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Installation (Wordpress Part): Steakhead's Atlanta Eats Blog: April 2006

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Atlanta Eats One Year Anniversary

Friday marked two important milestones. It marked the first full year of the Atlanta Eats blog, and it marked Baby Steakhead’s two-week birthday. If this doesn't call for a nice dinner out, I don't know what does! We want to get the baby used to being out at an early age, but this doesn’t mean going to suburban chain restaurants. What it does mean, though, is to go early and to be flexible. So with baby and diaper bag in hand, we headed out into the Atlanta traffic at 5:30 on a Friday afternoon to celebrate.

We decided on Little Bangkok on Cheshire Bridge Rd. as this has been a favorite of ours since we first started dating. We love this place primarily because it is one of the only Thai places in town that serves Papaya Salad (you may not see it on the menu, but they do have it almost every night). If you’re a fan of spicy food, this is a ‘can’t-miss’ very authentic dish. We asked for it ‘Thai Hot’, and it set your mouth on fire. Sensing the pain we were in, the waiter informed us that he actually only prepared it to “1 Star” level, as opposed to the 3-Star Thai Hot we asked for, because he didn’t think we could handle it. I don’t know if I should be insulted or grateful. What happened to the cast iron stomach of my youth? I must be getting soft in my old age.

We love the appetizers at this place. I would also recommend the Larb and the Basil rolls. For the most part, we usually go with a curry for a main course. We had tried the masaman, green and red curries, and you can’t go wrong with any of them. And for the record, Baby Steakhead did well in her first venture out.

With our great luck on Friday night, we decided to test our luck again on Saturday. This time it was lunch, and a new place that I have heard great things about- Muss & Turner’s in Smynings. And again, no problems with the little one. M&T’s is located in the John Wieland Homes Ivy Walk development off of Atlanta Rd- one of the best looking retail/residential communities in the metro area. I guess you would describe it as a gourmet sandwich place, but they also have a bar featuring many local micro brews and wine tastings. And this place is a WINNER!! The roast beef is bar none, the BEST roast beef I have had in this city. Lady Steakhead had the hot Romanian Drip, a thick, hot roast beef au jus sandwich. I went with the Basic Beef- a cold roast beef sandwich. In each case, the meat was high-quality cooked rare to medium rare, and melted in your mouth. Served with a dill pickle, and ordering a bottle of Cream Soda, I briefly thought I was back in NYC. Why couldn’t there be a place like this in Sandy Springs??? I guess I’ll be making the 15-minute drive often on the weekends.

So it was great getting back out into the scene this weekend. And with the youngster taking to the lifestyle just fine, Steakhead is looking forward to some more great dining in the weeks ahead. Weekend Grade: A+.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Welcome to the World!!

Baby Steakhead was welcomed to the world at 2:54am, Friday April 14. Our little girl, named Shea Alyson, came in weighing a healthy 8 lbs, 1 ounce. Both mom and baby are doing great. She is eagerly anticipating her first night out in the coming weeks and experiencing some of Atlanta great restaurants first hand.

Monday, April 10, 2006

The Last Supper at Kyma

Last Friday, Lady Steakhead and I went for our last upscale dinner before the arrival of Baby Steakhead in the coming days. For our final night out as DINKs, we not only wanted some place special, but a place where you would not normally bring babies or kids. We decided upon Kyma (pronounced KEE-ma), as we had heard many great things about this upscale Greek restaurant that is part of the Buckhead Life restaurant group. Imagine both the shock and surprise on our faces when the first table we see was a large group with not one, but THREE babies! Nikos, our waiter, explains that Greeks are family-oriented people, and Kyma welcomes children at the tables in the bar area (sort of ironic, but this isn’t your typical Buckhead bar, so it’s alright).

The service at Kyma gets an A+ in my opinion. Both the waiter and the manager knew my name when they approached our table for the first time. (And for those wondering, I don’t give the name ‘Steakhead’ when making a reservation.) I know it’s a small little gesture to actually look at the reservation sheet, but it’s a touch of class that is not seen often, even at the high-end places. Nikos was also very helpful with the menu. When I asked if ordering the Retsina was a good idea, his response was a sheepish “it’s not the best idea”. Anyone who has had this Greek wine would not argue with this assessment.

We started with two appetizers, the stuffed grape leaves and the red pepper with feta spread. The grape leaves were outstanding. The spread, a bright red color, scored high on presentation and cost (only $3), but wasn’t too memorable. For the main course, I went with the lamb chops. The meat was well-seasoned and tender. The one universal truth about lamb chops, though, is that you don’t get a ton of meat. Even with four lamb chops, you really don’t get much more than two bites per chop. Someone needs to either engineer a bigger sheep for these dishes, or restaurants need to start giving more than four small chops. Lady Steakhead went with a grouper special that sounded better than it actually was.

Being a somewhat celebratory dinner, we each had dessert. I went with the rice pudding, while LS had the lava cake with cinnamon ice cream. I may sound a bit like a woman for saying this, but the lava cake was pure heaven.

Kyma hits a home run on many aspects of the fine dining experience. The service and atmosphere specifically are all top notch. The food is definitely above average, but I am not sure if I can say it’s commensurate with the cost, as it is pricy. But being the sucker for service, and the fact that we can bring the little one, I have a good feeling I will be back. Cost: $$$. Grade: B+.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Some Call It Pizza- Fritti’s Delivers Atmosphere & Creativity

With the weather finally turning warmer, my attention turns to one of Atlanta’s greatest assets- the plethora of outdoor dining options. And if you’re looking for a casual, cool option that won’t break the bank account, Fritti in Inman Park should definitely be on your list. Fritti scores high in my book for a number of reasons. First and foremost, the food is decent. Second, the space, especially during the Spring and Summer when it is open to the outside, is very cool. Third, the price is right.

Fritti is an upscale pizza joint, with some flair for the creative. While not as over-the-top as Piebar (in many ways), Fritti still offers a few pizzas that make a simple Steakhead say “Huh?”. Pies such as the Frutta E Taleggio, which features apples and pears. I never understood this desire to put fruit on a pizza. There are also plenty of pizzas without cheese or tomato sauce. If you’re going to do that, call it something else. It’s like calling something without bread a sandwich. You’ll need to bring your reading glasses, as the names of the pizzas don’t give much away about what’s actually on it. For instance- $10 to someone who can tell me what’s on a Bresaola E Rucola off the top of their head. And get this, the Salsiccia e Peperoni does NOT have pepperoni!?! The descriptions are absolutely necessary- and there are 33 of them!

Prices for pies fall in the $10-12 range, but if you have enough people, the $20/pp family-style option is the way to go. For starters, they bring unlimited calamari fritti and some sort of mushroom appetizer. Steakhead doesn’t do mushrooms (the one food I absolutely abhor), so those stayed on the other end of the table. Next, large plates of both a house salad and Caesar salad make their way to the table. For the entrees, the table can choose up to 5 different pizzas, all unlimited.

Here is the one drawback. I have developed a taste for anchovy pizza lately- especially from the gourmet places. But apparently, not a lot of folks like anchovies. So in a Family-style deal, I had to capitulate and forego them. But thank God, no one ordered a fruit pizza, so I guess it worked out. The spicy salami and the gorgonzola pizza were amongst my favorites. The Speck E Ruccolo (with smoked prosciutto) was good, but hard to deal with, as the meat didn’t cut easily.
All in all, though, Fritti works on a number of levels. I can see this as being a good casual first date place. It works as a neighborhood place. It works well for large groups. And it especially works well when the weather is nice. Cost: $$. Grade: B+.