Tuesday, September 3, 2013

At last - - - we visit King + Duke

So looking forward to stepping out to try Ford Fry's newest restaurant, King + Duke!


From their website:

"King + Duke, the latest chef-owned restaurant from Atlanta’s Ford Fry, offers a seasonal dining experience in the heart of Buckhead. A 24-foot open hearth is the restaurant’s centerpiece, and executive chef Joe Schafer’s passion for cooking over wood comes through in every dish. Named after characters in Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, King + Duke nods to classic literature and American traditions. The locally sourced dishes harken back to the way food used to be prepared—cooking over fire is a primitive technique that lets the ingredients speak for themselves. Guests can watch their food being prepared over the fire in the main restaurant space, dine al fresco on the large patio, or host an event behind a hidden door in the private dining room.

Start with a cocktail and the warm Yorkshire pudding that’s served at every table, and move on to a coal-roasted onion soup or charred octopus salad. Then enjoy “The King,” a dry-aged, bone-in ribeye, or share a whole-roasted chicken for two. If you’re feeling adventurous, try the roasted bone marrow, or a Mississippi rabbit with liver toast. There are plenty of options for vegetable lovers, too:
wood-roasted artichokes, farm carrots and beets, grilled eggplant, and more.
The menu changes often, based on seasonal ingredients and the chef’s inspiration, so don’t be a stranger."

Menu changes daily but here's a sample, again from their website:

crispy, sticky, smoky WINGS … 7
DEVILED EGGS, virginia ham, pickled celery … 5
CRUDITÉ, whipped house ricotta, lemon … 5
BAYLEY HAZEN BLUE, pickled plums… 8
CANDIED LAMB BELLY, sheep’s milk feta, marinated cucumbers, warm flat breads … 11
COAL ROASTED ONION SOUP, pale ale, mahon, croutons, smoked marrow bone … 12
MAINE CRAB TOAST, thai basil, chile, mint … 16
LOCAL TOMATOES & MELON, burrata, tomato gelee … 13
LITTLE GEM SALAD, buttery croutons, blue cheese dressing … 10
CHARRED OCTOPUS SALAD, sugar snap peas, green olive, chorizo & lemon … 12
WOOD ROASTED FARM CARROTS & BEETS, sheep’s milk feta, harissa … 9
ROASTED BONE MARROW, smoked mushroom salad, short rib marmalade, toast … 15
SIMPLE SALAD, organic lettuces, shaved vegetables, vinaigrette … 8
Fish, Fowl,
and Farm.
“THE DUKE,” burger of house ground chuck & dry aged cuts, coal roasted onion, fries … 16
NORTH GEORGIA BROOK TROUT, “boy scout style,” spring vegetable salad, country ham, almonds … 24
HEARTH ROASTED FISH OF THE MOMENT, roasted sweet peppers, corn relish … A.Q.
ROAST PEKIN DUCK, crispy leg, spit roasted breast, red mustard greens, plums … 29
GUM CREEK PORK ROAST, braised spring vidalia, charred kale, local figs … 26
LAMB SADDLE CHOPS, crispy torn potato & herb salad, roasted olive, minted salsa verde … 28
HEARTH ROAST RATATOUILLE, farm egg, house mozzarella, toast … 18
BAR STEAK, coal grilled, fries … 22
MISSISSIPPI RABBIT, farro salad, rabbit liver toast … 26
BONE-IN NY STRIP, in-house dry aged, local sungolds … 49
MAINE LOBSTER WOOD ROAST, baby bok choy, garlic, chile … A.Q.
ROASTED SCALLOPS, caramelized endives, grapefruit … 27
For Two.
crusty bread salad, chicken drippings vinaigrette
(1 kilo) bone-in ribeye roasted marrow bones, sucrine lettuce salad
country ham, jalapeno butter
POT OF SOFT POLENTA, hearth roasted, mushrooms, duck jus … 6
ROASTED SWEET PEPPERS, preserved tomato, fried garlic … 6
GRILLED EGGPLANT, preserved tomato, pine nuts, mint …6
SNAP PEAS, house pancetta … 6
CRISPY TORN POTATO SALAD, smoky scallions, crème fraiche, egg …6
MUSHROOM “WOOD ROAST,” robiola … 12
GRILLED GEORGIA PEACHES, cow’s milk blue … 7
SMOKY OKRA STEW, carolina gold rice …6
STEWED LADY PEAS, pepper relish, creme fraiche … 7

The front of King + Duke
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
We were seated immediately upon entering the restaurant.  It was bustling on a Wednesday night.  Both the restaurant as well as the outside patio bar and inside bar areas were busy and loud.

