Weekend Eats ATL

…because calories don't count on the weekends

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A+ for Antico (as always)

Weekend Eats has been on a little bit of a *hiatus* lately, but last Saturday, I had one of those meals that was just too blogworthy not share.  If you live in Atlanta and like pizza, then you are probably aware of what has become known as the “Antico cult.”  If not, you should probably change that ASAP.

I’ve already given a rundown of the entire “Little Italia” experience in a previous post, so I’ll skip straight to the pizza.  We were lucky enough to enjoy our meal in “the dough room”, a private little room in the back with a view of the entire restaurant.  No chairs – just a few bags of flour, a lot of wine (courtesy of the BYOB policy), good company, and the most delicious pizza you’ve ever had.

Antico Atlanta

Best part about the room? That little air conditioner in the corner, as the rest of the restaurant is AC-less (and the ovens are HOT)

The Margherita D.O.P. is nothing short of perfection.  The ingredients are simple, yet delicious.  The bufala and San Marzano tomatoes are flown in every week from Italy.  Even during the middle of winter, the tomatoes are fresh and better than ever.  A bit of garlic and basil complete the dish.

Antico Atlanta

The D.O.P. is pretty D.O.P.e.

Antico Atlanta

Oven to table

The thing that really sets Antico apart, though, is the dough.  It’s thin, but not too thin, and never fails to deliver on the crispiness factor.  This is likely due to those imported-from-Italy wood burning ovens that can heat to over 900 degrees.  The fact that it only takes about 60 seconds to cook a pizza is quite impressive.  Apparently I am not the only person who favors the classic Marg., because it is also Antico’s best seller.

Antico pizza Atlanta

Think it’s toasty back there?

The Diavola is a close second to the Margherita.  If the spicy sopressata is the star of the pizza, the pepperonata is without a doubt the best supporting actress.  The sweet peppers, onions, and tomatoes simply melt in your mouth, while the heat of the spicy salami keeps you on your toes.

Antico Diavola pizza

The devil is in the details, or in this case, the Diavola

Last but not least, the San Gennaro is always a crowd pleaser.  This pie is topped with the above raved-about bufala, sweet red peppers, fresh cipollini, and most importantly, loads of Italian sausage.  The sweet peppers are bursting with flavor and pair so nicely with the savory salsiccia.

Antico San Gennaro pizza

We ordered two of these, naturally

So whether you’re taking out or dining in, Antico is the place to go.

Antico pizza

Pizza + champs for the win

Article 14 small plates

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14 Reasons to Love Article 14

Article 14 is one of my favorite Midtown spots for a cocktail and an evening bite.  I’ve dined at the place half a dozen times, but have rarely ordered anything other than the Kale Yeah salad, simply because it’s so delicious.  During a recent meal, I branched out and found many other reasons to love the place…

  1. Cocktails: Article 14 has a menu full of fun and unique cocktails.  The zesty melon cooler was right up my alley – vodka, watermelon, lime, and red pepper flakes.  It was subtle, not too sweet, and a little spicy from the red pepper.
Article 14 cocktails

They also serve an excellent dirty martini, if that’s more your style

2.  Lobstah: The lobster roll special made me feel like I was dining on the coast of Maine.  The lobster was served chilled with diced celery, and piled into a toasty bun.  Although the sauce looks a bit heavy, it was actually light and zesty.

Article 14 Atlanta

Fresh Maine lobstaaa

3.  BWD: The bacon-wrapped dates are a staple at Article 14.  The sweet dates were wrapped in a slice of thick-cut and crispy bacon, and topped with a drizzle of aged balsamic.

Article 14 menu

Bacon-wrapped deliciousness

4.  Deviled eggs: I’m not normally big on deviled eggs, but Article 14’s version struck my fancy.  Instead of mayo, the yolks were whipped with goat cheese, and sprinkled with crispy prosciutto and scallions.  They goat cheese made them tangier, creamier, and so much more delicious than the regular version.

