Sunday, November 18, 2018


The long anticipated trip to Staplehouse in Atlanta finally happened!  This restaurant has been on Atlanta's "Best of" list for quite some time getting rave reviews for their quality food as well as their unique reservation system.  You have to go online the 2nd Friday of the month beginning at noon to request a reservation for the following month.  THEN you prepay online!  It's a fixed tasting menu of 8-10 courses ($105 per person) that changes frequently.  Drinks are extra but, they include a "hospitality charge" of 20% and taxes ahead of your visit.  So, before you've walked in the door your credit card has a $274.43 charge - not for the faint-hearted....

But, that food...

541 Edgewood Ave. SE
Atlanta, GA 30312
404 / 524-5005

Our reservation time was at 6:15 pm, and we were asked to arrive 10 minutes early.  They email you and call you prior to your reservation date to remind you of their rules such as: if you are more than 20 minutes late your table may be given away, and if you cancel within 48 hours of the reservation, your payment is non-refundable.  They also ask several times if there are any eating restrictions or allergies that they need to be aware of.

A sample tasting menu from September 2018

ribeye, cauliflower, hazelnut

crab, papalo, peppers

pompano, sunchoke, celtuce

eggplant, shell beans, basil

squash, lobster mushroom, marigold


duck liver tart, black fig

grandma lillian's potato bread

aged duck, chestnut, matsutake


white chocolate, hibiscus, ginger

caramel miso chocolate

When you arrive at the restaurant what you see is a nondescript building.


You turn left past the sign and brick building and walk down an alley way until you see this on your left:
The menu we were given our evening:
We decided to go with wine pairings for the evening, and they began with serving us a sparking Rose from Italy.  It was out of this world!
ferrari, brut rose, italy
And the first course was carmelized yeast and apple - you pop it in your mouth in one bite.  So good! Served on a bed of sunflower seeds - such a cool presentation!
 And along with the Rose course, we had ribeye tartare with a turnip and cashew topping.  I can't describe how good this dish was - and how well it went with the wine.  I'd never in a million years paired a Rose with this dish.

 The next wine was SAKE - from Japan!  We had been to Japan years ago, and I can't say I was a fan of Sake there and then.  BUT THIS Sake was very good.  And we both loved it with the accompanying course.
manotsuru, crane, junta sake, Japan

 Crab, celery and marigold.  I can't adequately tell you the dimensions of this dish, but the crab was fresh and delicious with a clean feel.  We loved it.
 Next beverage was from Arcadiana (brewery in Athens, GA) surprisingly.  I'm not a big beer fan, but this beer was great.

arcadiana, creature comforts, georgia
And the beer went so well with the fish!  Pompano, sun choke, finger lime
There was fabulous fresh fish with greens and crunchiness as well.  Yet another amazing dish.
The next wine (below) was outstanding and probably my favorite of the night.  It was from Spain - do ferreiro, Albarino.   It had a crisp, fresh taste - dry. I loved it.
And the wine paired wonderfully with what was my favorite dish of the evening - mushroom, celeriac and fennel.

It was so so good without being too rich.

The next wine was a chardonnay to go with a cabbage dish and a salami and chicken liver tart concoction.  The French chardonnay was wonderful!

olivier leflaive, chardonnay, france

And THIS dish - just wow!  Such a combination in your mouth with each bite - LOVED IT!

cabbage, sake sushi, rye

salami, chicken liver tart, persimmon

This course was great - the salami perfect, and the chicken liver tart!  I'm not one to eat liver on it's own, but this sort of foie gras was rich and yummy.  I was sad there was only one bite!  Really incredible.
 That's our waiter on the left - he was outstanding!  And my adorable husband and eating partner in life:
 The next drink is one of my favorites that I get when I can - a Barolo.  This particular one was (as you probably guessed) exceptional.

g.d. vajra, albe, barolo, Italy

Bad picture, but the barolo was paired with duck breast.  This dish was decadent.  The duck was thinly sliced and tender, the rutabaga was a nice partner (not too rich) and the schmear that they sat upon was killer!  Don't know what that was but it was all I could do not to lick the plate clean!

aged duck, rutabaga, minutina

 This dense yet airy bread was so fabulous!  I can't remember what was in the butter though, but I could have jumped in and taken a bath in it.  Just incredible.

Then we were presented as sort of a palate cleanser before dessert:


Kombucha is said to have health benefits.  According to wikipedia  it is rich in probiotics — the healthy gut bacteria associated with heart health, lower rates of anxiety and depression, fewer yeast infections, weight management, boosted immunity, and improved digestive health.

And it was a really nice drink to have after a lot of different foods.

The final beverage was
rare wine company, madeira, portugal

It was a sweet madeira wine, and while that's not normally my favorite, it was delicious, and it was lovely with the 2 desserts that evening.

 This delectable morsel was dense dark chocolate - caramel miso chocolate

THE perfect ending to a perfect evening.
 Pic on the uber ride home -

Just an amazing evening.  Can't say enough about Staplehouse, other than it's now my top 3 in Atlanta.  The experience was one of a kind.  You are treated like royalty without pretense.  The food is carefully thoughtfully prepared and expertly executed.  Dreaming of a return now....

