fiddlehead definition

fid·dle·head [ fídd'l hèd ] (plural fid·dle·heads) noun
Definition: edible fern shoot: the coiled frond of a young fern, often cooked and eaten as a delicacy

Showing posts with label Drew Belline. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Drew Belline. Show all posts

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Signs of Spring

I spotted this patch of blue on my run this morning. Veronica penduncularis or 'Georgia Blue' was growing on the side of the road, poking through dirt, rocks, and debris. Its presence made me ever aware of the signs all around me. Squirrels were chasing each other and searching for food buried before it grew cold. Birds were chirping and gathering bits and pieces for nest building. Daffodils were blooming and trees buds were beginning to swell.

This is the time of year I like to pick up Thoreau's Walden and read about how excited he was for things to start budding and blooming. "Walden was dead and is alive again" he wrote. The rebirth of our landscape ushers in a rebirth for our souls.

Soon, very soon, the landscape (and our dinner plates) will be augmented by ramps, morels, and fiddleheads, those harbingers of springtime.

Places and spaces I look forward to in early spring:

Empire State South-- foraged spring ingredients always sing on the spring menu.

Seven Lamps-- Drew Van Leuvan created the most spectacular spring menu while at One Midtown Kitchen. I had ramps, morels, and fiddleheads in one meal. I have no doubt early spring will be nothing shy of dazzling at Seven Lamps. The winter menu has thrilled me over and over.

100 Mile Dinner-- the next dinner is in March. I anticipate lots I local foraged early spring arrivals or some of Nick Melvin's pickled ramps from last spring.

No. 246-- Drew Belline is an accomplished forager which makes No. 246 extra dreamy in early spring.

Ecco-- Remember last spring when chef Craig Richards covered a pizza in wood violets? It was stunning and, I heard, delicious. Morels with fish; ramps with rabbit; a pasta with both?

Miller Union-- The menu at Miller Union always revolves around the week's harvest. Wasn't there a ramp sabayon on the menu one spring? I could see morels in chef Steven Satterfield's creamed rice dish. I swear I have ordered the dish 10 times.

Hot and Hot Fish Club-- Tasting some of chef Chris Hasting's food during early springtime is worthy of a road trip from Atlanta. He has a large network of foragers that make possible incredible plates like "A forager's walk"- a dish I saw him tweet about. Beautuiful. His foraging seminar at last year's Atlana Food & Wine Festival was the reason I purchased my pass. It is my favorite session since the festival's inception.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Leap Year Dinner at One Eared Stag

(from Origami USA)
Leap year come but once every four years. The rest of the time it does not exist. Why shouldn’t we do something grand and adventurous to celebrate this ephemeral ghost of a day? This year I did just that. No, I didn’t propose to a man in Ireland or jump from a high cliff, I attended the Leap Year Dinner at One Eared Stag with a collection of some of the finest cooking talent in Atlanta and I had a transcendental experience doing it.

I was welcomed as I stepped through the door with a French 75 and quickly introduced to the couple that would be table mates with us. My date and I were encouraged to mingle and enjoy the appetizers circling on silver platters. It was such a fun and relaxed atmosphere. I was able to speak with many of the chefs for the night and meet a few interesting new friends.  Forgive me for the photos but it was rather dark (romantic, good dark) in the restaurant.
trotter fritters with honey (I think I had 180)

head cheese with minute pickles
Someone clinked on a champagne glass and Robert Phalen welcomed us to One Eared Stag and introduced us to our chefs for the evening.  Our three tables were already having a wonderful time engaging in conversation. It is such a positive experience to dine in a restaurant when everyone is delighted about the evening and there to support the ensemble of chefs. Bring on the first course

Buttermilk fried white Georgia shrimp heads with romesco aioli-such a great way to start. So crispy with a flavor of the sea. From Robert Phalen-One Eared Stag
1st course wine pairing: Domaine Ostertag Les Vielles Vignes de Sylvan
Crisp and bright with a minerality that played well with the shrimp and the roe.
Fine herb custard with asparagus, roe, pork fat croutons
Easily my favorite dish of the evening and perhaps so far this year. The photo doesn't do it justice but this dish was creamy, but not heavy, and layered in textures and flavors. The bacony pork fat croutons were a flavorful end component to each bite and the 'pop' of fresh caviar tantalized my palate.
From Drew Belline of 246

Braised Eden Farms bacon, bacon brodo, kale
Bacon in bacon broth paired with bourbon. You already know this is good, right? Our table was silent while we finished this dish. We savored every bit in the bowl.
From Robert Phalen- One Eared Stag

