Thursday, November 15, 2018

KYMA!

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
404/262-0702

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.



 TOMATO SALAD:

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 

SIX MONTHS!

OPA!!!



Sunday, November 4, 2018

ASHEVILLE DINING II: THE BULL AND BEGGAR

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: 




37 PAYNES WAY, 
ASHEVILLE, NC, 28801
828/575-9443


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.
thebullandbeggar



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!