Nibbles (and more crappy iphone pics!)

posted on January 31, 2008 at 6:50 am
I have some catching up to do. I just got back from a multi-stop “tour” of southern Florida (Miami, Naples and Tampa) to visit friends and family so I haven’t been eating much around Atlanta. I still have a few pieces to report though.

First, let me talk about my trip to Florida. Made my usual stop at Las Olas Cafe in South Beach–a small Cuban joint with plenty of hot dishes, sandwiches, empanadas and the requisite cafe bar. One thing I love about this place is the counter. It has been around so long that there is a *huge* indention in the wood from the years of prepping sandwiches. So cool.
Las Olas: South Beach
I normally get the Masas de Puerco Fritas (Cuban Fried Pork Chunks) from the steam table with the maduros and moros, but they didn’t have them that day–the offerings change based on the day of the week. So, I got a cuban (asked for it well-pressed, of course) and it was great as usual. You can’t tell from the photo, but the sammie was literally a foot long. So darn good. 

Las Olas Café on Urbanspoon

The rest of my South Beach eating was done at home. I love cooking for my folks, so I made them so dinner with goodies from Epicure–and amazing (and pricey) store with lots of great ingredients and plenty of Jewish specialties like this sick chopped liver.
Epicure: South Beach
Left Miami for a wine dinner in Naples at a private home where the Executive chef from Guy Savoy: Las Vegas made us an incredible truffle-laden dinner where we were also treated to some incredible wines.
exec chef from guy savoy las vegas

Chef Damien Dulas

I am a huge fan of Guy Savoy–both the Paris and Las Vegas locations. When I was living in Paris, one summer during college, I was lucky enough to eat there and had one of the most memorable meals of my life. My father and I returned to the Vegas location for his birthday a couple of years back after the grand opening and it was just gorgeous. At the wine dinner in Naples, I had the pleasure of meeting the producers of the Vega Unico (we tasted a 1996 among other wines) and it was probably the best wine I have had in quite some time. Such a fun event and a wonderful way to spend an evening.
My last stop in Florida was to see my friends’ new baby in Tampa. They took me to the famous Bern’s Steakhouse which I had heard about for years and years. What a menu and wine list! The food was, unfortunately, kind of meh. The place feels like an amusement park, but it was still fun to finally experience the place and I was with people I love so, who cares?

***Back to Atlanta***

Pizzeria Fortunato: Smyrna
My friend brought over a pizza, from Fortunato Pizzeria, after I got home from Florida and was way too exhausted to cook. Any NYC-style pizza worth eating, travels well and this pie was good–even on the reheat (another true test). Very flavorful crust, the right amount of cheese, minimal grease and great sauce. I would definitely hit the place up the next time I am craving NYC-style pizza, which is way more often than I’d like to admit.

Pizzeria Fortunato on Urbanspoon

Went to Taka last night after quite some time. I have not been going as much since I moved because I really hate driving to Buckhead. I was glad I did because the food was delicious.
Taka: Buckhead

Tuna tartare

Taka: Buckhead

Short rib (half-portion)

Taka is still on his game…maybe even more so. My sister and I feasted on sashimi, fried baby squid legs, fire fish liver, fish ovaries reminiscent of sweetbreads, completely grease-less, curry-laced vegetable croquettes with Japanese mayo, creamy (and unbelievably fresh) uni handrolls, slow-cooked short rib and more for only $50 bucks each (including tip and a moderately-priced chrysanthemum sake). Still the best in Atlanta and a much better option than the pricey MF Buckhead around the corner. Why haven’t you been yet?

A couple of weeks ago, I returned to Rathbun Steak for their burger at the bar. I think I am addicted. The bun was different than my last visit (no onion bun), but it was still delicious. It has to be my favorite restaurant burger in Atlanta right now and definitely worth the trip. Don’t forget to order some of their homemade fries with blue cheese fondue on the side.

Once again, sorry for the fuzzy pics. I didn’t have my camera on me, but a bad picture is better than none, right?

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  • Re: Nibbles (and more crappy iphone pics!)
    posted by: Sudhir · January 31, 2008  1:53 PM

    I am going to cave finally and eat non-Soto sushi in Atlanta for the first time since Soto closed two years ago. Jesus, has it been two years already? AC and BG have not let me down often, so I will give Taka another go even though my one and only trip to Taka three years ago was very, very mediocre.

  • Re: Nibbles (and more crappy iphone pics!)
    posted by: Hardy · January 31, 2008  8:21 PM

    Unfortunately, you can’t go to Bern’s solely for the food-

    The bar tables are a nice secret. Service there is a little more relaxed, and only in the bar can you order a steak sandwich or a burger to go with your 64 Cote Rotie. This is my happy place.

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