Saturday, June 30, 2012

A bite at Abattoir...

I've been dying to try this restaurant!  We've been longtime fans of Bacchanalia. Anne Quatrano and Clifford Harrison, owners of Bacchanalia, Floataway Café, the Quinones Room at Bacchanalia and Star Provisions, have opened Abattoir - their most casual of the group.  A quote from their website:

Abattoir is an American chophouse specializing in the use of locally-raised proteins and vegetables to produce high-quality, affordable food."

1170 Howell Mill Road, Atlanta, 404-892-3335

Abattoir is located around the corner from Bacchanalia on Howell Mill.  There is valet parking, and we drove up and were out of the car and up the stairs in no time.  

The entrance:

We entered the restaurant (away from the 110 degree outside temperature in Atlanta that day!) and were immediately greeted by the hostess, who was adorable and friendly.  We had early reservations (6:15PM), so the restaurant was not even half full when we arrived.  But we were seated at a fantastic table in the dining room.

The interior has such a great vibe - eclectic - open exposed ceilings but with rustic decor.  

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

We were quickly meeting our server who was charming and knowledgeable.  We had to decide on drinks to start off the evening.  They had a selection of 6 fun cocktails, and we chose 3 of the daily specials - A Sour Wood Smash, a Hemingway Daiquiri and a Jalepeno Tequila drink that was to die for!

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

All three drinks were fantastic and fresh.  We sampled and passed around to each other (reluctantly!)

A picture of their menu du jour - it changes often.

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

A sample menu from their website:

Photo Credit: Star Provisions

Now it was onto to the hard part - deciding what to eat off this fabulous menu.

While we were enjoying our drinks we ordered the crudites and hummus to nibble on - best ever!  And the pita bread arrived warm and soft and quite amazing.

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

We decided we couldn't resist the appetizers, so we ordered more, and opted to share 2 entrees for the 3 of us.  Here's what we went with appetizerwise:

Local Beef Tartare (with jalepeno, pinenuts, asian pear)

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Octopus dog, teriyaki, pickled ginger

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Photo Credit: Star Provisions

Pork belly and pate, pickled vegetables, thai pepper

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Photo Credit: Star Provisions

These dishes were divine.  All were unique and exquisitely prepared.  The chef (Tyler Williams) came over to see how we were enjoying ourselves, and we fell all over ourselves complimenting the dishes.

Photo Credit: Star Provisions

Here's his bio:

Tyler Williams may have grown up in the small town of Okemos, Michigan, but he didn’t grow up with a small-town palate. As a child, Williams became friends with the son of a Lebanese family and quickly became enamored with the culture and cuisine. And as he grew up, Williams was enthusiastic about all things new and different in food and culture, eventually studying cultural geography at Arizona State University to satiate his inward wanderlust, topping it off with a degree from Western Culinary Institute.
After culinary school, a worldly Williams moved to Portland, Oregon, to work at Genoa, where he rotated menu leadership with two other chefs. But his culinary experience really took off when he headed to Chicago. After working for several months in the front of the house at 2005 Chicago Rising Star Homaro Cantu’s Moto, he took a position at Graham Elliot, where he was inspired by the chef’s whimsical and nostalgic style. Williams later worked as chef de cuisine atGemini Bistro, where he defined his own playful, global approach.
Williams came to Atlanta to work as sous chef in Anne Quartrano’s fine dining houseBacchanalia in summer 2010. Even though he hasn’t lived in Atlanta long, Williams has quickly found a home in the eclecticism of the ATL culinary scene. As chef of Quatrano’s meat-centricAbattoir (literally defined as a slaughterhouse), Williams brings his vivacious personality and open-minded palate to the fore, with fun dishes like root beer barbecue sauce-laced wagyu beef belly and seafood sausage on monkey bread. That creative spirit helped earn him a place in's class of 2012 Atlanta Rising Stars. With a dedication to local, organic proteins and vegetables (Williams is a member of Slow Food USA and Georgia Organics) his cuisine is addictive and classically farm to table, aka pure Atlanta.

The octopus dog was the hands down favorite.  Here's the recipe:

Octo Dog:
4 pounds octopus
3 pounds lean chicken meat
4 pounds pork fat
5 garlic cloves
125 grams salt
4 grams Instacure #2
40 grams dextrose
20 grams nonfat dry milk solids
Ice cubes
Sheep natural casings
1 cup soy sauce
1 cup sugar
1 cup rice wine vinegar
1 cup mirin
Spicy Mayo:
1 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sriracha
1 teaspoons ghost chili hot sauce
1 teaspoon lime juice
To Assemble and Serve:
Clarified butter
Hot dog buns
Red jalapeños, diced
Sliced pickled ginger
Chopped cilantro
Toasted sesame seeds
Dried hijiki seaweed


For the Octo Dog:
Using the smallest die setting on a meat grinder, grind the octopus, chicken, pork, and garlic three times. Partially freeze. Fold in the salt, cure, dextrose, and milk solids. Place in a food processor with a good handful of ice cubes and spin until emulsified. Pipe into sheep casings and cook in a combi oven until the internal temperature reaches 150°F.
For the Teriyaki:
In a medium saucepot, combine the soy, sugar, vinegar, and mirin. Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce until the sauce coats the back of a spoon.
For the Spicy Mayo:
In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sriracha, hot sauce, salt, and lime juice.
To Assemble and Serve:
In a cast iron skillet, melt the clarified butter and toast the hot dog bun. In the same skillet, brown the Octo Dog. Apply a healthy strip of Spicy Mayo in the bun. Put the dog in bun and drizzle with Teriyaki. Use the Teriyaki as glue to apply desired amounts of jalapeño, ginger, cilantro, sesame seeds, and seaweed.