Article 14 midtown

Deviled delights

5. & 6.  Peaches & Prosciutto: We had to get in an order of the grilled local peaches before they disappear for the next 9 months.  The juicy peach slices were wrapped in prosciutto and grilled with just the right amount of char and glaze from the saba sauce.  I wouldn’t want to have peaches any other way.

Article 14 small plates

Peachy keen

7.  Tomatoes:  The heirloom tomato salad was the best I’ve had all summer.  The dish was vibrant, beautiful, and flavorful.  The colorful heirlooms were perfectly salted and drizzled with EVOO.  And then there was that delicate (and also perfectly seasoned) piece of burrata on top.

Article 14 Atlanta

Heavenly heirlooms

8. & 9.  Kale + Bacon:  Even though I was branching out, I couldn’t possibly go without a bite of the kale yeah salad.  Article 14 has somehow managed to turn kale into bacon.  The smoky bacon vinaigrette is seriously addicting.  I could eat it all day long.

Article 14 kale yeah

Kale or bacon?

10.  The burger was too tasty-looking to pass on a bite.  The double beef patty was perfectly medium rare, topped with aged white cheddar, and served on a challah bun.  With a pickle on top.  Mouthwatering.

Article 14 menu

A solid stack

11.  Lemon Tart:  I wasn’t really hungry for dessert, but had to at least try a few bites of the chocolate lava cake.  You know, for research purposes.  The cake was disappointingly overcooked, and definitely lacking in the lava department.  Had it been cooked more like the moist and fluffy lemon tart, I might have had more than a few bites.

Article 14 dessert

Deceptively un-lavalike

Article 14 dessert

Now if only they would replace the lemon part with chocolate

12, 13, & 14. The 3 S’s (service, speed, seasonal):  The service was excellent, and I don’t think we waited more than a few minutes in between courses.  I really enjoyed exploring Article 14’s menu, and the chef did an excellent job highlighting so many seasonal ingredients.  I can’t wait to see what’s in store for fall, I hear bacon-flavored kale is in.

Gypsy kitchen atlanta

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Buckhead Atlanta: Gypsy Kitchen

Gypsy Kitchen was one of the first restaurants to open in the new (and long awaited) Buckhead Atlanta development.  The restaurant parallels Peachtree, and is right next to its sister (or brother, rather) restaurant, The Southern Gentleman. On the inside, you’ll find lots of dark wood paneling, unique lighting, and a kitchen that partially opens up into the restaurant.  The open kitchen was neat for about fifteen seconds, until I started sweltering from the overheated restaurant.

The menu features an assortment of Spanish style tapas – cured meats & cheeses, snacks, appetizers, plates, etc.  It’s definitely an “order and share” kind of place, so that’s exactly what we did…

The meat & cheese board was pretty minimal, and by minimal I mean that the portions were pretty unproportional to the prices.  The manchego, chorizo, and san simon were all tasty, but I could have skipped the bresaola.

Gypsy kitchen atlanta

For $28, they could have at least thrown in a marcona almond or two.

Most of the other dishes we tried were some combination of greasy and under-seasoned, to put it simply.  The roasted mushroom caps were [under]cooked in a parsley-hazelnut sauce that was just a little bit way too oily for my liking.  The result?

Gypsy kitchen menu

Soggy ‘shrooms.

The chicken croquetas tasted like deep-fried balls of…nothing.

Buckhead Atlanta Gypsy Kitchen

Fritter fail.

The patatas bravas were undersalted and served with the same visually unappealing aioli as the croquetas.

Buckhead Atlanta restaurants

Really though, why is that aioli so yellow?

The octopus dish was doused in oil, and then smothered in an unnecessarily rich (yet bland) potato puree.

Gypsy kitchen Atlanta

Oily octo

The Spanish cigars were deep fried (surprise) and stuffed with blue cheese, dates, and jamón serrano.  They were crispy, but it was difficult to taste anything other than fried.

