Thursday, March 27, 2014

The allure of LURE!!!

Last Friday night my husband and I had the pleasure of dining out with great friends prior to attending a concert at Center Stage in Atlanta.  We chose Lure, which was within walking distance from our hotel and the concert on a gorgeous Atlanta night, and boy, were we glad we did!

1106 Crescent Ave NE 
Atlanta, GA 30306
(404) 817-3650

Upon entering Lure, we were given the option of inside or outside dining, and seeing it was a covered porch with heaters, we gladly chose the ambience of the porch area.  The interior is dark and is filled with nautical decor (and got really loud as the night went on), as the menu is seafood focussed.  Lure is part of Fifth Group which includes standouts such as South City Kitchen and Ecco.

Lure's website states that Executive Chef David Bradley has over 12 years of experience with Fifth Group Restaurants. Interestingly enough he has a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Emory, but found his passion was in the kitchen. His culinary career began in 2000 as a server, then line cook at La Tavola. He later moved to Ecco, where he began as sous chef,  and two years later, he was promoted to chef de cuisine before becoming Executive Chef at Lure.

Here's a menu sampling:
COLD-WATER OYSTERS ON-THE-HALF-SHELL lemon, cocktail sauce, fresh horseradish, shochu mignonette—ask your server for today’s selections M/P
STEAK TARTARE grilled eggplant purée, soy, seaweed tapenade, rice crackers 11
SCALLOP CRUDO truffled crème fraiche, lime, black garlic tuile 12
all cured and smoked in house | 7 each or pick 3 for 20
HICKORY-SMOKED SALMON BELLY RILLETTESbread-and-putter pickles, white bread
BAKED PEEKYTOE CRAB DIP roasted tomatoes, chives, toast points 15
FRIED RHODE ISLAND CALAMARI pickled banana peppers, tomato sauce 11
BLUE HILL BAY MUSSELS white wine, garlic, hominy, cilantro butter 14
GRILLED OCTOPUS & PORK LETTUCE WRAPSmixed herbs, rice noodles, spicy Vietnamese sauce 18
NEW ENGLAND-STYLE CLAM CHOWDER bacon, oyster crackers, chives 9
HERB & LETTUCES SALAD candied ginger, pumpkin seeds, lime vinaigrette 8
CAESAR SALAD sweet baby gem lettuce, Grana Padano, marinated Spanish white anchovies 9
PAN-FRIED SOLE FILLET bread crumbs, capers, brown butter and sautéed spinach 28
SEARED SALMON potato hash, watercress, radish, buttermilk-dill vinaigrette 21
SEARED GEORGES BANK SEA SCALLOPS roasted mushrooms, almonds, fregola, agrodolce 28
GRILLED ATLANTIC YELLOWFIN TUNA green lentils, spicy guajillo broth, scallions 30
FISH STEW wild Georgia shrimp, mussels, scallops, fin fish, tomatoes, smoked pepper rouille 19
PAN-ROASTED MONKFISH roasted carrots, pumpkin seeds, saffron vinaigrette 28
FRIED NORTH CAROLINA CATFISH tartar sauce, hush puppies, creamed spinach, ham hock casserole 19
SEARED CAULIFLOWER STEAK basmati, tamarind, pistachios, mint-cilantro sauce, yogurt 18
GRILLED NATURAL PORK CHOP Georgia apples, roasted potatoes, Brussels sprouts 25
CRISPY CHICKEN LEG dirty rice, spring onions, natural jus 22
GRILLED HANGER STEAK teriyaki mushrooms, potato puree, crisp Vidalia onions 27
The ultimate in “gathering-round.” These over-sized cocktails summon your inner pirate, patriot and party hat! Be the host for your table and serve straight from the big bowl.
small serves 2-4 for 25 | large serves 5-8 for 50
Garden Party vodka, Strega, cucumber syrup, soda
Ciao Pesca Peach Schnapps, peach puree, ruby port, prosecco
Teqroni El Jimador blanco, Aperol, Kronan Swedish Punsch, lemon juice 11
Breaking & Entering Larceny bourbon, Massenez Ginger, lemon juice, Brizard Cassis 12
Stockholm Syndrome Ransom Old Torn gin, raspberry cordial, cinnamon syrup, lime juice, lemon juice, prosecco 12
The Tempest Bacardi Solera rum, Maison Prunier d’Orange cognac, ginger beer, lime juice 10
The Other Girl Barsol Pisco, Fruitlab jasmine, lime juice, egg glair, sugar 11
Renegade Redemption rye, Cynar, Amaretto, Swedish herb bitters 12

We were seated quickly and met our fabulous server, Erin.  We decided on drinks immediately.  Two in our party went with Micha Caliente (lemon lime soda, jalapeño vodka, orange liquor, cranberry, verdejo) and the other two shared a Punch Bowl concoction called Garden Party (vodka, Strega, cucumber syrup and soda).  Both choices were fabulous!
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
How fun is this "punch bowl" called GARDEN PARTY????
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
And before arriving we knew we HAD to have some oysters, so that order was placed immediately.  We went with 6 each of the Kumamoto from Oakland Bay, Washington and from Wild Tisbury from Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts.  Both were divine - small and not too briny and served with cocktail sauce, fresh horseradish and a mignonette.  My only complaint (and it's significant in my books) is that the mignonette was WEAK.  They substituted green onions for shallots and that's a sin in my opinion.  It needs to be shallots and either red, white or champagne vinegar. Period.
Unfortunately, we began scarfing these gems down immediately before someone realized I hadn't snapped a picture, but you get the idea:
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
We decided on a second hot appetizer before dinner and chose the BAKED PEEKYTOE CRAB DIP with roasted tomatoes and chives served with toast points.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
This appetizer was just so yummy.  It was rich and creamy with great fresh crab and was plenty for the 4 of us to share.  We all loved it!

Main courses were quickly chosen.  I went with the GRILLED OCTOPUS & PORK LETTUCE WRAPS with mixed herbs, served with rice noodles and spicy Vietnamese sauce.  It was really good.  I liked the octopus more than the pork, and I wished I had had more of that, but it was a great dish and not too heavy - just what I wanted.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

My husband ordered the SEARED SALMON with potato hash, watercress, radish, buttermilk-dill vinaigrette. It was delicious and just beautifully presented.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
One of our friend's ordered the PAN-FRIED SOLE FILLET bread crumbs, capers, brown butter and sautéed spinach. Again, it was beautifully presented. And I'm a total sucker for anything "brown butter with capers" so it was a winner for me for sure. My friend Robert totally agreed!
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

And our other friend ordered the hangar steak - GRILLED HANGER STEAK with teriyaki mushrooms, potato puree and crisp Vidalia onions.  It was really really good, very rich and juicy meat with great potato puree.  It was a tad undercooked for my taste, but taste wise was just perfect!
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
We were headed to the concert so opted out of dessert and enjoyed our PUNCH BOWL!  It was a fabulous dining experience, and one that I hope to repeat in the future.  The ambience was fun, and our server, Erin, was the best - knowledgeable, friendly and enthusiastic about the menu.  But the best part was the food.  Everything we got was great, and I was left wanting to go back and try the things we weren't able to order - the mark of a great restaurant!

Our menus from the evening:
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue