The concept of Restaurant Week had its beginning’s in the Manhattan restaurant district.
The idea was (if only for one week) to make the city’s cathedrals of fine dining accessible to the “rest of us”. So for one week a year, New York’s finest eateries created low cost, coursed menus to showcase their food at affordable prices. Well, as you can imagine, the idea took off in a big way and other cities across the country have stated having restaurant weeks of their own.
Here in Atlanta, the concept became so popular that we have split our restaurant week into neighborhood specific restaurant weeks. We have Buckhead, Downtown, and this week’s, Midtown Restaurant week. This is how it works: each establishment creates a limited, three-course menu available at a fraction (only twenty five or thirty five dollars) of what it would usually cost. This year, almost forty of Midtown’s most exciting dining destinations are participating.
All of the places chosen to participate in this showcase of the cities best options for dining destinations are fantastic, but some stars shine even brighter than the rest. One such star is the Concentrics Group’s crown jewel, One Midtown Kitchen.
Currently celebrating its tenth year on the scene here in Atlanta, this Midtown favorite is just as fresh as the day it opened. The spicy calamari with smoked mayo is a don’t miss; and no one in the city makes a better pomme frites with grilled hanger steak with a red wine glaze – staples of their regular menu!
Another sure-fire way to dining bliss is, hands down, the cities greatest seafood destination. The Oceanaire features the freshest seafood available, flown in daily form across the world. The thirty-five dollar, three course, restaurant week menu features some of their most exciting preparations. The Black and Blue Georgia Rainbow Trout with caramelized onions and Maytag bleu cheese butter is a tour de force. They also make an award winning New England style Clam Chowder that will make you think you are dining somewhere off the coast of Maine.
For another don’t miss experience, head over to West Midtown and check out Abattoir. The most recent West Midtown masterwork’s of Chef Anne Quatrano elevates farm-to-table dining to an artful crescendo. Her menu offers three courses chosen to highlight what she does best, fantastic ingredients prepared perfectly! You’ll begin with local beets with Celeste Figs, a honey vinaigrette, almond powder, and goat cheese. For your entrée, a Chicken Schnitzel with a tomato pesto salad, and to finish, Chess Pie with house-made mint ice cream and cocoa nibs. Simple, fresh food prepared as close to perfection that you will find in the city.
The following is a list of a few other participating restaurants and my recommendation’s for a fantastic meal:
Atmosphère (1620 Piedmont Avenue NE )
First course: Escargots “Atmosphère” signature appetizer, marinated escargots baked in garlic butter
Entrée: Confit de Canard duck leg confit, cooked in the time honored French tradition, sarladaises potatoes, French green beans, red wine reduction
Dessert: Crème brulèe (its to die for)
Campagnolo (980 Piedmont Ave NE )
First course: Roasted Eggplant Golden raisin and pine nut chutney
Entrée: Capellini Classic tomato pomodoro and house made meat balls
Dessert: Espresso Bread Pudding Pecan, caramel sauce, chocolate chips, whipped cream
Cucina Asellina (1075 Peachtree Street NE)
First Course: Buffalo Mozzarella and Heirloom Tomato
Entrée: Citrus Agnolotti stuffed with cream corn and goat cheese, topped with sundried tomato butter
Ecco (40 7th St NE)
First course: Fried Goat Cheese with honey, black pepper
Entrée: Pappardelle with Braised Pork peppadew peppers and garlic
Dessert: Olive Oil, Sea Salt and Chocolate Ice Cream
Flip (1587 Howell Mill Road NW)
First course: Two Summer Bibb Salads
Entrée: Two Turkey Burgers dressed to order with French fries or sweet potato tots
Dessert: “Krispy Cream” milk shake
Gilberts (219 10th Street NE )
First course: Gazpacho
Entrée: Burgundy Demi glaze and Cod Fish Kabob Parmesan potato cake & grilled fresh artichoke
Serpas (659 Auburn Ave)
First course: Watermelon Feta Salad rocket greens, watermelon red wine vinaigrette
Entrée: Beef Short Rib and Squash Open Face Ravioli parsley chip salad
Dessert: Milk Chocolate Quenelle passion fruit, rice crispy
Stk (1075 Peachtree St NE)
First course: Heirloom Tomato Salad raspberries, goat cheese, and watercress
Entrée: Skirt Steak confit potato, melted leeks, red wine
Dessert: Chocolate Pecan Tart bourbon ice cream
For a full list of all of the participating restaurants and their menu’s, check out the website at www.midtownrestaurantweek.squarespace.com
So this week, make some reservations (one every night if you can swing it) and get out there and see what the Midtown-dining scene has to offer.
Thoughts or comments? Contact Clayton Morey at email@example.com or visit his website at www.feedinfrank.com for more restaurant reviews. Follow me on Twitter @FeedinFrank