We were greeted quickly by our waiter and their version of yorkshire pudding (YUM!) arrived with fresh butter:
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
After thinking it over we ordered a few cocktails.

THE YEARLING, Bulleit Bourbon, Art in the Age Rhubarb Tea, Florida strawberries, lemon … 12
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

CAPTAIN JACK’S ROSE, Captain Applejack, Bar Keep Baked Apple Bitters, lemon, housemade seasonal grenadine … 8
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
BLACK AND BROWN, Blackwell Rum, Watership Brown Ale, lime, velvet falernum … 10
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

I'll admit we didn't LOVE the drinks.  None of us are gin drinkers, so mixologists sometimes are narrow having only gin and whiskey offerings.  These were OK, but I wouldn't order any of these again.
We decided we HAD to try the deviled eggs.  And they might have been the best thing on the menu (and that's saying a lot!):
DEVILED EGGS, virginia ham, pickled celery … 5
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Then onto the crab.  As you can see, we devoured it, and I forgot to snap a pic in time.  Get this appetizer!
MAINE CRAB TOAST, thai basil, chile, mint … 16

This burger is one of the best I've had in Atlanta (3rd only to the Pimento Cheese stuffed one at Antebellum and the unreal burger stack at Bocado).
“THE DUKE,” burger of house ground chuck & dry aged cuts, coal roasted onion, fries … 16

ROASTED SCALLOPS, caramelized endives, grapefruit … 27

This veggie dish was what sounded good to my daughter.  It was very hearty and actually visually appealing - unfortunately my photo does not do this dish justice.
HEARTH ROAST RATATOUILLE, farm egg, house mozzarella, toast … 18

They do a nice version of trout.
NORTH GEORGIA BROOK TROUT, “boy scout style,” spring vegetable salad, country ham, almonds … 24

The only sad note of the evening was that we didn't care for our bottle of Sancerre (my favorite choice). We probably should have sent it back, but that's our fault.
And, we couldn't resist the toffee bread pudding - but we ate it before we could take a picture.  Really really good....

It was a fabulous meal with outstanding service - we'll be back....Ford Fry did his magic yet again!

Sunday, April 14, 2013


We're headed to Rathbun's this Thursday night for dinner with another couple.

112 Krog St NE, Atlanta, GA 30307
Phone:(404) 524-8280

Zagat reviews:
Chef-owner Kevin Rathbun's flagship property, this "innovative" Inman Park American is "always spot-on" for "brilliant" dining, "whether you get a few large plates or a million small ones"; the "cool" warehouse setting and "outstanding" service lure a "lively" crowd of "celebrities" and "influential Atlanta natives", and if it gets too "loud", the patio is a "quieter" alternative; wherever you sit, however, the tabs are "quite pricey."