The bourbon pairing: Black Maple Hill 8 year small batch
Incredible delicious, warm and smoky on it's own and paired so wonderfully with the bacon and the duck. It really cut the richness of both and added another dimension. I really love that this course was paired with bourbon.
Scallops, crispy smoked duck salad, burnt maple bourbon
My first bite was of the duck and it was a spectacular mouthful; so smoky and rich. This was such a mix of texture and flavor, warm and cool, soft and crisp, and sweet and smoky. Really makes me look forward to the opening of STG.
From Josh Hopkins of STG Trattoria
Brasstown Beef heartare, bottarga, southern giant, toast
I love dishes with unexpected ingredients married together and this certainly qualified. The dense, rich, and a lil gamey (good gamey) beef heart finely minced with salty bottarga (poor man's caviar) and southern giant greens on the thinnest sliver of delicate toast is a preparation that underscores the unique texture and flavor of the heart.
From Robert Phalen of One Eared Stag

3rd Course wine paring: Domaine de Nerleux Saumur- Champigny Clos des Chatains 2006
What a great food wine-dry, tannic, savory. It tasted of plums or cherries with notes of spices and a hint of roastiness. Terrific Cabernet Franc.

Sea Island red pea consomme', skin, bloodogna, crisp garlic
This dish was beautifully pulled together and playful. The consomme' arrived in a small mason jar. I tasted it by itself before pouring in the dish of spring veggies and pork. It was vibrant yet simple; uncluttered would be a great descriptor. Once added to the pea shoots, crispy garlic, rich and flavorful bloodogna and crispy pork skin, it transformed as a carrier of incredible flavors. I need more bloodogna in my life.
From Ryan Smith of Empire State South

Barley fed chicharrone with powdered kimchi
Crispy, salty, interesting.
From Robert Phalen of One Eared Stag

4th Course pairing: Hitachino Nest Red Rice Ale

Japanese hamburg, poached egg
A delicious play on a Japanese hamburg, a popular Yoshoku (Japanese western-style dish), only this version is way more delicious with the addition of a poached egg. This bento box staple usually is accompanied by a thick brown, Salisbury steak-like sauce. Guy's sauce was delicate and slight. Every person around me cut into the egg and watched it ooze over the tender meat and then we sat together in absolute silence. So very good.
From Guy Wong of Miso Izakaya

Sweet Citrus Cream
Ambrosial, light, citrusy (obviously). Loved the thinly sliced dried slices on top.
From Robert Phalen of One Eared Stag

We also enjoyed a cornmeal cake with confit citrus and honey cream from Stuart Baesel of Community Q. My photo is blurry (ahem, 6 drinks) and I apologize. It was a great way to end the meal. Super light and sweet but not over bearing.

I left with a huge grin on my face and a satisfaction of money well spent. Such a great evening was had by all. Atlanta really showed its culinary chops and I was a lucky girl to be there. Leap year lucky, even.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

One Eared Stag lunching

One Eared Stag possesses a neat parity for me. It is enchanting when the sun streams in on a sunny afternoon yet holds the coziness I crave on a dreary day. On this particular visit the white washed walls were bathed in light. It almost looks like the animal busts are enjoying here too, huh? I had not appreciated what a beautiful day it was until I saw the sun this way.
On the way to my corner table I glanced at the long table in the middle of the upstairs (upstair?) room. Pears. This inviting table seems to always have a different tablescape and today it is a smattering of pears. One of these days I am going to reserve that table for me and 13 friends. From here one could see what is going on in the kitchen, check out the interesting cabinet of goodies and stare at the shelves of canned veggies lining the walls as we wait for the ever changing menu items from Robert Phalen.

The bar has an impressive wall of bourbon. I gazed longingly and finally ordered a couple of cocktails to try.

My favorite: The Boozy Floozey (background). Also: root beer-like drink in process (middle) and the Roselinda (foreground).

First up, cold water oysters. They were perfectly shucked (lately a few restaurants I have visited have been a bit sloppy with their shucking). I loved the presentation. The plate was beautiful but didn’t need to be. I scraped off the mignonette. The best part of eating an oyster (to me) is tasting the sea. I think I usually close my eyes when I eat one. ..”smell the sea, and feel the sky let your soul & spirit fly, into the mystic.” But I digress.