Gypsy kitchen menu

Buckhead restaurant or carnival fare?

The “paella” fried rice was the only really tasty and flavorful dish of the evening.  The crispy rice was tossed with shrimp, chorizo, and peas, and topped with a perfectly-cooked fried egg.

Gypsy kitchen atlanta

Wish we had skipped the others and ordered three of these.

At the end of the meal, I sort of felt like I had just eaten seven of the same dishes, with varying degrees of greasiness and tastelessness.  They even served a few of the dishes over a piece of paper, presumably to mop up some of the extra grease (refer to Spanish cigars above).  Gypsy Kitchen was disappointing, to say the least.  Stick to the Iberian Pig or Cooks & Soldiers if you want twice the flavor and half the grease (okay, grease rant over).

Marcel Atlanta

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All’s Well at Marcel

Up until the end of June, a classic steakhouse was one of the few things in Atlanta that Ford Fry didn’t have.  Things changed in July when he opened Marcel in the former Abattoir space.  Although I was sad to see Abattoir go, I was pretty excited about the new addition to Atlanta’s steakhouse scene.

At first glance, I loved what they did with the space.  The dim lighting, leather booths, and velvet curtains definitely gave off an “old school” steakhouse vibe, but then there were modern twists like the bright and mirrored bar in the center.

We ended up sitting in the bar room, so there was no reason not to start with a dirty martini.  One martini later, Marcel got its first check in the blue cheese-stuffed olives box.

Marcel Atlanta

So far, so good.

Marcel Atlanta

By 9 pm, the bar was packed.

To soak up all that vodka and vermouth, our server immediately brought out a plate of piping hot bread that was likely pulled out of the oven 25 seconds earlier.  If you’ve ever tried one of the famous English muffins at the Model Bakery in Napa, then you’ll know why I was so excited about this particular bread basket.  Marcel’s version looked deliciously similar and melted in your mouth just the same.  Thank goodness they only gave us one each, or else I might have skipped the steak altogether.

Ford Fry Marcel

Extra butter, please.

Although I was hoping for a tableside preparation when I ordered the Caesar a la minute, everything else about the salad was exactly what I wanted.  The romaine was crisp, the croutons were buttery, and the dressing was perfect.  Although it wasn’t served tableside, you could tell they had just mixed everything up minutes ago, hence the “a la minute.”  Also, never underestimate the importance of a chilled salad served on a chilled plate.  It can make all the difference in the world.

Marcel Atlanta

Caesar, a la minute

If steak isn’t your thing, Marcel has tons of fresh seafood options.  There were several east and west coast varieties on the oysters du jour list, and they were served with baked sea salt crackers and all the necessary fixings.

Marcel Atlanta

Oysters on ice

The sole meunière was classically prepared and beautifully presented.  They brought the fish out whole for a preview, and then returned it minutes later, filleted and ready to eat.  The fish was cooked nicely – flaky throughout with a crispy pan sear.  The subtle lemon-butter sauce really allowed the sole to shine on its own.

Marcel Atlanta

Sole with some soul.

A day or two before I dined at Marcel, I read an interesting article that compared steaks on a price per ounce basis at all the big name steakhouses in Atlanta.  The verdict?  Marcel was the most expensive steakhouse in Atlanta.  So naturally, this made me even more eager to give their steak a try.

I went with the 8 oz filet madame, and Chad with the 14 oz bone-in filet monsieur.  Fitting, I suppose.  Ever since my horrific experience at Bern’s Steakhouse in Tampa, I am extra careful and overly specific (almost to the point of obnoxious, really) when ordering a steak.  In this particular instance, I am pretty sure I used some combination of extremely rare, blue, barely cooked, and cold center.  I also specifically requested a cool plate.  Crystal clear, right?  Wrong.  My first steak came out on a piping hot plate and was barely medium rare.

