Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Rathbun's: I Wish I Were a (Real) Food Critic

When I was in Atlanta last week I went out to dinner at a restaurant outside of the city: Rathbun's, as in the Food Network's Iron Chef Ken Rathbun. Now, I'm not exactly "up" on restaurants made famous by the chefs or by names and brands in general. I care more about the quality of the product or service, or in this case, the food and the ambiance, than the name so when the other girls I went with said this was rated one of the best restaurants in the country, it didn't really do much for me. 
I'd be the judge of such high praise.
Picture from here
Well, it didn't disappoint. The restaurant is tucked away in the Old Fourth Ward district of Atlanta. It's off of Krog Street. How could you not immediately feel cozy going to restaurant on Krog Street?? I have images of a cozy pub in Ireland or England coming to my mind. Also Kermit the Frog but that's super random. Anyway. It's an odd location and we kind of went through some shady areas (but then again, apparently there are quite a few of those in Atlanta. So I was told. Several times) but I loved it. Apparently, the building used to be an old stove factory. It feels like you should be on the water but you aren't. It's so neat. We sat outside on the patio and the outside of the building is run down brick. I felt like I was eating in NYC. It was so cool. Just fabulous. The weather was perfect, lighting great, a little fountain nearby. Just lovely. And we haven't even talked about the menu, yet!

The menu was extensive and impressive. This restaurant is modern American cuisine but it's definitely a little more fancy than just your average steakhouse. I wouldn't go as far as to say gourmet, but it's fancy. The pricey part of the menu was entitled, "The Second Mortgage." Clever. +2 points for wit and creativity. I was impressed and amused. I chose the special salad of the day: spinach, strawberries, and goat cheese with a vinaigrette. DELISH. The strawberries were fresh, the dressing just right and let me just tell you, I am in love with goat cheese. We've been introduced a few times (goat cheese and I), and I never really was a fan, but lately, I am loving it. For my entree, I chose a the butternut squash, apple risotto with balsamic syrup. Winner. It was SO good. Lightly, fluffy, nutty, hearty, yummy. Delish. One of the other girls got french fries with blue cheese fondue dip. I am picky about my fries and I despise blue cheese anything but not only were the fries top notch, the bleu cheese fondue was exquisite. It's probably the only time I will willingly and knowingly eat bleu cheese anything.

Now the best part (obviously): dessert. There were 4 of us ladies so we (per my rather excited request and suggestion that we all get a different dessert and share. It was well received, much to my delight!) each got a different dessert. Now, these are mini desserts, which I think are just perfect. 

One got the banana peanut butter cream pie:
One got a cheesecake with blueberries and lemon or something like that. It was fruity, light, and perfect for a summer-esque evening. One got a flourless dark chocolate cake with hazelnut gelato (my runner-up for my favorite; the hazelnut gelato was to die for), and I got the cookie dough semifreddo, which was unanimously voted the favorite (I do not mess around with my desserts!). It was SO. GOOD. I can't even describe it except to say it was a perfectly smooth texture with chunks of yummy chocolate chip cookie dough. And I wanted to order about 10 more of these. For myself.  Mmmm!! Mmmm!!! Mmmm!!

So overall, I was impressed. Chef Rathbun, I approve. I'd definitely go again. 

And since we're on my favorite topic ever (food), can I just tell you that I made Italian Chicken Pockets for dinner this week? I did. Yum. Super easy and very good. AND, on a much more exciting note, to come this week from Gabe's kitchen:
I will be making these bad boys >:)
Ladies and Gents I give you homemade chocolate chip cookie dough peanut butter cups. 
Can't wait! 

1 comment:

AB said...

Gabe I love reading all your posts about food. You can tell you are really passionate about it. I love food too so maybe that's why we got along so well ;) Let me know how those butter cups turn out!