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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?

Kyma: An Ode to Greece

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 9/20/20

There’s a light breeze over the patio that’s randomly dotted with mosaic tile in blue and white patterns. The smell of candles and the ocean can be felt throughout the place, reminiscent of a warm night in Santorini or after a long walk through the Parthenon. With Kyma in Buckhead, you don’t need to get on a plane and head to Greece, because you can visit right here in Atlanta. The décor is pitch perfect with a lighted night sky inside to the beautifully crafted fireplace outside. Beautiful. But the best thing? The Food! Authentic Greek traditional fare elevated by carefully curated spices, flavors, and textures that work in harmony to create unforgettable dishes like lamb pie, Tsipoura fish, Octopus Mini, tartare trio, lamb chops, and everything else on this elegant menu. Let’s take a tour of Greece.

Starting with the array of meze that Chef Pano generously sent our way, we tried the Calamari, tartare trio (special of the night), lamb pie, Octopus Mini, spinach pie, and cheese. Starting with our two favorites, the Octopus Mini and the lamb pie, both bites were spot on! The Octopus Mini was the stand-out favorite meze of the tasting with the truly perfect cooked octopus, charred, and was almost like eating a very tender pork loin with a slight char and pop of the skin. Simply presented and seasoned well, it was the best octopus dish we’ve ever tasted. Just imagine this wonderful meat paired with capers and red onion to give it a little bite and earthiness. This is a must try. Second, the lamb pie, was everything you’d think and more with the crunch of the pastry, the spicy and flavorful lamb inside, and mixed with the yogurt to cool it down. It’s no wonder this beautiful dish is so tender, it’s cooked for 12-hours! Still thinking about this dish!

Everything else was just stellar, like the Calamari was cut into noodle-like strips and mixed with a creamy yogurt and bright zucchini to round out the fun dish that you can mix together yourself. We’ve never seen anything plated and done this way. We really thought it was spectacular! The special of the night was the tartare trio with tuna topped with caviar (fave), sea bass with spices and lemon, and salmon mixed with yogurt. All of them were savory, sweet, and a great little bite! Eat it with a spoon or on the crisp bread, either way you’ll really like these! One of John’s favorites was the cheese meze. It’s a Kasseri cheese that’s been sautéed and comes off rich and almost meaty, then finished off with ouzo for a boozy bite, lemon for brightness, and olive oil for earthiness. One of the best little cheeses you can ever get. Nothing screams Greece than a traditional spinach pie, AMIRIGHT? One of the staples we love in Greek food is always the spinach pie, but these little bites were just dynamite with a crispy shell and the spinach and feta came together exactly right.  You can’t go wrong with anything or any of these bites.

In between the meze and the entrée we got a break to cool it down with a trio of three salads. The watermelon, beet, and the Greek were all something you’d expect to be on a Greek menu, but they all have something that really make them stand-out. Take the watermelon and feta with the minty freshness and topped with a watermelon sorbet that cools and it melts and mixes well with the fresh watermelon and salty, creamy feta cubes. Yes, SORBET! As for the beet salad, it too is topped with a beet sorbet and boasts an array of beets, nuts, and an amazingly paired with warm sheep’s milk cheese. Creamy, earthy, and warm.  Finally, The Greek is just a perfectly seasoned and hearty cucumber, tomato, olive oil and basil. Simple and perfect.

As the night progressed, the sun started to set, and Chef Pano wowed us with the Tsipouri reveal from under a bed of grape leaves to show a whole fish, cooked with salt and seasoned with spices and simple lemon. They took it away to take the bones out and to butterfly it, but it was so fun to watch those grape leaves come off! Once the fish got back to the table, it was just as we thought, flaky and light with the right amount of seasoning, lemon, and slightly buttered olive oil that Chef Pano makes in house. It came with an assortment of sides and lamb chops. The lamb chops were perfectly cooked and had an amazing seasoning that gave the hearty lamb a little spice and a little earthiness. Roll them around in the tzatziki sauce, you won’t be sorry! As for the sides, the eggplant was amazing, like a hearty stew, with tender eggplant, onions, garlic, and tomatoes. Then, add in the bright and tender kale wilted and seasoned with a generous amount of lemon. The both went well with the full-flavor and flakiness of the fish.

These amazing bites were perfectly paired with the Morpheus and Thirsty Philosopher cocktail, as well as a stellar Greek wine that drinks like a pinot grigio, called Boutari, a Moscofilero from Mantinia, Greece. The Morpheus was the favorite with a velvety and earthy gin mixed with St. elder, simple syrup, and hibiscus. Sweet and lively with a hint of booze on the back, just like we like it! The Thirsty Philosopher is a simple cucumber vodka drink with hints of cucumber, dill, and earthiness of gin on the back end. One of those drinks you could sip on with any entrée! Greeks love their wine and we know why. The Boutari is a fantastically drinkable, crisp, and light wine that pairs well with a light, flaky fish! Reminiscent of pinot grigio, it is one that we’d love to have again.