Marcel steak Atlanta

This is how a normal person might prefer their steak…overcooked.

Contrary to popular belief, I really don’t enjoy sending back $50 steaks.  So if anyone has a suggestion about how I can be more clear about the whole rare thing, I’m all ears.  I will say though, that Marcel recovered very gracefully from this misstep.  The manager was extremely apologetic and brought out a new steak right away (not that it takes much time to sear a steak for 20 seconds on each side).

Marcel Atlanta

And this is what I prefer…perfection.

The second steak was served on a cool plate (check), with a cool, red center (double check).  The outside of the steak was nicely seared  with a salty-buttery crust.  The filet was ever-so-slightly marbled, and flavorful enough that it didn’t need any of the additional sauce add-ons that the menu offered.  It was really delicious, and worth waiting for.  Did it taste $.62/oz better than Kevin Rathbun’s filet?  Probably not, but keep in mind that, like any other steakhouse, you’re paying for the entire experience, not just the steak.

Side-wise we tried the creamed corn and the scalloped potatoes.  Both sides were creamy, cheesy, and decadent to the point where a few bites was enough.  They were definitely sharing-sized portions.  The crispy, baked crust that encased the creamed corn was to die for, and I don’t even really like corn.

Marcel Atlanta

Creamy & crispy, with a hint of corn.

Marcel Atlanta

They do offer some sides that aren’t covered in butter & cheese…but where’s the fun in that?

In the end, despite the minor steak snafu, I had a great experience at Marcel.  I was impressed with the food, and the service didn’t skip a beat.  Judging by the jam-packed crowd at the restaurant, I don’t think Marcel is going to struggle to sell any steaks, higher price tag and all.

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Beltline Bites: Two Urban Licks

I made my first stop on the beltline a few weeks ago at Parish, and decided to check out Two Urban Licks for round two.  I had actually been to the restaurant before back in 2010, but decided it was time for a revisit.  Two Urban Licks’ patio also backs right up to the beltline, and even has an outdoor bocce court.  In circumstances outside of the hot and humid 95-degree summer we’ve been experiencing, I’m sure the patio is great.

Before I jump into the food itself, I’d like to discus a few *other* items:

  1. The menu has not changed much since 2010. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it’s definitely surprising for a place that seems like it’s trying to be somewhat modern/edgy.
  2. The restaurant is really loud. I’m not sure if it’s the high ceilings or just the fact that the place is massive, but it was difficult to carry on a conversation.
  3. They served their wine in a cocktail glass. I’ve ranted before about martinis served in coupe glasses, but this offense is even worse.  Wine glasses exist for a reason, use them.

Okay, glassware rant over.  Back to the food.

We started with a round of salmon chips to share.  The smoked salmon was mixed with red onion and a slightly spicy chipotle cream cheese and served on a crispy kettle-cooked potato chip.  The chips were topped with capers & chives.  Given the way the dish was described on the menu, I was expecting more of a lox-type smoked salmon, but the chips were tasty nonetheless.

Two Urban Licks Atlanta

Perfectly crisped chips

The Caesar salad was slightly reinvented, with a spicy chipotle dressing and chili croutons.  I’m more of a classic Caesar kinda girl, so I honestly didn’t love the spicy twist.  The presentation too, was just blah.  The romaine was almost drowning in a sea of pink dressing, and they didn’t bother to offer any fresh cracked pepper.

Two Urban Licks appetizers

If you’re going to make me cut my own romaine, at least make it pretty

I had the bronzed scallops, which I’m pretty sure was the entrée I ordered on my last visit.  The scallops were perfectly bronzed and caramelized on the outside.  They were served with a smoky tomato broth over a pile of cheesy gouda grits, and topped with a spoonful of fresh pico de gallo.  I loved the flavor combination of the creamy grits with the smoky broth, and the textural contrast of the slightly-chilled pico.  Again, though, the presentation was a miss.  The broth looked like it was just thrown onto the side of the plate as an afterthought.

