Our Texas Instruments colleague Cathy Wicks was gracious enough to host several of us at Ecco tonight. This is one of those restaurants that has been on my list for a long time. Even though it is within easy walking distance of Georgia Tech, I hadn't made it there until tonight.
The menu is a combination of Italian, Spanish, and French that make use of some local Georgia ingredients. The combination of those three countries is sometimes a little forced, although the georgia ingredients (fruit, cheese) were all great and perfectly appropriate.
We started out with a meat and cheese board. This actually reverses the French tradition, where cheese usually follows the main course. Everything was excellent. The Georgia cheese was a big hit, as was the French cow/goat cheese. I thought the sauscisson was very subtle and very good.
The waitress said that the roast pork pasta was their signature dish, so I had to try it. It had traditional broad pasta (fresh, of course) with fairly large chunks of pork. The roast pork was extremely tender. The tooth of the pork made an excellent complement to the pasta.
Cathy is shown with her smoked white asparagus with cherry tomatoes. The white asparagus was very smoky---I could smell it half way across the table. I didn't realize that you could smoke a vegetable so thoroughly. The smoke didn't make the asparagus in the slightest acrid, it just added a nice smell that intrigued the taste buds.
The huckleberry ice cream was the hit of the dessert course. I'm not sure that I have had huckleberries before. But the fruit is not overpowering and the ice cream preparation wasn't overly sweet.