Saturday, April 28, 2012

Clayton GA: Fromage

Stephanie introduced me to several new things in Clayton, including her friend Jenny who runs Fromage. We started off with a sandwich at the Fromage booth at the Clayton fair. That's Jenny's mom showing us our roast beef and brie sandwich. The sandwich was element and I snuck a taste of their chocolate and peanut butter fudge thingie, which was wonderfully rich.
I took myself to dinner at the restaurant, which is located on a quite side street just down the hill from old main street, and proceeded to overindulge.
I started with a cheese platter. I'm always a sucker for goat cheeses but I also particularly loved the Wisconsin cheese on the left. The fruits and nuts were a superb complement.
Next came the tomato bisque soup. This one was surprising: very creamy and fairly salty. I really liked the combination, it's just very different from the tomato-centric way I make a bisque. (I just take a jar of homemade tomato sauce and throw in a little cream and some herbs.)
I really didn't need an entree, but I couldn't resist the pesto with happy pork belly. The meat portion isn't quite as overwhelming when you consider that a lot of it is fat (my mom trained me to cut off the fat), but it was still very generous, as were the portions of all the courses. The pork was succulent and tender. The pesto did an excellent job of balancing the basil with the cheese and nuts. I couldn't make it to the dessert course; perhaps next time. Fromage is largely a lunch place, as with many of the establishments in Clayton. But they serve dinners on the fourth Friday and Saturday of the month all summer. Fromage & Other Fine Foods on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Pricci

My student Chung-Ching and I celebrated his newly minted Ph.D. with lunch at Pricci. It's on Pharr Road, a section of Buckhead that is surprisingly quiet given its proximity to the hectic buzzing surrounding Lenox Square. (Believe it or not, there's another restaurant in Forest Park named Pricci that is listed as serving Argentinian and Afghan cuisine. Perhaps they bought a cookbook and started at the A's...) I started with a caprese salad of buffalo mozarella and tomato. I don't know of many places in Atlanta that serve this dish. I came to love it when I lived in New Jersey and this was an outstanding specimen. Chung-Ching had proscuitto and melon. That tasted great as well; you can see the ham in the meat slicer in the menu, ready at a moment's notice.
Here is Chung-Ching with his seafood pasta. All the portions at Pricci were very generous in size.
I had veal picatta, which hit the perfect balance between tartness and buttery richness.
Chung-Ching somehow managed to find room for dessert. He had tiramisu. I decided to try the cheese sampler, which came with three very different cheeses and a pickled pepper. Everything on my cheese plate balanced out wonderfully. Pricci on Urbanspoon

Monday, April 23, 2012

Kyma

Hyesoon and I visited Kyma for dinner. It's a very well established part of the Atlanta restaurant scene and for very good reason. The food is excellent and the atmosphere is casual elegance. We ordered the tasting menu to maximize the variety of things we could taste. It starts out with a variety of spreads. I expected the eggplant to be my favorite. Although it was good, I loved the roasted red papers and the yogurt/cucumber/dill spread was wonderfully refreshing. We then went onto a selection of appetizers. I particularly loved the spinach and feta pies. Kyma on Urbanspoon

Friday, April 20, 2012

Smyrna: St. Angelo's Pizza

St. Angelo's has become a regular stop when I am in Smyrna. The style is what I've come to think of as New York transplant/Atlanta pizza place. These places have classic New York pizza, the mandantory checkered table cloths, and pictures of the family who runs the establishment. But the Atlanta version has a more modern sports bar vibe: brick interior (mandantory in Georgia) and plenty of video screens playing ESPN.
This is exactly the sort of pizza I would want from my neighborhood pizza place in New Jersey. Gourmet, not particularly; enjoyable, very much so. St. Angelo's sauce is excellent---the acid in the sauce is just strong enough to register when combined with the other pizza flavors. The crust could be a little chewiwer but is quite good. The staff are friendly without being pushy in the classic Italian style. St. Angelo's Pizza on Urbanspoon

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Update: Nan

Our Texas Instruments were in town and graciously took a group of us to Nan. I usually go to this restaurant for lunch so dinner was a special treat. I just wanted to write a quick blog note to say how much I enjoy this restaurant (not to mention the company). We started with the tasting tree which gave us a variety of dishes ranging from Thai-style spring rolls to fried octopus rings. The accompanying sauces also gave us the full spectrum of flavors. I'm a sucker for cocoanut soup. For my main course I tried the duck for the first time; that is one of those things that is hard to find anywhere. Nan's duck was succulent and gave very subtle, non-gamy flavors. Nan Thai Fine Dining on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Sandy Springs: Double Zero Napoletana

On Monday, I went to Double Zero Napoletana with the Atlanta Food Bloggers Society. It's located on Roswell Road just north of the Perimeter, more or less across the street from Ruth's Chris Steak House. This is one of those places that has been on my radar for awhile so I'm glad that my fellow bloggers gave me the excuse to go.
The restaurant provided us with an appetizer, the l'arrosto. Believe it or not, that roast pork with sides is on the small plates part of the menu. The chef explained that the pork was roased for about 6 hours. The garnishes included roasted garlic (amazing), eggplant, and peppers. The pork was exquisite---succulent and with a very roasted flavor.
I was on my own for the pizza so I tried one of my favorites, the quattro stagione. The traditional version has four different cheeses, one per quarter of the pie, in honor of a location near the Vatican, as I recall. This one had some extras, including roasted artichoke and roasted garlic. I was originally a little hesitant about fooling around with a classic and artichoke in particular. (I still remember my dad's insistent claims that artichoke was a weed that California farmers decided to market as a delicacy.) But the artichoke turned out to be almost my favorite part of the pizza. The sauce on the pizza was amazing, the perfect balance of tart and sweet. The crust itself was very thin in the Italian style, as compared to the slightly thicker New York or much thicker Chicago. But it still achieved that perfect balance of tenderness and chewiness.
And this is what food bloggers do when they eat---they take photos of everything that comes to the table. This shows Leslie of "The Food and Me" and Grant of "Marie, Let's Eat" taking photos of the latest arrival. Double Zero Napoletana on Urbanspoon