Two Urban Licks menu

With the heaviness of the grits, three scallops was all I needed

The striped bass was definitely a lighter dish.  The fish was oven roasted in a lemony brown butter vinaigrette.  The fish was simple and flaky, with a nice crispy crust on the outside.

Two Urban Licks seafood

…and an extra side of gouda grits

The amberjack was another tasty piece of fish, although it was a bit difficult to find beneath the massive pile of French fries.  The fish was served au poivre, but the sauce was off to the side a bit, so it didn’t overpower the delicate flavor of the fish.  The French fries were also crispy and tasty, but like I mentioned, unnecessarily piled on top of the fish.

Two Urban Licks Atlanta

There’s a fish under there somewhere, I promise.

For dessert, we tried the German chocolate cake, which was disappointing.  The cake was dry and didn’t even taste very chocolatey.

Two Urban Licks dessert

Deceptively delicious-looking…

Two Urban Licks dessert

…dry and disappointing

Overall, I thought the food at Two Urban Licks (aside from the cake) tasted good, but everything else about the place seemed tired.  They could definitely benefit from an updated menu and some sprucing up on the presentation.  Oh, and maybe some wine glasses as well 🙂

Atlanta beltline


Beltline Bites: Parish

Lately, I’ve been obsessed with the Beltline, because it pretty much embodies all of my favorite hobbies: running, biking, eating, and drinking.  Oh, and it’s an excellent spot for people and dog-watching.  Side note: if any of you readers also happen to own a sheltie, I’ll gladly borrow him or her for a Beltline run or two 🙂

Parish’s patio backs up to the BeltLine, though the restaurant itself has been around since 2008, before the Inman Park area became “hip.”  In addition to the upstairs brasserie, Parish’s space also includes a downstairs neighborhood café that serves coffee, pastries, & more.

We dined in the brasserie on a recent Wednesday night, and I was really surprised by how empty the restaurant was, given the popularity of the Beltline.  There were only a handful of other patrons in the dining room, and we shut the place down by 9:30 pm.

Parish’s menu is broken down into first and second courses, and they have a really nice selection of seafood, pasta, and meat dishes, prepared with seasonal ingredients.  They also had a few unique cocktails to choose from, so naturally I had to try a sip or two.

Parish Atlanta

Parish beltline

Vodka, watermelon, rosemary, & lime completed this crafty concoction

To start, our server brought out a few tins of the hand-made potato chips, dusted with parmesan.  The chips were golden brown and paired really nicely with a crisp glass of rosé.  On the other hand, I can’t think of many things that don’t pair well with rosé on a hot, summer day.

Parish Atlanta

Much more fun than a frumpy bread basket

The charred eggplant dish seemed to be Parish’s take on hummus.  It was pureed with yogurt and served with a drizzle of olive oil, diced tomatoes, and few doughy pita slices.  I didn’t get any spiciness from the tomatoes as the menu promised, but the chilled dish was a nice break from the summer heat.

Parish menu Atlanta

This Mediterranean-inspired dish did seem a bit out of place when compared to the rest of the menu, though

The beef tartare was served with chopped walnuts, which I haven’t seen in a tartare before, and loved.  What I didn’t love, though, was the way the onion slices were just strewn over the beef like an afterthought.  They didn’t look particularly appetizing and would have been much less overpowering had they been diced and mixed in with the beef.  The dish was served with crostini toasts and a side of “salsa verde”, which had more of a pesto than a salsa flavor, but paired really nicely with the beef.   I’ve decided, though, that I really need to stop ordering beef tartare that is served sans sunny-side-up egg.  It’s never quite as good without that yolk.

Beltline Atlanta

Not your traditional tartare

The tomato salad was probably my favorite of the first courses, as it’s hard to beat a perfectly executed tomato dish when they’re in season.  The heirlooms were paired with a generous portion of creamy burrata, and dressed with red wine vinegar and olive oil.  The dish was topped off with a few perfectly charred onion slices, which were much tastier than the previously described tartare onions.

