Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Empire State South

Something interesting is happening over at Empire State South. It just keeps getting better. Of course, now that summer is officially here, the bounty of fresh produce surely helps. (And there's a new pasty chef in residence.)

While ESS has a great seasonal cocktail menu, I found pairing the homemade lemonade with vodka totally hit the spot on a hot Atlanta evening. The "In Jars" starter from the Snackies portion of the menu still rules. I adore the pimento cheese with bacon marmalade and boiled peanut hummus, but I also really like the smoked trout mousse. (The taste reminds me of a Japanese tuna salad, and I mean that in a totally awesome way.)

The "Kind of Local" cheeses are a good starter option as well. Be sure to taste each cheese alone, and then again with the accompanying contrast. The kitchen is obviously having fun, and the resulting flavors mesh wonderfully. Favorites were the spiced pecans/goat cheese combo, and the cheddar with peach compote.

Since I wanted to have dessert, I had the soft poached farm egg from the Beginners section for my entree. Served over crispy rice, summer sausage and sweet corn, it was a delicious taste sensation. I used the fresh bread to mop up every last bit from my plate. (Wine pairing: a glass of white Bordeaux. IMO - perfection!)

My dining companions both opted for the Prime NY strip, served over ramp farotto with maitake mushrooms and red onion jam. I had a taste, and it was quite good.

For dessert, I had the special of the evening, blueberry pie. Served as an individual tart, I savored every bite. A wonderful end to a fantastic meal.

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