As the night sky turned to shades of deep purple and black, the lights from the restaurant spilled onto the patio and the candles were lit in the fireplace. The candles danced and leapt throwing shadows on the ground and creating a symphony of odd shapes. It felt like we were on a cozy street in Greece on a warm summer night.  Maybe we’ll stay for just one more moment.

Ray’s on the River: Ultimate Lawn Party

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 5/27/20

On a sunny day in late May, there was a light breeze over the Chattahoochee River and the intermittent clouds cooled down the late afternoon heat. Next to the river sits a beautifully landscaped lawn dotted with large patio umbrellas and a collection of tables, patio furniture, and a serene walkway with purple, red, and pink flowers. Ray’s on the River is the ultimate lawn party that reminds us of an all-day Kentucky Derby soiree with pretty dresses, upscale, sippable cocktails, and on-point tasty bites. They wooed us with their impeccable cocktail menu and service, plus you absolutely can’t. beat. That. View. Being from Atlanta, why hadn’t we visited this wonderful, magical happy place before? Are you ready to go down by the river for a culinary adventure? Make sure to grab your Derby Hat, you’ll need it.

You can’t beat Ray’s on the River’s cocktail menu, there’s a little bit of everything. Fig Old Fashioned, Gimlet, Vitamin Sea tiki drink, and an array of sangrias. Of the ones we sampled, the Vitamin Sea was the hands down favorite and an unexpected treat from a high-end restaurant. When you think of Ray’s the Old Fashioned cocktail does come to mind, even a Gimlet, but not a refreshing, pineapple-forward tiki drink that’s both creamy and foamy. It’s all the flavors of the islands in a glass. Like a beautiful beach day where the sand is lined with palm trees and you sit in the shade with a rum drink in your hand. Don’t forget the little umbrella! Another one that we enjoyed was the Cucumber Mint Gimlet, which was a mixture of earthy, minty, boozy up front and cooling cucumber on the back of the throat. Perfect pair with the patio. Throw up that pinky because you’ll feel high end. Their most popular drink on the menus is the Fig Old Fashioned, which was smooth and boozy with a sweet of the fig, nuttiness of the bitters, and warming of the bourbon. It’s an all-around balanced concoction!

Ray’s on the River has so many light bites you can share like the seafood tower with lobster, crab, and oysters, but our favorite of the appetizer was the Ahi Tuna Poke. Perfectly marinated and perched atop creamy avocado in a moat of citrus ponzu and crowned with crunchy macadamia nuts, it was a magnificent bite. Do we need to go on? Beyond that, the Goat Cheese Pimento Fritters, were the right amount of crunch, sharp cheddar cheese, and sweet honey. The bar manager called it fire, and we must agree, this dish IS fire. Our tip is to take that little, cheese ball and roll it in the honey. It’s amazing. Isn’t it the truth that when calamari is done RIGHT, it’s really good. Ray’s version is done right with tender squid perfectly seasoned, breaded, and crunchy then mixed with red and banana peppers. The crunch of the breading and the spiciness of the peppers were a great bite together. But the best part? The addition of the sauces! Slather on some marinara and cheese or load up on the spicy aioli, both take this dish up a level and add a level of earthiness or creaminess! Now, don’t forget the loaded Statesboro Blue Cheese Chips because they were the right amount of blue cheese, bacon, tomatoes and onion. Plus, the manager mentioned a menu hack and we have to share it with you! Get the chips and the poke together and use the chips with the poke instead of a fork. It’s the ultimate appetizer!

From there we tried a new menu item called the Horseradish Black Grouper. Let us tell you, this is one of the best fish dishes we’ve ever had with crunchy horseradish cracker crust, flaky and mild fish on a bed of shaved brussels sprouts doused in dijonaise. The tart of the horseradish, crunch of the crust, to the flaky and meatiness of the fish to the earthiness of the sprouts and finished off with the kick of Dijon and mayonnaise, we’re still thinking about this dish. Tip, if you mix the fish, crust, and all the other elements together, it’s a one of the best dishes to date. You may want to pace yourself.

We can’t say enough about the view at Ray’s on the River. The river backdrop and serenity of the water, to the manicured lawn and everything in between, it’s easily one of the best patio experiences in Atlanta for any occasion. We can’t wait to go back and relax.