Ingredients Jump to Instructions ↓

  1. The favorite appetizer: Gulf Crab Fritter with Thai Pepper Essence

  2. This wasn't something I would've picked off the menu, since I was a little wary of the "essence" (blame Emeril for my newfound distaste of the word). But it was recommended by a more helpful server, and described as one of their signature dishes. And it was just flat out and up front delectable. Sweet and spicy, perfectly textured, worth fighting over the last bite.

  3. The favorite entree: Poached Prime Tenderloin Pot au Feu with Roasted Marrow, Kobe Short Rib & Aromatic Broth

  4. Oh, my, I am so glad I'm not a vegetarian. This tenderloin brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it. I don't know how, but it got better with each bite - every forkfull brought clearer realization of perfection in texture and melt-in-your mouth flavor, unlike any beef I've ever had. It was three slices of tenderloin, with sides of marrow and kobe rib. You heard me. Marrow. I even got a fun utensil to scoop the marrow out of the bone that was standing upright on one end of my plate. I hesitated for a moment, but plunged in, with reward. It wasn't like the tenderloin, but was reminiscent of a rich mushroom broth, with a texture not entirely unlike a raw oyster. The kobe short rib was the flavor punch - one server explained that it was braised 3-4 hours in wine and condensed veal stock. It was very nearly the most tender beef I've ever tasted, with flavor to match.

  5. The favorite cheese/contrast: Shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano with Medjool Dates

  6. This was a tough call. Our other cheese selection was a more subtle goat cheese with a selection of beets, one of which slipped from beneath my fork and ended up on our table, staining the white cloth a bright magenta-red. But the parmigiano and dates were phenomenal. They could've passed for our desert - the dates were so sweet and soft, it made me question whether I'd ever before eaten a real date. The cheese, with its salty, slightly crunchy texture, perfectly balanced the date, creating the ideal segway to desert. This might be my "must-have" recommendation from the evening.

  7. The favorite desert: both.

  8. Strawberry Souffle with Chocolate Creme Anglaise , and Coconut Tres Leche with Lemon Basil Gelato

  9. When the server brought the deserts, he stuck a spoon into the puffed souffle and poured the warm anglaise into the middle. I could've drunk the anglaise straight from its tiny pitcher, but it belonged in that souffle. It was a luxurious take on the classic duo of ripe strawberries and chocolate.

  10. The tres leche was a finely textured cake, soaked with sweet coconut milk (and two other milks, apparently, hence the "tres" part), but between the slightly tart gelato as an accompaniment and the spicy chipotle-laced cookie on the side, this take on a traditional latin-american desert was over the top.

  11. BY FEED

  12. BY EMAIL

Instructions Jump to Ingredients ↑

  1. Other things are worth mention. We were brought no less than six extra tasting items from the kitchen. A small cup of chilled asparagus soup, an orange and fennel float, tiny pastries that included homemade marshmallows and chocolates, and a cupcake in honor of our anniversary (don’t worry, they didn’t sing to us). The wine — two of the cheapest glasses of red on the menu — was probably some of the best wine we’ve ever had. The wine that makes you realize how much cheap wine you drink. And the service. I had the distinct impression for the entire night that we weren’t in Kansas anymore. We were being pampered, as was everyone else in that room. I tried to check my insecurities at the door, and was happily free from them the minute we started eating. The last reward came as we were leaving. We were caught gazing into the windows that line the kitchen, and the co-owner of the restaurant asked us if we wanted to go in. I looked quickly at Tim, since I knew we were late for our show, but found myself saying, “Sure!” as I caught his gaze. So she took us in to the quietest kitchen we’ve seen in our limited restaurant experience. It was running like a well-oiled machine as we stood there watching, with Anne Quatrano describing the working order of her kitchen. Call me a food geek, but it was almost as good as the time I stood speechless in front of Hugh Acheson at the Five Points Bottle Shop.

  2. The only negative aspect of the whole experience: harken with me back to the first paragraph of this post, where I stated that “it was almost too much.” It reminded me of the times I’ve been in a really good, really big museum, like the Art Institute of Chicago, the Orsay, or the Louvre. It’s so staggeringly overwhelming to see so many priceless works of art in one place, feet apart, that the pieces start to lose their significance. I would find myself, after an hour or so, walking past lesser-known Picassos or Cézannes, thinking, yeah, whatever, I’m ready to get to this other room. I didn’t give the respect or attention to pieces, lost in their sea of masterpieces, that I’d give them if they were in, say, someone’s house. Or even in a smaller exhibit at the High Museum in Atlanta. The same with this food. Everything we ate was nothing short of perfect, but the plates that had subtler or less familiar flavors (say, the foie gras) were overshadowed by the louder, more rambunctious, front-of-the-palate headliners. I feel like I could’ve spread the whole meal over a week, and given it more justice.

  3. But alas, it was only one night. One night in five or so years (that’s about how often the budget will allow the extravagance). And a full one it was — from there, we saw a characteristically mind-boggling performance by Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, at the Fox. But, some friends noted yesterday after we described our evening that we seemed more excited about the food. And neither of us could disagree.


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