Parish menu Atlanta

The quail dish was Parish’s take on southern-fried chicken.  The quail was cornmeal crusted, dipped in buttermilk, and deep fried.  A duo of pickled peach slices were served on the side, but I didn’t love their too-soft texture or pickled-sweet flavor.  Because it’s a smaller bird, I find quail to be much tastier and less susceptible to dryness than traditional fried chicken.  Overall the dish was okay, but not something I would order again.

Parish Atlanta

Shake your [quail] feather

The Parisian gnocchi, made with goat cheese, rivaled the tomato salad as the most delicious thing we tasted that night. Each piece of gnocchi had a delicious and golden brown butter crust on the outside, the kind you can only get from a perfect pan sear.  The pasta was served with zucchini slices in a rich tomato-butter sauce, and topped with some delicately-shaved parmesan.  Now this is the type of dish I would order again.

Parish Atlanta

Never say no to gnocchi

I usually avoid ordering chicken at restaurants, because I tell myself it’s something I can easily cook it at home.  Whether or not I ever actually do cook it (or anything) at home is beside the point.  For this reason, though, I was on the fence about the roasted chicken.  Until I took my first bite.  The dish was so flavorful and was neither dry nor boring.  It was drenched in a tasty jus over a bed of garlic-sautéed spinach.  And it was definitely not something I could cook at home.

Beltline Parish Atlanta

Winner, winner, chicken dinner.

We concluded the meal with the fried chocolate ganache, which, despite the chocolate element, was a disappointment.  The chocolate was deep fried over a whipped crème fraiche, which was all quite tasty.  However, the chocolate flavor was completed overpowered by the addition of a few port-poached cherries, which sort of ruined the dish.

Parish dessert

I would have preferred this sans cherry on top!

All in all, I really enjoyed Parish.  We had a handful of hits (as well as a miss or two), but the food was well-executed and portioned for sharing.  My only “additional commentary” is that I did find the second course options to be a bit on the heavy side, and wished they had one or two lighter options (I wouldn’t be opposed to seared scallops).  Whether you want a coffee, cocktail, or a full meal, Parish is definitely an excellent choice for a post-beltline bite, beverage, or both!

beltline atlanta

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Good Looks for Cooks & Soldiers

Cooks & Soldiers has been open for a few months now, and I recently tried it for the first time.  The bar area of the West Midtown establishment is open and bright, thanks to the floor-to-ceiling windows that make up the front wall.  The main dining area is pretty large, although the tables seemed a bit close to one another.  As luck would have it though, we were seated at the beautiful marble private dining table adjacent to the bar.

Cooks & Soldiers Atlanta

The cocktail was too sweet, but it was certainly pretty

Cooks & Soldier’s basque-inspired menu is broken down into two main sections: pintxos (small bites) and asador (grilled meat, seafood, and vegetables).  The portions are large enough to share, but small enough to leave you wanting more.  We may or may not have ordered a second round of one or two of the plates.

Our server provided a really nice (albeit long-winded) overview of the menu, and recommended some of his personal favorites.

We started with two of the pintxos tradicionales, which are essentially duos of toasted bread with various toppings.  The first was topped with jam, goat cheese, caramelized figs, a slice of prosciutto, and a drizzle of balsamic.  The flavors worked really well together, mostly savory with a hint of sweetness from the jam & figs.

Cooks & Soldiers small plates

A perfectly savory bite

The second was simpler: fresh tomato, prosciutto, and a sprig of cilantro.  It was probably the least interesting thing we tasted all night, and could have used a drizzle of olive oil, in my opinion.

