On midtown’s bustling eleventh street, Loews opened April 2010 to give Atlanta one of its newest five star playgrounds. Once through the doors of this lavishly designed hotel, a classy cosmopolitan feel quickly grabs hold and immerses one into a fashionable comfort. Its flagship restaurant, eleven offers guests innovative foods that are loosely based on the deconstruction of classic southern recipes. To give these offerings a unique twist in their taste and presentation, Executive Chef Olivier Gaupin infuses a seductive French flair to Chef de Cuisine Derek Rosen’s down home Tennessean culinary background. The blend of these diverse cooking techniques seems to harmonize well giving the foods associated with the South a contemporary facelift that’s new and exciting.
Before reaching the tucked away intimate eatery, one is instantly captivated by the sounds and happenings of the posh bar eleven. Each Loews hotel has created a special drink that reflects its milieu and mood. Sit with one of these many designer libations and magically watch the hustle and bustle of the outside world begin to disappear. At Loews Atlanta the signature cocktail is the Sage Blossom. Each refreshing sip of this sassy concoction effortlessly sways the mood to a tranquil state of mind- made with Hanger One Mandarin Blossom Vodka, fresh lemon juice, orange slices and garnished with a sage leaf. If a non-alcoholic drink is desired get the iced tea, you won’t regret it. Brewed perfectly, this classic southern beverage is served with four house-made flavoring syrups – jasmine, peach, lavender, and raspberry – never knew iced tea could be so gratifying, as well as, fun to play with.
Besides the restaurant, Chef Derek oversees the extensive bar menu, an offering of spruced up southern nibbles, like the cornmeal-fried pickles, that carries over to eleven’s awesome menu. The classic soul food - fried green tomatoes – is served with a feisty house-made pimento cheese spread and micro-green cilantro - totally scrumptious! Rivaling those served in Maryland, the large Savannah style Crab Cake is a mound of delicate moist lump crab with a savory crawfish remoulade – probably the best crab cake in the city, and that’s saying something coming from a Marylander. Showing his playful side, Chef Derek takes the Dr. Seuss classic story Green Eggs and Ham and turns it into a culinary adventure – a deviled egg that’s filled with a green basil-QimiQ puree accompanied by house-made bacon and crispy prosciutto window crisps. Adding an exciting layer to this dish - warm white asparagus is topped with shaved green asparagus and yellow pea shoots with a gastrique made from truffled balsamic crema, chardonnay vinegar, grade A amber maple syrup, and juicy blueberries – this off-menu offering is amazing - ask for it.
The “not to be missed” signature dish at eleven is the Shrimp and Grits. Large sweet tasting Carolina shrimp with chunks of a spicy andouille sausage in a corn tomato fondue sauce that’s poured over smoked Gouda and cheddar cheese Red Mule Grits. A pinch of chipotle adds a nice tang to this thrilling classic dish which will stand up to any served in Charleston. The entree that competes with the house signature dish is the beef short ribs. After braising for 12 hours with smoked peaches, jalapeños, pineapple and onions, this fork tender meat is served with a stunning BBQ sauce made from the braising jus. This succulent meat is taken over the top with a side of Yukon potato hash that’s served with an explosively delicious chimichuri sauce and cotija cheese – so many mind-blowing flavors to enjoy. This dish is a roadmap of Chef Derek’s career in the kitchen with a touch of Argentina, Mexico, and the good ole South all on one plate - yum.
When it’s time to satisfy the sweet tooth, ecstasy is only a mixing bowl away as the treats coming from Pastry Chef John Bell are astonishing. Think all will agree there’s nothing better than a chocolate high. Order for the table the trio of 61% extra bitter Valrhona Chocolate Lava Cake, the soft fudge like Chocolate Marquis made with 64% Valrhona cocoa, and the Valrhona white chocolate and Chambord Crème Brulee – each bite is pure bliss. So why gamble trying to find that special intimate dining experience in a luxurious classic setting when it’s only aneleven away – isn’t it time to get that stylish feeling again?
LGTG FRIENDLY *****
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