In my world, the perfect Saturday includes brunch eaten on a patio with my husband, good friends and some kind of farmer’s market. This Saturday included all of those things…and so much more! The day started with a lovely cup of coffee and a lazy morning. We had plans to meet our friends Brad and Anna for brunch, headed to the restaurant and picked a great patio seat to enjoy our food.
The location of our brunch date was largely determined by the fact that I heard my favorite Atlanta chef, Richard Blais was doing a tasting of a few menu items from his much anticipated (at least by me) restaurant, The Spence opening in May.
Now, most of you know that I am a fan of all food made by Richard Blais- I love the unique flavor combinations and whimsical techniques that he uses at Flip Burger and HD1 (particularly the Butcher’s Cut burger and Thaibouli salad at Flip and the FRYsty at HD)! For Gavin and I’s anniversary we treated ourselves to a 6 course meal made by Richard Blais as part of One Midtown Kitchen’s Summer Chef Series…and it was literally the best, most exciting and unexpected meal that I can remember eating. Each course was perfectly paired with a fabulous wine…and each course was better than the last.
All that to say, when Blais announced the opening of a new Atlanta restaurant (about a year ago) I put it on my calendar and have eagerly anticipated the date’s arrival…so you know, I just HAD to go the tasting this Saturday.
The tasting took place at the Crate and Barrel grand opening at Lenox (not really a place that you expect good food). It was bustling with lots of people- the CB staff was walking the floor passing appetizers and Blais was manning the entree section in the center of the store.
We started our post brunch eating adventure with what turned out to be my favorite item…a grilled oyster topped with smoky bacon, sweet prunes and a light buttery crust. I wanted to follow the server around and eat the entire tray. These oysters are reason alone to give The Spence a try.
After the oyster, we moved on to the falafel…it was crispy and delicious…although nothing super exciting. We headed to the entree table and snatched up a double cheese burger (with caramelized onions, and homemade ketchup) and a PORK BELLY CROISSANT (can you fit any more delicious, richness into one sandwich??)
The burger was yummy (though not as wonderful as the Butcher’s Cut at Flip) the ketchup was spiced with cloves and had the perfect earthiness to compliment the onions. The pork belly croissant was pretty unbelievable…it featured light and crisp pickled radish…and as you can imagine, it was quite decadent.
When we thought we were finished, I spotted a fresh tray of gooey and scrumptious looking chicken wings. They were fried and them tossed in a lemon curd and garlic sauce. While they were good (the flavor combo was excellent) I think they will be much better piping hot and fresh out of the fryer!
Our final bite was a thin pancake like version of carrot cake. It was cinnamony and delicious….and definitely made me interested to try basically everything that The Spence has to offer when it opens.
With full and satisfied tummies, we headed from Buckhead way up North to Cumming (I know its really not that far, but it feels like a day trip out of town)!! We had dinner plans with Chris, Michelle and sweet baby Piper and Gavin and Chris’ college roommate Brad and his wife Patty and their kids Greg and Mary Calloway. It was a perfect night for the first official BBQ of Spring.
If all Satuday’s could be this perfect, I would be one happy lady!