Housemade Pasta of the Day                       
YaYa’s Eggplant Steak Fries, 10x Sugar             
Edamame Pot Stickers, Mushroom Soy                                                          
Panang Curry Chicken Tenderloins   Crisp Tofu
Pan Fried Kefalotiri CheeseLemon, E.V.O.O.
Flash Fried Oysters, Tabasco Tartar Sauce
emon Pickled Celery Salad
Blue Hill Bay Mussels, FoccaciaSmoked Garlic Butter
Roasted Pork Belly TacosOrange Hoisin, Cilantro                          
Roasted Bone Marrow, Maldon Salt Grilled Ciabatta & House Preserves                          
Lamb ScallopiniPancetta, Goat Gouda
Smoked Prosciutto Flatbread, Local ChevreCaramelized Onion, Pink Peppercorn Honey
Char Grilled Octopus, Confit Spring Potato  Limoncello Vinaigrette
Romaine Heart Salad with Gruyere Cheese        
Greek Wedge, Cucumbers, Sweet Peppers  Feta Cheese & Toasted Oregano Vinaigrette         
Roasted Baby Beets, Humboldt FogDijon Honey, Almonds            
*Thai Rare Beef & Red Onion Salad            
*Thin & Raw Heart of Ribeye               Smoked Salt, Truffle Mustard Aioli
Hot Smoked Salmon Tostadas              Habanero Crème Fraiche               
Arctic Char Gravlax, Fennel Pecan Salad      
SOUPStove Works Evening Soup                              Mock Turtle Soup with Dry Sack Sherry              
Roasted Acorn Squash Soup                           Apple, Aged Balsamic
Whole Market Fish                                         
Molasses-Black Pepper BBQ Chicken           Creamy Mashed Potatoes                                    
Georgia Shrimp, Smoked Ricotta Gnudi         Preserved Tomato-Garlic ButterPorcini Dusted Lemon Sole     Baby Carrots, Cipollini-Tarragon Vinaigrette  Niman Ranch Double Bone Pork Chop       Corn Bread Pudding, Morita Chile                                     Sunburst Farms Trout                                Pac Choi, Soy Reduction          
Sea Scallop Benedict on Country Ham Grits    
Asparagus & Spiced HollandaiseRosemary Basted Flat Iron Steak Heart of Palm, Arugula & Lemon Oil                                                          Crispy Duck Breast with Thai Risotto    Green Curry Essence                                     Sorghum Glazed Arctic CharFall Squash, Mustard Greens & Mushrooms    
Beef Short Rib²
, Chianti BraisedAgnolotti, Saba

Maine Lobster & Roasted Green Chile Soft Taco 
Cascabel Cream, Tomatillo Pico                
Elk Chop, Blueberry Demi                      Foraged Mushroom-Goat Cheese PolentaCenter Cut 8 oz Beef Filet                  Brown Butter Jus                                                Two Double Bone Lamb Chops, Aged Balsamic  Iron Skillet Wild Mushrooms18 oz Bone-In Ribeye               
Warm Point Reyes Blue Cheese Vinaigrette         

Vermont Sweet Butter Mashed Potatoes            
Brown Butter Cauliflower Mash
Pac Choi, Soy Reduction
Country Ham Grits
Charred Corn & Gouda Cheese
Brussel Sprouts, Comte Swiss, Saba
Winter Squash, Mustard Greens, Sorghum
Hand Cut French Fries, Blue Cheese Fondue

We arrived at Rathbun's hungry and ready for a great meal.  We quickly valeted our car and entered.                                  
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Heading in to Rathbun's with our friends.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Fun artwork!
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
The view of the dining room from our table
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
 The chef sent out a starter - a small dish of Halibut with spinach - delish!
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
We were seated at the "Chef's Table" so had a bird's eye view of the kitchen
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

We ordered drinks and were ready for a fun evening.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
I went with an Arkansas Tweak and my husband ordered a Dark and Stormy.  Not sure I would order either again however.  The Arkansas had a taste that was somewhat offputting - licorice or something?  And my husband's Dark and Stormy just wasn't as smooth as ones we've had in the past.  Probably should have gone with a great bottle of wine.  Here's a quick pic of the Arkansas Tweak (once I remembered to take a picture):

We had fried eggplant fries and calamari and this pork belly appetizer.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
 The appetizers were delicious, but we were hungry and scarfed down most everything before remembering to take a picture.  You'll just have to take our word for it that all were great.
Here's a picture from Yelp of the eggplant fries:
Photo Credit: yelp
A great salad with goat cheese and fresh strawberries.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
And here's another salad we ordered.  Again, good, although the picture isn't so good. ;0(

