Guenter Seeger began his career in Atlanta in 1985 at the Dining Room at the Ritz Carlton Buckhead. Since then, Atlanta has had an apparent love-hate relationship with this uber-Chef. Noted as much for the food as for the awkward service at his eponymous restaurant he opened in Buckhead in 1997, it was widely reported that he was going to shut his 5-star Mobil-rated restaurant down in late August due to $265,000 in back taxes and the pursuit of ‘other interests’. Well, investors apparently swooped in at the last moment to keep the illustrious restaurant running. So fellow foodie and friend Joel and I decided to go before Seeger ‘closed’ again. Our wives had their own date down the road at Nava – they were not so keen on the high-falutin food nor ‘tude for which Seeger’s is so well known. Well, they missed out – big time. Read on for more about the menu and the experience – including Joel and my ‘anniversary’ desert! Continue reading Seeger’s Soldiers On…
We had a quiet get together on Sunday with some dear friends – and let Sam, Heather and Simon get to know one another better. Everyone had a great time, as the burgers were yummy (more on that), the beer was cold, and the cake was chocolate. As a special Father’s Day treat, I’d bought some nice juicy ground chuck for the burgers. By the second batch, enough fat had apparently accumulated in the lower grill pan to create something of a bonfire I had to put out with the handy extinguisher we keep in the kitchen. But the burgers were saved! More photos (none of the fire, though) are here.
You have to appreciate a restaurant where one of the servers suggests that by the end of their eight-course blind tasting menu that you certainly would not have room for a ‘wafer-thin mint’, recalling the seminal scene from Monty Python’s Meaning of Life involving a particularly rotund man in a fine dining establishment who (a) throws up for roughly five minutes of screen time and finally (b) explodes after eating a mint petit-four.
Amy treated me to a wonderful meal last night at The Dining Room at the Ritz Carlton last night to celebrate my 40th, and it was quite honestly one of the most amazing meals I’ve had in a very long time. Chef Arnaud Berthelier is a star – having only been here in Atlanta for 9 months or so, the food is just stellar, comparing favorably with the very best New York has to offer. I had the seven-course tasting menu with paired wines (by their rising star 24-year old sommelier Chantelle Grilhot), and won’t soon forget the meal. Highlight for me – the ‘Fruit Soup’ – a warm compote of fruits and fresh herbs in a translucent bag, snipped open dramatically at the table, allowing the infusion to waft around the table. The wait staff then placed a scoop of lemon verbena ice cream in the warm fruit, allowing it all to meld. Amazing! Update: Didn’t want to forget to mention this. Also very cool was the so-called ‘molecular cuisine’ technique used in the course pictured above. The egg-like object at left was the sauce for the filet of daurade, using calcium chloride and sodium alginate.
In New York for meetings this week, and headed out with some team members for a nice dinner in SoHo. One of the locals picked Fiamma, self-described as ‘Sleek, sexy, sophisticated’, a solution the BR Guest management company has duplicated in both Las Vegas and Scottsdale. That said, service was great, we had a great 1995 Roagna Barbaresco, and Drew Barrymore was sitting two tables down from us. In other NYC restaurant news, the famed Michelin guide released ratings for some 507 NY eateries in the five boroughs, and the book goes on sale this Friday. Only four received the coveted 3-star rating (Alain Ducasse, Jean Georges, Le Bernadin and Per Se), but Daniel, described by the NY Times as being in the top rank of NY restaurants, took only two stars. The Times run down is worth a look, and I look forward to the full reviews on Friday.