Thursday, July 4, 2013


In the restaurant business it take more than good food to become successful, especially in this city.  Case in point; take the highly respected rock-star chef, Bruce Logue, known for creative Italian cuisine and because of poor marketing, a dismal atmosphere, and lack of identity in a 
section of the city that loves identity, his restaurant La Pietra Cucina fails.  Enter into the picture Bob Amick and Todd Rushing and the rest of the Concentrics’ team to do a complete overhaul 
with a total re-design of the space and  re-branding La Pietra Cucina as LPC with a much 
simpler Nuevo-Italian menu.  Prior to the makeover Chef Logue decided to leave to pursue other interest; his shoes needed to be filled with someone that could build upon the new LPC concept 
and make it flourish.  Chef Russell Kook was tapped to take over the kitchen bringing with him 
his multitude of fine dining experiences from his time in Vegas, Chicago, and as runner-up on Season 8 of Hell’s Kitchen. Chef Kook has created a thrilling value driven menu that doesn’t sacrifice quality filling a void in the part of the city that’s nestled between Buckhead and 
Midtown, near the Art Center Complex.

A well-selected wine list has been assembled that highlights most of the growing regions and varietals coming from Italy giving diners an opportunity to sample little known high quality Italian wines that might be otherwise over-looked.  If bubbles are your desire, consider the non-vintage Prosecco Rose from infamous Bisol Estate, this sparkler has lots of personality and offers lush floral aromas and has an amazing long dry finish.  From the same region, Veneto, the Pieropan Soave Classico is full of fresh citrus flavors, and its zingy acidity beckons food of depth and character, and LPC has many to choose from. The list of wines to explore goes on and on, so have fun finding your favorites. Besides the wines, LPC offers an assortment of high-octane cocktails, which are made with various Italian liqueurs which on their own have unique and dramatic taste sensations, but to be a key part of a well made cocktail makes for some sensational sippers 
- recommend LPC’s take on the classic Negroni, or the Medici’s Influx made with a housemade Meyer lemon lemoncello, both are darn easy to enjoy.

Chef Kook’s menu offerings are ideal to be shared amongst the table. Suggest starting with a few of the Spuntini or Snacks to jump-start the tastebuds.  The Fiorello Peppers with pickled feta and the Todd’s Meatballs are both got to haves.  The charred peppers with their subtle smoky flavors and sweet spiciness 
(not hotness), and the veal meatballs on a bed of Anson Mill’s polenta with a hardy pomodoro sauce, both will surely get the appetite going - guaranteed! Of the Antipasti selections, the Pan Fried Octopus and the Buffalo Mozzarella are simply instant gratification on a plate.  The ultra-tender octopus is a not be missed.  After braising in a red wine, the octopus is pan-fried until slightly crisp and is served with grilled frisee and a savory arrabitata sauce. The Buffalo Mozzarella 
Salad with its preserved lemon vinaigrette is astonishing. It has lively mouth feel with its tart and creamy textures; throw in some blanched fava beans and 
crispy Nueske’s Applewood bacon and you have the makings of a culinary ecstasy. 

Even though there are some delectable large plates like the pan-fried Scottish Salmon or the Grilled Springer Mountain Chicken, at LPC the stars of the menu 
are the artistically prepared pasta dishes.  Each of these recipes has an obvious freshness, balance, quality ingredients that play off and complement each 
other, and most importantly the feel of kitchen love. The Squid Ink Spaghetti’s flair comes from the perfect marriage of blue crab with a sea urchin butter, grapefruit, mint and Serrano pepper. - seems a bit odd but it works – the result is a pasta with a mouth pleasing punch. The otherworldly Agnolotti is a ravioli-like pasta stuffed with a creamy goat cheese and grilled cherry tomatoes that’s drizzled with a tomato brodo, the clear water from roma tomatoes, this dish is all 
about depth and flavor intensity. The Carbonara is one of LPC’s signature dishes – linguini noodles that’s tossed with a housemade pancetta, percorino grand 
cru and a raw duck egg yolk, this is Italian comfort food at its best but with a lot of wow factor.

When its time to awaken the sweet tooth, either the oh-so decadent Chocolate Budino with its warm gooey center or the Pistachio Semifreddo with a burnt 
orange caramel sauce will do the job, suggest getting both a do the sharing thing, you’ll be grateful that you did.  So when the mood strikes for some distinctive Nuevo-Italian food that’s both pleasing to the palate as well as the wallet, LPC has a seat waiting for you, sit outside on the patio and enjoy the ambience of outdoor dining. Buon appetito!

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


LPC on Urbanspoon

  La Pietra Cucina on Foodio54

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