Wednesday, November 28, 2012

IT’S TIME TO GET HOOKED on LURE


How many times have you thought that Atlanta would be even more of an amazing city to live in if it were near the ocean? I know I have.  To help ease this wish, ai3 and Peace Design joined forces with the Fifth Group to create a seaside experience in the space that once housed Vickery’s on Crescent Avenue transforming it into an up-scale yet casual seafood dining spot called Lure.  The coastal aura of Lure helps relieve that urban edginess and gives our land-locked city the feel of being near the beach especially when sitting on the comfy patio, and who doesn’t love that feeling?  At the helm of this eatery’s galley is Executive Chef David Bradley who has worked his way through the various other Fifth Group endeavors and has learned to cast his lines in the right spots to pull in the freshest seafood available. But what makes this seafood so good is that Chef Bradley has a knack for preparing his catch in a way that it never loses the delicate nuances of the sea.

In addition to the fabulous seafood, Lure has a beverage program like none other.  The mastermind behind the extensive and mind-boggling offerings is Sommelier Vajra Stratigos, who is the Fifth Group’s beverage director.  Whether it’s a classy cocktail, a glass of spectacular wine, thirst quenching housemade shrubs, or an exotic drink made with shōchū no matter your desire there is enough playfulness with any of the choices to set the stage for a most relaxing evening.  The drinks I was most fascinated with were the ones made with shōchū - first it is not offered often, but more importantly it has such clean lush flavors making it one super-smooth sipper.  Using yeast isolated from dianthus flowers, the distilled barley Shōchū Nadeshiko is known for its rich fragrance and elegant taste, but Vajra amped it up by adding fresh tarragon and licorice root.  The other that beckons some delicacies from the raw bar is the Sudachi Shōchū that’s distilled molasses infused with sudachi juice– a Japanese fruit similar to a lime - as a nice twist, citrus oil and skins are added to this award honored liqueur giving is a seductive liveliness that is so easy to enjoy.

At Lure, the main attraction is the best seafood in ATL, and its freshness makes such a difference in mouth feel giving it that just off the boat taste. The raw shellfish offering typically consists of magnificent East Coast oysters - which are known for their salinity and opulent flavors, plump quahog clams, and just maybe the sweet yet succulent highly rich in omega-3 Taylor Bay Scallops from Buzzards Bay in Massachusetts; have fun exploring the uniqueness’s of these luscious morsels by choosing some of whatever’s available. If raw is not your thing, Lure has some amazing fruits of the sea appetizers to tease and please the appetite.  The Smoked Scallop Crudo are thinly sliced scallops from Georges Bank that are briefly cold smoked with olive wood which adds depth to the rich buttery flavors of these delectable delights. The other smoked offering is the Seafood Platter whose presentation is somewhat like a charcuterie but instead a potpourri of Neptune’s delights with Atlantic salmon, bluefish, and rainbow trout pâté that beckons a glass of William Fevre Espino with its rich citrusy fruit and palate coating creaminess – this makes for one awesome insatiable pairing.

The small plates are meant for sharing, but after the first bite you might not be in the mood to share.  The boquerones are slivers of marinated Spanish anchovies that are served on manchego toast points with a dab of sautéed sweet onions- it’s a yum.  If fried is your thing both the Rhode Island Calamari and the Ipswich Clam Bellies will satisfy any New Englanders craving for a taste of home, these crispy tender delights are full of ''le goût de la mer''- the taste of the sea.  There’s the “make it yourself “ wrap of grilled octopus and pulled pork that’s been marinated in a housemade Vietnamese fish sauce, mixed Asian herbs, and is served with a spicy nuoc cham sauce that you fold into bibb lettuce leaves making each bite a hands-on thrilling adventure. The dish not to be missed is the grilled whole rainbow trout from the Bramlett’s fish farm in North Georgia.  The way this pristine fish is prepared is what dreams are made.  The head on trout is stuffed with fresh thyme, tarragon, and lemon then grilled perfectly giving it a nice char finish and topped with a sweet and tangy muscadine butter – picture perfect presentation with the flavors are simply unforgettable.

When you think its time to pull in your line, leave room for that one last bite, as the desserts are as satisfying as the other menu catches.  The delectable guava and coconut bread pudding that’s topped with roasted hazelnuts and a creamy vanilla custard- like crème anglaise will surely help reset your sweet dream button. Lure with its top-notch wait staff is ready to assist anytime to cast your line to hook up with the freshest seafood in Atlanta.  Enjoy…

LGTG FRIENDLY *****                  
FOOD *****                                            
PRICE *****                                   
  AMBIENCE *****        
DRINKS *****                                   

WHERE WOMEN COME OUT | WHERE WOMEN COME OUT |  www.labrysatl.com



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