As luck would have it, I had the opportunity to share an outstanding meal with Planet Earth’s most fantastic people. Admittedly, I had a hand in this arrangement – I psychically coerced my out-of-town guests to dine with me at the most renowned restaurant Atlanta has to offer. That restaurant would be the nationally acclaimed, Bacchanalia.
We arrived late Friday night with empty stomachs and high expectations. The visiting folks hail from the culinary-rich New York City and Boston, so Bacchanalia had some work to do to prove its excellence.
Shortly after sitting and glancing at the menu, wine list, drink menu we were presented with a ‘gift from the chef’: a puffy pastry filled with an oozing, creamy, tangy, cheese (it tasted like brie to me)
Slam, bam, thank you sir!
Appetizer time – we had approximately 7 to choose from and there was some ordering overlap amongst us. Here is what we settled on.
Lobster poached in butter – 2 people tried this and reported it tasted like butter and lobster. Thanks!
Gulf Crab Fritter with citris and thai pepper essence: out of this world, without a doubt one of the best crab concoctions you can find ANYWHERE (that includes you and your cakes, Maryland!). The shape of the fritter was spherical; it was lightly fried and completely filled with warm, soft crab meat.The sauce was unbelievable – spicy and citrus-y, which happens to be my favorite taste combo when combined with a seafood item. Everyone agreed on the dish’s totality of success.
Onto the Entrees:
Wood Grilled Dry Aged Prime NY Strip – the lady who ate this as her meal told me the texture was “like butta” and “it had a smoky flavor from the wood fire grill” and “it was really soft, easy to chew, and should be requested at medium rare”. She added, (the steak) “was new and interesting, unlike any other steak I’ve ever had before”.
Different parts of the duck were cooked in different ways: the leg meat was confit (and in the small container on the side), while the breast was seared. Quote from the eater – “duck breat was perfectly cooked and the puree was the perfect combination to pair with the protein. It was very tender and dissolved in my mouth.” She was not as impressed with the confit application, but went on and on about the sliced breast.
Both girls that ordered the trout did not eat the fish skin (I know, crazy!) That means I got to add 2 long pieces of fish skin to my meal (coming up next). The skin was slightly crispy, but also a bit elastic. It tasted simple and pure. The trout meat was soft and the fillet easily broke into pieces with the touch of a fork. Elegant and enjoyable.
Milkfish with bok choy and a ginger-shiso broth: texture of the fish reminded me of a black cod, buttery, flaky, and uber tender. It was spectacular and it had a lightness to it, which is needed in a four course meal. I haven’t had cooked fish this intoxicating since July…. possibly…
Sweet Grass Dairy Fresh Goat Cheese with roasted beets, raw beets, beet sorbet: the beets were super sweet and voluptuous and the sorbet was innovative and had an interestingly smooth mouth-feel. The classic pairing of goat cheese with the ladylike vegetable was appreciated and consumed quickly.
Shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano with medjool dates: sugary, gooey dates in solid and liquid form combined with salty, hard cheese slices waltzed in step together the same way we know chocolate and pretzels dance. It was also fun to run a piece of cheese across the plate and pick up on the syrup.
Quick Palate Cleanser:
Warm apple cider with a shortbread cookie – no complaints and seasonal to a T
Time for Dessert:
Chocolate Pecan Tart
Quote from the happy eater, “my apple dessert was the perfect combination of warm, soft, moist apples and a crumbling, sugary topping”. I did taste an apple and it sure was moist and soft.
Chocolate Wafer with vanilla cream cookie and iced, lightly malted milk: an adult play on Oreos and milk. I enjoyed eating the thick, ice-y milk with a spoon. The creamy layer in the middle of the mock-Oreos was rich and heavy – but likable at the same time.
Valrhona Chocolate Cake with mint ice cream – the signature dessert and rightfully so. Dark, rich chocolate with an ooey, goozy, silky center accompanied by minty iced cream. I only got one bite because Lauren was seriously digging the sweet ending of her meal.
Churros with Mexican sipping chocolate: the waitress talked me into getting this dessert and I hardly ate it. Not a good sign. First of all, the chocolate dipping drink was thinner and not as chocolate-y as I anticipated. The churros were decent, but not piping hot and the size was overwhelming for this type of meal. It seemed a bit ‘Mexican chain restaurant dessert’ to me. Good thing my dear friend pushed her cookies and milk over to my side of the table 🙂
With most of us in a food coma at this point, the server came over with a parting gift:
Just when we thought it was time to wobble out, the server came back with a plate of warm madeleines and a promise this would be the last plate of food she would deliver. We wrapped up all of the extras and rolled out the door.
Although it was expensive, my wonderful friends concurred in unison “it was an experience that is worth it – treat yourself once a year”.