My favorite dish in Atlanta currently: rabbit rillettes with tomatillo escabeche and toast. As I try to write this, I gush. This peasant pate is just the perfect combination of soft, smooth, savory comfort . If the term rillettes is new to you, it is simply a potted meat a little less processed than pate. The board is beautiful and the components are warm and cool, savory and tart, soft and crunchy. I love the celery leaves with the rillettes, as they lend a subtle earthiness. I eat the tomatillo escabeche alone. It is crunchy, tart and a lil spicy. I have had Thomas Keller's signature rillettes many times and this is, well, better.

Buttermilk fried chicken with roasted veggies and Eden Farms bacon. Super moist, flavorful chicken fried to perfection over carrots, turnips and collards. What’s not to love?

Virginia lump crab roll with lemon aoli and an arugula salad. Not for the faint of heart or the small of jaw, this large roll thrilled me. The best part was the buttery goodness of the toasted bread. Don’t get me wrong, the roll is filled with sweet crab meat and a zingy lemony aoli, but the bread is heaven.

House cured Lomo and peach preserves, arugula, sweet balsamic. So good.

Apple bourbon and a Boozey Floozy

Trotter fritter with fried farm egg and wax bean salad. Tender on the inside, crunchy on the outside and oh so good smeared in the yolk of the farm egg. Eating trotters make me feel good much like recycling. I would order this again and again. * Since I wrote this, I have. I have visited One Eared Stag several times and each time was enchanting. The food thrilled me, the atmosphere was just my speed and the service, THE SERVICE, was the standard by which other restaurants should be judged. Any of these three could be the reason for a return visit but all three makes One Eared Stag a must visit restaurant. Period.

I am so looking forward to One Eared Stag's leap year dinner on February 29th with Robert Phalen (One Eared Stag), Ryan Smith (Empire State South), Drew Belline (No246), Josh Hopkins (formerly of Abattoir, will now head STG Trattoria), Guy Wong (Miso Izakaya), and Stuart Baesel (Community Q). Info here on Chow Down Atlanta's blog.

One Eared Stag on Urbanspoon

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Field of Greens 2011

Field of Greens is one of my favorite festivals of the year in Georgia and it is this Sunday, October 2nd. Celebrating the farmer and the chef, it always has a stellar lineup.  Look at this year's participating restaurants:

Ron Eyester - Rosebud, The Family Dog
Robert Phalen - One Eared Stag, Holy Taco
Jay Swift - 4th & Swift
Stephen Herman - Haven
Matt Swickerath - Valenza
Dave Larkworthy - 5 Seasons Brewing Company
Eddie Hernandez - Taqueria del Sol
Justin Burdett - Miller Union
Matt Palmerlee - Farm 255
Terry Koval - Farm Burger
Linton Hopkins - Restaurant Eugene, Holeman & Finch Public House
Dave Roberts - Community Q BBQ
Eric Ottensmeyer - Leon's Full Service
Cathy Conway - Avalon Catering
EJ Hodgkinson - Woodfire Grill
Linda Harrell - Cibo E Beve
Justin Keith - Food 101
Ford Fry - JCT Kitchen
Drew Belline - No. 246
Lance Gummere - The Shed at Glenwood
Ryan Smith - Empire State South
Chris Hall - Local Three
Todd Mussman - Muss & Turner's
Duane Nutter - One Flew South
Marc Taft - Chicken and the Egg
Drew Van Leuvan - One Midtown Kitchen
Joe Schafer - Parish
Janine Falvo - Briza
Lisa Slater - Dal Cuore Market & Restaurant
Ryan Tittle - Brick Store Pub
Megan McCarthy - Healthy Eating 101

The weather looks to be incredible (just like last year) for a day at  Whippoorwill Hollow Farm, a 74-acre working organic farm located in Walnut Grove, just north of Covington and an easy 45 minute drive east of Atlanta. 

from etsy

Check out the Farmers Market area:

Little Tart Bakeshop (baked goods)
Antico Mercante (cheeses)
Pine Street Market (artisan meats)
Cafe Campesino (coffee)
Phickles Pickles (pickles)--save me some wedgies.
King of Pops (popsicles)
Nature's Garden Delivered (vegetable home delivery service)
High Road Craft Ice Cream (ice cream)---word on the street isthat they are bringing this:  Tastes like Bourbon with Dark Chocolate Chunks and a touch of sweet handmade Praline. oh. my.
Goodness Gracious Granola (granola)
Indigo Bath & Body (soaps)
Little Red Hen Bakeshop (baked goods)
Fairywood Thicket (jams)
Kriya Kitchen (cookies)
Jittery Joe's Coffee (coffee)
Decimal Place Farm (goat cheese)
David Jeffries Kitchen (biscotti)
Madeline Burdine Jewelry (jewelry)
Cirkelfish Studio (clay)
Back to the Roots (mushroom growing kits)
Songbird Soaps (soaps)
Garlic Clove Foods (quinoa dishes)
sugar-coated radical (chocolates)
Farmer D Organics (gardening supplies)
Great Cupcake Company (cupcakes)
Emily G's (jams)
Sustenance Design (sustainable & edible landscape design)
Beautiful Briny Sea (organic herb salts)
Dal Cuore Market (local food marketplace)
OmniGreen Life/Gia Film Productions ("Frequency of Genius" movie)


Whipporwill Hollow Organic Farm
Moore Farms & Friends
Morningside Farmers Market
Double B Farm
Darby Farms
Mills Farm's Red Mule Grits
McMullan Family Farm


Besmaid Garden Essentials, Decatur
Third Angel Farm, Stone Mountain
Burge Organic Farm, Mansfield
Heirloom Gardens, Cumming
Love is Love Farm, Decatur
Crack in the Sidewalk Farmlet, Atlanta
Native Sun Farm, Bogart
Front Field Farm, Covington
Truly Living Well, Atlanta
Riverview Farms, Ranger
Whippoorwill Hollow Farm, Walnut Grove
Dillwood Farms, Loganville
Umurima (Burundi Women's Farm), Decatur

Get tickets now. Here

This year they have added The F' n' Chef Competition -- an Iron Chef-like competition that will take place in the middle of the day next to the Chef Tent. Three chefs will be selected for the competition. The chefs will be given a secret ingredient and then they will need to prepare a dish using that ingredient and those items from the small food pantry to be stocked by Whole Foods. The dish will be scored by five judges and the F' n' Chef 2011 winner declared.
Competing Chefs: Terry Koval (Farm Burger), Nick Melvin (Rosebud) and Eric Ottensmeyer (Leon's Full Service).

Judges: Will Harris (White Oak Pastures Owner/Rancher), Tom Maicon (Food & Beer Atlanta Publisher) Andrew Sasser (Whole Foods Regional Prepared Foods Coordinator), Julie Shaffer (Slow Food USA Southern Regional Governor) and a judge to be identified soon.

Emcee: Mara Davis of Dave-FM. (how cool is that?)

See you Sunday!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

ONE. Midtown Kitchen Summer Chef Series

Extremely thrilled for this summer chef series at ONE Midtown Kitchen. Drew Van Leuvan is one of my favorite chefs in Atlanta. When you dine at ONE with Drew you get the best of both worlds. He uses the finest, freshest local product with a sophisticated and creative approach to the ingredients. He takes the simplest ingredient and elevates it to tantalizing. Just this week I had his take on asparagus soup: a cool foam of white asparagus over a layer of creamy warm green asparagus. It was as luscious and delicious as it was stunningly beautiful. Fiddleheads were on the menu as well but I chose scallops with foraged mushrooms and pickled ramps.

This chef series will gather some of Drew's friends and favorite chefs to showcase their skills. Guests will be treated to a 5 course summer feast prepared by that evening’s Chef and Drew. Chef Van Leuvan will prepare an amuse and the first and fifth courses while the Guest Chef will prepare the second, third and fourth courses. All courses will be creatively paired with cocktails, wine or beer courtesy of each Chef. A ticket for a 5 course meal, with beverage pairings, will be $75.00. Pick 3 dinners for $200. Pick 5 dinners for $300. Guests can make reservations through ONE. midtown kitchen at 404-892-4111. Dinner begins at 7 pm. Menu themes for each evening will be posted on Just look at the talent coming:

June 1st-Hugh Acheson of Empire State South, 5&10, The National and Gosford Wine

June 15th- Shaun Doty of Yeah! Burger

June 29th- Bruce Logue of La Pietra Cucina

July 20th- Ford Fry of JCT Kitchenand Bar and No. 246 (coming soon)

August 3rd- Hector Santiago of Pura Vida and Super Pan

August 17th- Drew Belline of No. 246

August 28th- Richard Blais of Flip Burger Boutique (sold out)

August 31- Carvel Grant Gould of Canoe

September 14th- Joshua Hopkins of Abattoir

September 28th- Ron Eyester of Rosebud and The Family Dog