Fried cod in a panang sauce 
(I didn't want rice, so they happily substituted with a corn, pea and okra succotash) 
This dish was great!  The cod was cooked perfectly, and although I would have liked more of a "panang" flavor, I can't complain since I asked for the succotash substitution.  It was delish!
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
 Sea scallops benedict with country ham grits
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Panang cod over rice
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
One of our friends ordered this dish - scallops with a pea pesto and risotto.  She loved it!
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
We truly enjoyed ourselves at Rathbun's.  I had read prior to going that it was loud, and that was true.  My mother, who is a bit hard of hearing, would have really struggled here.  But it was packed on a Thursday night, and it really has a fun atmosphere.  Our server, Bridgette, was fantastic.  I would definitely recommend the restaurant and want to try Krog Bar and Rathbun's Steak which I've heard great things about.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Blissful Bacchanalia...

It's our 30th Wedding Anniversary, and there was no question where we wanted to go to celebrate -
1198 Howell Mill Rd #100
Atlanta, GA 30318
(404) 365-0410
Chef: Daniel Porubiansky Chef: David A. Carson Sous Chef: Leonardo Iranzo Sous Chef: Brandon Hughes Baker: Dorothy Copenhaver Pastry Chef: Carla Tomasko 

We are huge fans of just about everything that owners/chefs, Anne Quatrano and Clifford Harrison touch, but Bacchanalia is just very special.  Everything on the menu is organic and much of it comes from their farm (Summerland Farm).  This restaurant IS the definition of farm to table dining relying on fresh seasonal ingredients.  The menu changes regularly as a result. Here's a sample menu from their website:
Hawaiian Hamachi (Japanese amberjack or yellowtail) ** Preserved Lemon, Shoyu, Radish Summerland Farm Kohlrabi Méthod Champenoise, Schramsberg, Cremant, Demi- Sec, Calistoga NV 20.
Local Berkshire Pork Terrine Pickles, Mustard Hazelnuts, Cranberries Madeira, The Rare Wine Co., Charleston Sercial 15.
Preserved Mushrooms Pea Shoots, Local Beets Elliott Pecans, Focaccia Pinot Noir, Alysian, Russian River Valley 2009 18./10.
Confit Foie Gras Torchon Local Pear, Spiced Cider Peanut, Shiso, Cocoa Sauternes, Chateau Laribotte, Bordeaux 2005 14.
Kumamoto Oysters, Sea Urchin ** Chowder Custard, Caviar Chervil, Phytoplankton Sauvignon Blanc, Chateau Guiraud, “Le G”, Bordeaux 2011 14./8.
Hawaiian Blue Prawns Pickled Celery, Celery Root Verjus Compressed Apples Pinot Gris, Domaine Schlumberger, Les Prince Abbés, Alsace 2009 14./8.
Gulf Crab Fritter Thai Pepper, Avocado Asian Pear, Grapefruit Trimbach, Gewurztraminer 2009, Alsace 9./16.
Atlantic Red Snapper Salt Cod, Young Fennel Green Garlic, Hakurei Turnips Meyer Lemon, Fines Herbs Chardonnay, Domaine Alain Patriarche, La Monatine Meursault 2010 18./10.
Sweet Potato Agnolotti Rainbow Chard, Pickled Stems Black Garlic, Georgia Pecans Crispy Sweet Potatoes Chardonnay, Evening Land, Edna Valley 2010 16./9.
Nantucket Bay Scallops Jerusalem Artichokes, Cauliflower Watercress, Truffle Vinaigrette Chenin Blanc, Domaine Des Baumard 2008 14./8.
Glazed Veal Sweetbreads Summerland Farm Chestnut Blood Orange, Radicchio, Pecans T empranillo, Muga Reserva, Rioja 2007 16./9.
Hand Cut Farm Egg Pappardelle Farm Egg Emulsion Summerland Farm Cauliflower Chardonnay, Domaine Alain Patriarche, La Monatine
