a Charcuterie plate that consisted of Manchego and Murica Al Vino cheese, as well as Jamon Serrano (ham) and Lomo Iberico. They definitely have a great selection of meats and cheeses that come with olives, crisp bread, and candied nuts. Our favorite was the earthy, nutty, sweet, and sharp Manchego cheese that paired well with the cured pork loin (Lomo Iberico). A great little snack with the bread and nuts.

We thought we got the Salmon Carpaccio but in looking at what we got versus the menu, it looks like we got the 5 oz Salmon large plate. So, moving on to the Platos Fuertes the Salmon was paired with spinach, chickpeas, and a lemon cream. The meat itself was perfectly cooked at medium and topped with a cool lemon cream that added balance between the meat and the accompaniments. The spinach and chickpeas were crunchy and earthy and mixed well with the Salmon. Overall, a great bite.

The other large plate is what we always want to try every time we get to taste a menu: Lamb! Lamb is my (Liz’s) favorite meat and this one did not disappoint. The Lamb Chop itself was fall off the bone tender with a sweet and savory honey, thyme sauce. The sauce was delectable with what starts off as sweet to herbaceous of the thyme. So unique! Paired with charred kale, asparagus, and potato foam, a tasty bite with the meatiness of the lamb, creaminess of the potato foam, and earthiness of the charred kale, and brightness of the asparagus. So much flavor!

From the wonderful meal, to the coziness and warmness of the atmosphere, to the attentive staff, Bulla Gastropub is a great place to take friends and family for an intimate meal. You’ll enjoy it.

ETU HOMES PRESENTS AN AFTERNOON WITH ANNETTE JOSEPH

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

Etu Home

Saturday, November 30th at noon

Join, Etu Home, on Saturday, November 30th for a special afternoon with entertaining author, Annette Joseph, to kick-off the holiday season!

From Noon until 2 pm, learn how to build a charcuterie board, watch a cocktail mixology demo, followed by A Cocktail Italiano book signing.

Details here.