Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Blissful Bacchanalia...

It's our 30th Wedding Anniversary, and there was no question where we wanted to go to celebrate -
Bacchanalia
1198 Howell Mill Rd #100
Atlanta, GA 30318
(404) 365-0410
http://www.starprovisions.com/
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:
FIRST COURSE
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.
SECOND COURSE
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)
THIRD COURSE
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.
FOURTH COURSE
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.
FIFTH COURSE
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.
2.14.2013 PRIX FIXE: EIGHTY FIVE DOLLARS
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:
Myself:

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
Cheddar
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!


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