2010 18./10.
Shaved Perigord Black Truffles (40. Supplement)
Summerland Farm Egg Rye Fregulini, Butternut Squash Smoked Maitake, Black Bread Flowering Herbs, Ash Syrah, Delas, Les Launes, Crozes-Hermitage 2010 16./9.
Jamison Farm Lamb Roasted Autumn Roots Sorrel, Natural Consommé Brunello de Montalcino, Castiglion del Bosco 2006 25./13.
Manchester Farms Quail Anson Mills Farro, Parsnip Preserved Pears Black Trumpet Mushroom Pinot Noir, Archery Summit, Premier Cuvée, Willamette Valley 2010 18./10.
Wood Grilled Prime NY Strip** Summerland Farm Carrots Potato, Celery Root, Turnips Farm Egg Emulsion, Broccoli Cabernet Sauvignon, Robert Craig, Affinity, Napa Valley 2008 25./13.
Local Berkshire Pork Pot Likker Jus Anson Mills Oats, Lacinato Kale Local Oyster Mushrooms Merlot, Pride Mountain Vineyards, Napa County/Sonoma County 2009 25./13.
Buffalo Milk Ricotta Campania, IT Toasted Oats, Local Pear Cranberry, Lemon Mint
Caromont Dairy Esmontonian Esmont, VA Autumn Citrus Pistachio, Radish
Bucheron Celles-sur-belle, FR Spaghetti Squash Truffle Vinaigrette, Pickled Onions
Flat Creek Lodge Georgia Belle Swainsboro, GA Ellijay Apples, Frisee Spiced Walnut
Chapel Hill Creamery Dairyland Farmers Cheese Chapel Hill, NC Roasted, Raw & Pickled Beets Pine Nuts
Blackberry Farm Blue Walland, TN Local Arugula Candied Pecans
Selection of Cheese from Star Provisions (10. dollar supplement) Porto, Warre’s LBV 2001 12.
Coffee Flan Ice Milk Granita Brioche, Espresso Banyuls, M. Chapoutier, 2010 15.
Winter Citrus Sorbets Meyer Lemon Tangerine Blood Orange Jasmine Gelee, Puffed Rice Orange Muscat, Essensia, Quady Vineyard 11.
Lime Soufflé Basil Gelato Candied Ginger Brachetto d’Acqui, Banfi, Rosa Regale 2010 10.
Valrhona Chocolate Hazelnut, Cornmeal Frozen Orange Custard Royal Tokaji, 5 Puttonyos, Hungary 2007 14.
Pear Brown Butter Tart Candied Walnuts, Dates Cardamom Ice Cream Far Niente, Dolce Napa 2006 15.
Valrhona Chocolate Cake Mint Ice Cream Porto, Warre’s 20 Year Tawny 14.
It's hard to know where to start to cover this fabulous Atlanta icon? Here's a view from the parking lot on Howell Mill Road:
Photo Credit: The Coolist
You enter and walk through Star Provisions to get to the restaurant area.  I love perusing the latest fun holiday decor (in this case, Easter), cooking utensils and dishes along with various home decor and more.  There's also a small sampling of locally grown organic produce, a cheese shop, a wine shop, a bakery, and a specialty fish and meat market. We then went to the back host area and were directed to our seat.  When you walk in to the main restaurant it's dark, with simple decor, but it's very soothing and inviting - a total departure from Star Provisions.

Photo Credit: Yelp Reviews
You have a view of the magic from the kitchen from just about any seat.
Photo Credit: Yelp Reviews
We've been to Bacchanalia numerous times, but on this visit we were seated in a very romantic corner of the restaurant.  It couldn't have been a better seat for our Anniversary! Here's a shot of the view from our corner niche:
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Our server, Jamie, immediately joined us. We received the menu and needed to select 1 item from 5 courses ( 5 - 7 options for each course). And wine pairings are optional.  You can also choose a wine "taste" with each course or a full glass.  We ordered a couple of specialty drinks (Dark and Stormys made with house-made Ginger Beer and topped with fresh lime zest-yum!) while taking the time to decide.