Cooks & Soldiers

Simple, but I could have skipped this one

Next we moved onto the pintxos especiales, which is where things really started to get tasty.  The croquetas de gambas were served fresh out of the fryer over a tangy garlic aioli, with a dash of malt vinegar on the side.  The crispy little fritters were comprised of shrimp, roasted corn, peas, and piquillo peppers, for a little pop of heat.

Cooks & Soldiers midtown

Fritters for all

The atun y frutas dish was definitely my favorite.  The seared tuna was served with an heirloom tomato medley over a buttermilk crème fraiche.  There were also a few interesting cubes of melon gelee.  Although the tuna was delicious, the tomatoes were the real star of the dish, and that little drizzle of olive oil really enhanced their flavor.  As for the crème fraiche, well, that goes well with anything.

Cooks & Soldiers small plates

One of these simply wasn’t enough.

The chistorra in a blanket were, as the name suggests, fancy pigs in a blanket.  And they were delicious.  The croissants were crispy, flaky, coated in a cider glaze, and dusted with sea salt.  The slightly spicy sausage was so tasty with a dip of the sweet and mapley mustard aioli.  If only there had been four of them.

Cooks & Soldiers menu

The bigger the sea salt flakes, the better.

The grilled octopus was another seafood delight, although I have to disagree with our server about it being the best in Atlanta (St. Cecilia’s still wins that prize).  The octopus was charred and served over a chickpea puree with bits of chorizo and smoked marcona almonds.  The textural contrast of the puree, the octopus, and the crunchy almonds was spot on, and the olives added the perfect touch of salt.

Cooks & Soldiers seafood

Loved the octo-presentation

The bikini, also known as a grilled cheese, was deliciously savory and cheesy.  Layers of white American cheese, prosciutto, and black truffles were oozing out of this sandwich.  As an added bonus, the white bread was absolutely drenched in butter (yes – this is a good thing).   I will say, though, I was a little confused about the name.  I didn’t really want to be anywhere near a bikini after enjoying this decadent bite.

Cooks & Soldiers menu

You’re never too old for a grilled cheese

I was pleasantly surprised by the deliciousness of the veal cheek, because it honestly didn’t look that appetizing.  The braised veal was tender enough to cut with a fork and had so much flavor.  The mashed potatoes were the perfect way to mop up every last bit of sauce.

Cooks & Soldiers dinner

Fancied-up meat & potatoes

We couldn’t decide on just one dessert, so we ordered three.  Naturally.  The chocolate tarte was a no brainer.  The rich and decadent Valrhona chocolate sat atop a graham cracker crust and was sprinkled with sea salt.  It was accompanied by a corn gelato and a little lump of creamed corn, which I did not understand nor care for at all.  Why ruin the chocolate by adding corn?  The tarte was absolutely delicious, and the corn remained untouched on the side of the plate, where it shouldn’t have even been in the first place.

Cooks & Soldiers Atlanta

Separation of corn & chocolate

The gateau basque was sweet and simple, but I’m not really one for fruit desserts.  A layer of pickled strawberry compote sat beneath the slightly-savory almond crème fraiche cake.  The cake itself was perfectly cooked – far from dry on the inside with a crispy crust.

Cooks & Soldiers dessert

Definitely a lighter dessert option

The lemon-goat cheese cheesecake was the most beautiful and the tastiest of the three, and it’s not easy to win over a chocolate tarte.  I loved the slight tanginess of the goat cheese, and it definitely made for a much lighter and fluffier-than-normal cheesecake.  A poached peach slice and a peach granite accompanied the cake, to sweeten up the savory goat cheese.

Cooks & Soldiers atlanta

Can’t get better than tasty AND beautiful

I have to say, I was extremely impressed with the food, pace of service, and presentation at Cooks & Soldiers.  I never felt rushed throughout the dinner and I loved that they served all the dishes on slate boards.  I didn’t try one dish all night that I didn’t like, and that’s quite impressive given that we ordered eleven of them.  There were only a handful of items on the menu that we didn’t try, and you can bet I’ll be back to order them soon.