Not something I'll be preparing at home, but when I go back to Abattoir I'll definitely order again.

Fresh from the oven piping hot bread and farm fresh butter was delivered next.

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

On to the entrees...

Tough choices.  My husband chose their signature burger (which has been said to be the BEST in Atlanta), and my daughter and I decided to share the lamb.

Leg Of Lamb, Lamb Sausage, Tomato, Hummus

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Wow.  The lamb was deboned, sliced along with lamb sausage (featuring lamb tongue), and served on a bed of hummus with heirloom tomatoes.  It was delicious, savory and perfect.

Abattoir Beef Burger, Cheddar, Beef Bacon

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Wow #2.  The burger tasted as good as any steak I've tasted.  It was perfectly prepared (medium) with beef bacon and cheddar.  We ordered heirloom tomatoes drizzled with olive oil as a side instead of pommes frites.  It was very very good.

We were totally stuffed, and just relaxed and finished our delicious drinks instead of having dessert.  After all - the temperature was 111 degrees outside as we were driving to dinner.  But the trip to Abattoir was well worth it, and I would recommend (and WILL recommend) it to anyone.
Abattoir on Urbanspoon

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Hard to SERPAS this meal!!!

I'm excited to try a restaurant that I've been wanting to try for some time.  SERPAS TRUE FOOD is owned by the son-in-law of a friend of ours and is located in downtown Atlanta in a revitalized area called the "Old Fourth Ward" and is pronounced "surpass."

659 Auburn Avenue, #501, Studioplex, Atlanta, GA 30312. Phone - 404-688-0040.

The restaurant is located in a building called "The Pavilion at StudioPlex" that houses multiple art galleries.

Once you drive in to the parking lot, there are valets waiting, and it's just a short walk to the restaurant's front door.

Photo Credit: Serpas True Food

 Inside it has an industrial chic eclectic feel - unfinished ceilings, warehouse feel with very cool lighting and minimal rustic decor.

Our server arrived immediately, and we ordered a specialty drink from their lauded mixologist.  We started with 2 SAYONARAS!  They were refreshingly delicious!
Sayonara:  Cathead vodka, ruby red grapefruit, lime, agave nectar, Fever Tree Bitter Lemon

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

There's also an interesting wine list:

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

We then immediately plowed into the appetizer menu.  Everything sounded tantalizing, but we chose
these two:

House Smoked Salmon Chips: Housemade huge potato chips, smeared with chipotle cream cheese and topped with some of the best salmon I've tasted.  Sprinkled gingerly with red onion and capers.


Bacon Wrapped Mission Figs: bacon wrapped around goat cheese stuffed figs set atop a bed of pecans and arugula

Wow. Wow. Wow.

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Salmon appetizer:

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

This appetizer was so good we even talked about getting a "to-go" order to take with us for brunch the next day.  Unreal.

The Mission Figs:

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

These little gems were devine - Sweet figs stuffed with creamy goat cheese wrapped in good salty bacon with the tart arugula.  A flavor explosion!

While we were enjoying our delicacies, we asked our server if the owner/chef, Scot Serpas, was in, and he was, and he quickly was summoned to our table.  He was personable and knowledgeable. He is known for his "honest approach to Southern food with Louisiana flair."  Past stints in Atlanta have been working as Executive Chef under Kevin Rathbun, Nava, Two Urban Licks and Sia's (in Duluth).

Photo Credit: Serpas True Food
After meeting with Scot we were even more excited to delve into the main course!

Here's what we chose:

Jumbo sea scallops atop creamy fresh corn, forest mushrooms and panang curry

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

I don't usually order scallops (after having bad ones years ago - don't ask...) but these came HIGHLY recommended, and I LOVE panang curry, so I went with them.  Sooooo glad I did!  They were delicately prepared and tender, not chewy, and the creamed corn and mushroom sauce was to die for!

Veal Porterhouse:
Veal chop over blue cheese potato gratin over tiny green beans and shiitake mushrooms

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

We were struggling between this dish and their pork chop, but we decided on the veal.  Even though the presentation was a bit Fred Flintstone-ish - it was delish!  Very tender, and it was prepared just past medium, as ordered.  The blue cheese potato gratin was so well done - I'd order it every time!

The dessert menu looked amazing, but after all this amazing food, we were stuffed, and decided we'd enjoy another drink instead.  We were having so much fun at Serpas that we didn't want the evening to come to an end!

However, if we WERE to get dessert, it would have been:

Georgia Peach Bread Pudding amaretto sauce - - - now how good does THAT sound?

Here's what drinks we went with:

Fields of Gold: Domaine de Canton, Cynar, Lemongrass infused  (it was a lemondrop martini sort of - without the yucky too sweet factor).  Pictured below in the high martini glass.

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue


Spring in the East Village (pictured above in the highball glass):
Old Overholt Rye, Bacardi Silver, Creme Yvette, Peychaud's Bitters

All in all it was a wonderful evening of dining - great food, fun atmosphere, a caring and careful chef.  What more could you ask for?  And yes, we WILL be back...

Serpas True Food on Urbanspoon