Soon after sitting down  the fun begins at Bacchanalia.  We were presented with an amuse bouche - 4 gougeres.  They are baked savory little pastries made of choux dough (a light pastry dough) mixed with cheese such as gruyere.  So so good!  It whets your appetite and leaves you wanting more!
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
After that, and making our dinner decisions, we were next presented with another chef's selection: a sweet potato soup taste along with two bite sized crunchy treats which were raw turnips topped with a meyer lemon topping.  Unfortunately I can't remember the myriad of ingredients that went into each of these "bites" but trust me, they were delish!
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
For our courses, these are what we went with:

Preserved Mushrooms Pea Shoots, Local Beets Elliott Pecans, Focaccia Paired with a tasting of Pinot Noir, Alysian, Russian River Valley 2009 18./10. 
Crab Fritter
Local Berkshire Pork
Bucheron Celles-sur-belle, FR Spaghetti Squash Truffle Vinaigrette, Pickled Onions 
Coffee Flan

My husband:

Hawaiian Blue Prawns Pickled Celery, Celery Root Verjus Compressed Apples
Crab Fritter
Wood Grilled Prime NY Strip
Valrhona Chocolate Cake 

The Mushroom appetizer with Pinot Noir pairing and their yummy bread:

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Preserved Mushrooms Pea Shoots, Local Beets Elliott Pecans, Focaccia Pinot Noir, Alysian, Russian River Valley 2009 
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

The Hawaiian Blue Prawns Pickled Celery, Celery Root Verjus Compressed Apples:
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

I'd been craving this infamous crab fritter (Gulf Crab Fritter Thai Pepper, Avocado Asian Pear, Grapefruit Trimbach) since my last visit, and it didn't disappoint! It was just outstanding (unlike my photo!) along with a taste of Gewurztraminer 2009, Alsace (which was also outstanding!):
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

The main courses!  I went with the pork (and a glass of Merlot which I heartily consumed without photographing!). Local Berkshire Pork Pot Likker Jus Anson Mills Oats, Lacinato Kale Local Oyster Mushrooms Merlot, Pride Mountain Vineyards, Napa County/Sonoma County 2009.  The tender perfectly prepared pork tenderloin in the pot likker juices - OMG!
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

My husband chose the NY Strip along with a great glass of Cabernet. Wood Grilled Prime NY Strip Summerland Farm Carrots Potato, Celery Root, Turnips Farm Egg Emulsion, Broccoli Cabernet Sauvignon, Robert Craig, Affinity, Napa Valley 2008.  It was melt in your mouth good!
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Next up - cheese course.  I went with Bucheron Celles-sur-belle, FR Spaghetti Squash Truffle Vinaigrette, Pickled Onions - one word describes this dish - - - WOW! The flavor explosion from the creamy cheese and spaghetti squash along with a tangy vinaigrette.  Unreal.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
And the cheddar and apples:
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Then a palate cleanser was served.  I couldn't tell you what this bite of goodness was other than blood oranges, but it was so good!
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
And we enjoyed some Rose Champagne that Jamie suggested, which was delicious to sip along with our desserts (and a surprise treat of a stack of triple cupcakes!):
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Valrhona Chocolate Cake Mint Ice Cream Porto - this dessert is their signature one.  It's basically a molten center chocolate cake but served along a dollop of mint ice cream and using the best chocolate on the planet = nirvana!
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Our Anniversary cupcakes gift!
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Coffee Flan Ice Milk Granita Brioche, Espresso Banyuls
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Grand Finale - Jamie knew we were filled to the brim, and she suggested we take home the final treats - chocolates, homemade tiny marshmallows and madeleines.  We did, but by the time we got home we had to have a taste.  And of course, everything was good.  Well done Bacchanalia!  And special thanks to Jamie - outstanding, knowledgeable, unassuming service. Just doesn't get any better.

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
We, as Atlantans, are so lucky to have such a gem in our city.  The food, atmosphere and service are the best in the city.  This restaurant epitomizes fine dining as it should be.  Expensive? Yes, it is, but it's a quality dining experience you can't duplicate anywhere else.  Already looking forward to my next special occasion at Bacchanalia!  

CHEERS!  Here's to 30 more!