Where has the time gone? I return to Atlanta and poof, two months go by. While I’m still aching for Paris, I’ve enjoyed trying out new spots around town. Here’s a round up of six places that have stood out thus far.
- 4TH & SWIFT – Midtown Restaurant Week specials gave me the chance to taste (and afford) more than one dish at Atlanta’s pricier hotspots. Highlights at 4th & Swift: the beautiful decor, sweet corn soup with chorizo, shrimp and basil cream and the blueberry fried pie dessert.
- ECCO – Continuing Midtown Restaurant Week, some friends and I dined at Ecco. Another beautifully designed space, the restaurant was fabulous. I opted out of the prix fixe menu and ordered off the regular menu. Yes, that defeated the purpose of going for MRW but, oh well. Standouts included the fried goat cheese balls with honey and pepper and the wood-fired pizza with local squash, house-made fromage blanc, Vidalia agrodolce and arugula. I recently saw an article featuring a recipe for the goat cheese balls, here.
- IBERIAN PIG – I’m going to go out on a limb and claim this place as my new, favorite dining destination in Atlanta. I’ve always been in love with Decatur but this meal made my heart grow fonder. My friends and I shared a truly exceptional meal of tapas and wine on the patio at Iberian Pig for Emma’s birthday. Must-order small plates include the pork cheek tacos, albondigas meatballs and huevos con trufa.
- LOCAL THREE – I had dined at Local Three for Easter brunch years ago and was happy to return for dinner recently. The impeccable service and menu recommendations made for a wonderful meal catching up with friends. My only takeaway for you is that if you don’t order the duck fat fried Brussels sprouts, you are wrong. The PB & J dessert was pretty amazing, too.
- SALTYARD – I’m proud to call this new spot a neighbor of mine. While I’ve heard some really nasty reviews out there, I thoroughly enjoyed my experience at Saltyard. Some say the small plates/tapas trend is so two years ago, but I say keep it comin’! Sharing plates with friends gives you a taste of everything and that’s just what we did at Saltyard. Some real table pleasers included the ricotta gnocchi with roasted mushrooms and parmesan, the burrata and peach salad and the scallops with cauliflower puree. Oh, and let’s not forget about the fabulous cocktails!
- WRECKING BAR BREWPUB – For my friend, Sarah’s birthday, we decided to get sneaky and plan a surprise dinner. We wanted to choose something “hip” and popular, but a place that would please my best friend’s super picky palate. Wrecking Bar Brewpub was the perfect spot to take a chicken-fingers-and-cheeseburger-kind-of-gal while still offering more adventurous fare. The restaurant was kind to prepare a special menu for the birthday girl and seat our big party in a private room. While the menu kept us from trying out some of Wrecking Bar’s staples, I enjoyed the experience. The kale ale fondue was particularly satisfying, especially with pint after pint of house-brewed beers.