Thursday, November 15, 2018


Our little family of 6 is traveling to Greece next May, so my husband and I decided to treat our "kids" to dinner at the best Greek restaurant in Atlanta:

3085 Piedmont Road
Atlanta, GA 30305

The restaurant is in the heart of Buckhead, and it wonderfully offers valet parking (which we were very grateful for on a cold and rainy November night).

We walked in and were welcomed warmly by the host and quickly seated.  The restaurant at 6:30pm on a Wednesday evening quickly was filled to capacity.

Our server promptly greeted us and brought water and took drink orders. YAMAS! (means "Cheers" or "To our health" in Greek)

Most of us sampled their Greek Dirty Martini (with oregano and basil infused vodka):

And after perusing the menu we decided we wanted to sample a few things as a group so went with their:

Mediterranean Tasting Dinner

For The Entire Table • 53. per person

 starts with a tasting of four spreads
 choose and share any four meze appetizers

Their website and menu states the following:

We specialize in the Greek technique of wood grilling & basting

with olive oil, lemon & oregano.

THAT sounded too good to pass up!

SO, we began with their 4 "spreads"

- yogurt, cucumber, dill Tzatziki
- red peppers, feta
- caper, potato puree Htipiti Caparisalata
- eggplant, walnuts Melitzanosalata:

All was served with warm grilled fresh Pita bread.  These were so delicious!

 The hardest part of the meal was deciding on which 4 MEZE to choose from!  We went with:

Dolmades - grapevine leaves stuffed with tomato, bulgur and mint, cumin yogurt with lemon

The stuffed grape leaves were good, BUT that yogurt sauce was what took this dish to the next level!  SO fabulous!

 Grilled Octopus: pickled red onion salad with olives, capers, red wine vinaigrette

We all loved this octopus!  Love that it was chopped up and the pickled red onion and olives and capers - oh my!  Such a flavor combination!  LOVED!

Cretan “Saganaki”- smoked Graviera cheese, blood orange marmalade, chopped walnuts

This dish was very good as well - melted cheese with the sweet marmalade and walnuts.  It was rich and I wouldn't want too much of it but we all enjoyed it.


with cucumbers, red onions, peppers, feta cheese “horiatiki”

This salad was fresh and delicious.  Where they found tomatoes this good in November I'll never know, but they were devine and that fresh feta was outstanding!
We chose a Greek wine to accompany our meal - this Sauvignon Blanc was outstanding:

 And after the MEZE courses, it was time for the main event!  We chose a Bronzino fish as well as a Red Snapper for the table.  Deliciously prepared and served with a side of Sautéed Kale that was out of this world!


We had such a fun evening!  The food was outstanding, service was spot on, and the atmosphere was convivial and fun!  It was the perfect way to kick off our anticipation of Greece in 



Sunday, November 4, 2018


I was back in Asheville this past weekend on a getaway with my daughter, and we were eager to try a restaurant we hadn't been to before: 


The restaurant is located in the hip River Arts District of Asheville.  It's been sort of a rundown area until fairly recently.  The location is along the French Broad River (3rd largest river in the US) where there is a great running/biking/walking trail.  It's an old industrial park that's being redone into a huge artists' area with restaurants, bars, breweries, galleries and more.

We walked up to the restaurant and there's a cool wine bar on one side of it and at the end of the area there is a big brewery that was packed.

Very cool fire pit in front of the wine bar next door.

There was a GORGEOUS sunset as we were entering the restaurant so we stopped quickly for a few pics.

The restaurant itself is very cool inside - and we entered and were taken to an upstairs seating area that had a great vibe overlooking the entire restaurant below.

The menu looked enticing, and we decided we'd go with small plates versus a large meal.
We started with 6 oysters and their amazing mignonette.  We got 2 each of 3 different oysters and I loved that they came with labels:

Our server was fabulous and he recommended these oysters based on what we liked - not too briny and small.  These were perfect.

We then ordered drinks - my daughter's signature drink from her wedding last June (Vodka, St Germain and Grapefruit with mint).  DELISH!
Our next dish was melted Raclette cheese (from Switzerland as you can see by the adorable flag that accompanied the dish) over small potatoes, picked onion, cornichons and mustard.  SO GOOD!

After a bit we ordered the octopus.  It was prepared like no other octopus that I've had with a green sort of pesto sauce and yummy lima beans. We ate every bite!

Next up we wanted a salad, and they prepared this one to perfection.  It was butter lettuce with a buttermilk dressing but that blue cheese was KILLER!
And this dish was (for me) the absolute winner!  It was a warm roasted pumpkin with ricotta cheese.  The picture does not do it justice.  It tasted like FALL on a plate - decadent, sweet and savory all at once.
And yes, we splurged and ordered desserts.

I went with a baked apple and caramel concoction that was rich and creamy and yummy.
And Caroline went with her "GO TO" dessert - chocolate.  This chocolate tart was very dense and dark and BONUS: there was sea salt!  It was to die for!

We had a fabulous evening together at The Bull and Beggar.  It has such a fun atmosphere and was bustling without being over the top loud.  It just feels like a place you were lucky you found and were able to get a reservation for - yet another Asheville gem!