Yesterday was a fabulous day. Yes, I am a year older, but it was really nice to hear from so many friends from near and far. The day began on a high note with Sam singing ‘Happy Birthday to Daddy’ from atop our bed. Soooo cute, I tell ya! To cap the day, Amy begrudgingly went along with my idea for dinner at local gourmet spot Quinones , which turned out to be a three-hour extravaganza that had to be one of the best dinner’s I’ve had in the A-T-L (the Dining Room at the Ritz or the now-defunct Seeger’s runs a close second). And Amy LOVED it! The room is far more intimate and romantic than parent restaurant Bacchanalia upstairs – with softer settings, real linen tablecloths, lovely pink water glasses, and a generally much less uptight wait staff than Amy and I had experienced in the two dinners we’ve had upstairs. So if we can find an excuse, we’ll head back again! There’s the cute touch of the stools for the ladies’ purses, the very comfortable banquette where we sat, and then, of course, the seemingly unending stream of beautiful tastes of heaven that the kitchen sent to our table.
The service was also stellar – including the lovely touch of the maitre’d calling me on my cell a few minutes after we left and thanking us for being such nice guests, hoping we return, wishing us luck with baby no. 2, etc. You just don’t see that sort of personal attention too often. It may have been that business was slow – over the course of the evening we were only one of four tables occupied in the venue – leaving at least another ten or so four-tops open. One complaint, though – the odd couple who sat down next to us with the gentleman wearing shorts and a really ugly Hawaiian shirt seemed out of place – then again, the last time we were at Bacchanalia someone sat near us wearing running shorts. I guess folks just don’t dress up, even for the most expensive restaurants in Atlanta.
Anyway, for those interested in the gory details, here is the breakdown of the ten-course tasting menu (with eight accompanying wine pairings).
- Amuse Bouche of Spring Onion Soup with Marscapone and Fine Herbs Profiterole; Prosecco with Creme de Cassis
- Sweet Corn Custard with Roasted Porcini Mushrooms & Maine Lobster Salad; Gessami, Gramona 2005, Penedes
- Slightly Cured North Georgia Rainbow Trout with D’Avignon Radish & Preserved Artichoke; Sancerre ‘Les Baronnes’, Henri Bourgeois 2004, Loire Valley
- House-made Gnocchi with Roasted Morels, Summer Truffles & Chicken Juice; Marsannay Blanc, Domaine Charles Audoin 2004, White Burgundy
- Maine Halibut with Succotash of Hot House Tomatoes, Fava Beans & Maxibel Pole Beans; Chateauneuf-du-Pape Blanc, Les Sinards, Perrin & Fils 2005, Rhone Valley
- Breast of Moulard Duck with Spring Onions, English Peas & Straight-Neck Squash; Saint-Joseph ‘Offerus’ J-L Chave 2004, Rhone Valley Syrah
- Star Provisions Dry Aged Lamb Loin with Young Carrots, Local Rainbow Chard & Hakurei Turnips; Fisher Coach Insignia, Cabernet Sauvignon 2001, Napa Valley
- Sweet Grass Dairies ‘Constant Bliss’ Cows’ Milk Cheese with Candied Pecan
- Summer Melons paired with Summer Melon Sorbets in Honeysuckle Soup
- Warm Rhubarb Cobbler with Blueberry Ice Cream; Rosa Regale, Brachetto d’Acqui, Banfi 2006, Piemonte