Thursday, May 12, 2011

IT ALL STARTS WITH ONE midtown kitchen

There is nothing like springtime in Atlanta; it’s the season when it feels good to just get out and have fun. ONE midtown kitchen is no different. Getting out to dine at ONE will amp up the “feel good” with its amazingly creative offerings that come from Chef Drew Van Leuvan’s kitchen. Brilliant flavors and alluring textures rule at ONE. Using primarily local, sustainable produce, Chef Drew crafts distinctive seasonal foods that will stun the senses – foods come alive. The thrill of tasting flavors like these is like none other; this is one culinary adventure that’s not to be missed. Settle in and enjoy the all the pleasures that ONE has to offer.

The super talented bar mistress, Jorie Habian, has conjured up some exciting cocktails. The Farewell to Rose’s is a blend of housemade pomegranate grenadine, Sauza Gold Tequila, twist of lime over a Peroni cube– yes; the Italian beer is made into ice cubes and like each spring day, it pleasantly changes as it melts. In addition to intriguing libations, there’s a well-crafted wine list that managed by Meghan Wagner. On the list, there’s a section that highlights boutique offerings that changes nightly depending on availability, and what’s coming from the kitchen – don’t overlook these gems of the vine.

The menu at ONE changes somewhat each night in order to serve the freshest ingredients available – it represents a celebration of seasonality. Start the festivities by exciting the palate with the pureed spread of edamame and lima bean that’s blended with roasted garlic, Dijon mustard, and fresh herbs. This tantalizing concoction is a tease of what creative flavors are to come. Besides being beautifully presented, the amazing Asparagus Soup is an expressive testimony of Chef Drew’s homage to spring’s garden. The soup is a layer of foamy cool white asparagus over a layer of warm creamy green asparagus. It is neither heavy nor vegetal- instead quite luscious and a treat to savor. Harvested in early spring are the highly anti-oxidant rich Fiddlehead ferns. These unfurled fronds are battered fried until crispy then seasoned with a splash of Tabasco and garnished with pickled onions and Sweetgrass Diary’s Asher Blue cheese- these are great nibblers. After slow cooking the cured Fudge Farm pork short ribs for 2 days, these “fall of the bone” morsels are glazed with a tangy tomato jam – yummy! But what are ribs without some of stinging nettles, pickled ramps, lemon zest, and a perfectly poached egg; this is the beauty of ONE, the unexpected.

It takes a knack to make pasta and more importantly a delicate touch. The nightly pasta offerings are packed with astonishing flavors. The half moon shaped, Mezzaluna, is filled with English peas and brown butter served over a curried hazelnut sauce that has an amazing zing that is crazy good. Whereas, the ring-shaped Tortellini is filled with fingerling potatoes, ramp, and a ricotta filling that’s bathing in a creamy potato brodo- it’s comfort food at its best. These tasty pastas are a menu highlight - don’t miss them.

The flavors and aromas become more pronounced with the large plate dishes. Served with scrumptious Cipollini onions, the succulent perfectly seared Nantucket scallops are cooked in brown butter sauce that’s drizzled with a lively sauce made with a red wine vinaigrette, chardonnay, and the highly flavorful guanciale- dried pork cheeks. If the mouth-watering hickory smoked La Belle duck doesn’t get the drool going, I don’t know what will. These mind-blowing tastes are realized after 2 days of cooking using the classic sous-vide technique, and then roasted to order in the wood oven. This savory duck is served over the creamy textured Sea Island Red Peas in a tomato-bacon ragout, and topped with a zesty green tomato chow chow. OMG these flavors are otherworldly. No worry- it’s OK to drool in amazement- it’s that good.

When you feel like you reached sensory overload, well shock the few unaroused taste buds with the delectable White Chocolate Financier – a moist almond brown butter cake that’s baked with strawberries and Valrona white chocolate, and accented with a slightly tart rhubarb preserve and Tres Leches sorbet. If nothing else, enjoy the gasp after each bite. When that springtime or any season urge to get out and have fun, don’t second guess it - grab a friend or that significant other as it all starts at ONE midtown kitchen.

LGTG FRIENDLY ***** (Friendly Staff)

FOOD ***** (Daily Wood Oven Roast)

PRICE **** (High Quality to Value)

AMBIENCE ***** (Comfortable Roomy Setting)

DRINKS ***** (Bottomless Glass Wine Offerings)


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