John and Dawn decided to try something different this month. Instead of picking one neighborhood in Atlanta, they picked the popular and almost always delicious restaurant category of Farm-to-Table. So we have 3 reviews for you Leon’s Full Service in Decatur, Sprig in Oak Grove, and Bistro Niko in Buckhead – yes, we know, Dawn totally ignored the assignment – but she had fun, so she has been officially pardoned. (plus the editor got to go along on the fun night out)
Leon’s Full Service (Decatur)
I don’t often find myself eating at Leon’s in Decatur. But, a buddy and I dropped in a few weeks ago prior to an Atlanta United match against the Columbus Crew. Before I leap into my review of Leon’s, let me happily say… our new MLS team easily dispatched their opponent that night, 3-1. And while there was a significant rain delay forcing fans out of the stadium at one point – the stadium refilled and despite the delay, our boys were victorious!
Our goal, grab a couple of quick appetizers, then head to match. So, we started with the one of my favorites, the Fries with Garlic Aioli. Not surprisingly, they were a hit and we polished them off in a matter of minutes. I washed my half of the fries down with a light and delicious pilsner – Mama’s Little Yella Pils. Jeremy, on the other hand, decided fewer calories and higher octane was in order starting with one of Leon’s many whiskeys.
Next up, some of their mussels. Perfectly prepared these plump and tasty creatures were served in a delicious frothy broth consisting of white wine, lemon, cream, tarragon, fennel, garlic, and accompanied by toasted baguette – great stuff! In this case at the direction of the bartender I selected a local beer – Terrapin Hi-5. A perfect compliment in my view while Jeremy continued his foray into whisky family and numerous options provided.
Next time, when I have a little more time on my hands, I’ll likely opt for their Veggieloaf or in the spirit my recent embrace of a pescatarian lifestyle, perhaps the trout. Can’t wait… Check out Leon’s Full Service website before you head on over.
By Dawn Landau
One of my favorites restaurants which serves seasonal fare is La Tavola in Virginia Highland. They are soooo…consistent you can take friends and clients with no worries as to menu variety and quality. We were seeing off our friends and kitchen rehab clients Diana and Greg who are on their way to Australia then Europe!
Perfect to share, we started with the charcuterie board that had a variety of meats, cheeses and olives. We all had a cocktail and I of course, had my favorite, the Negroni. Given it’s and Italian cocktail, La Tavola mixed it up to perfection. Diana tried the Angeleno, aperol, prosecco and orange peel. It was delish. The boys had classics that went down quickly
The group tried a variety of pasta dishes, the Squid Ink, the Taglietelle and the special which was a light a fresh dish with herbs, butter and procuitto. We also ordered the zuppa di pesce which was packed with chunks of fish and shellfish in a light broth. There was also a braised beet salad in the mix to make us feel better about eating all that pasta!
Everything was exceptional except there was a note that the blend of fish in the zuppa was just in the OK category. So, ask what’s in it before ordering as fish varieties are definitely a matter of personal taste….
We ordered a nice medium bodied red wine that everyone enjoyed. The list is varied and prices are reasonable. Reservations are DEFINITELY required for a table. 2 weeks out for weekends at least. Check out La Tavola online.
By John Powell
Leslie and I recently dropped in to Sprig which is right around the corner from our home and neighborhood in Oak Grove area of Atlanta – not our first visit nor will it be our last. Sprig – a farm-to-table eatery that specializes in Southern comfort food sourced from regional farms, ranches, and dairies that are guided by the principles of sustainability. And in our experience, continues to consistently provide delicious options for the meat eater, vegetarian, as well as a variety of gluten free appetizers and entrees for those so-challenged.
On this visit, as usual, I started with their popular fried green tomato appetizer. Then, opted to take a veggie vacation by selecting their Grouper Tacos officially becoming a pescatarian after a decade of vegetarianism. These are lightly breaded and fried with chipotle ranch, lettuce, cheddar cheese and pico de gallo. Three of these tasty tacos tackled my hunger in no time! Leslie chose the Veggie Bolognese a thin spaghetti, spinach, cherry tomatoes, Kalamata olives, & grilled Portobello mushrooms. This large delectable pasta portion was a bit too much for her to finish in one sitting – so we grabbed a to-go box and finished it off late night after polishing off a bottle of wine on the front porch!
One of my favorite things about Sprig, I love the fact that everything — sauces, sides, dressings, soups, pickles, chips, and more are made from scratch!
Perhaps a little known fact, they have one of Atlanta’s largest bourbon collections, currently more than 200 selections. If that’s of interest to you, I recommend you join their club – the Oak Grove Brown Water Society. You can learn about Sprig and their bourbon collection at the Sprig Website.
Bistro Niko (Buckhead)
So, this might not be EXACTLY “Farm to Table” but it is fantastic and a lovely atmosphere. AND, I recently celebrated 3 birthdays there with girlfriends (one of which is our adored Amanda). So here it goes….
On our weekday evening, they were offering a 3 glass flight of Rose wines for $7. Who wouldn’t jump on that in the August Atlanta heat!? They were all exceptional and the pours were generous. At the table we started with charcuterie “Grand Platter” that is pictured here. The foie gras spread was finished first but everything was scrumptious (and we needed it after the 3 glasses of Rose!). Next up was fresh oysters as well as a Rockefeller. OMG the selections were a perfect combo of sweet and briny and not too big. I missed out on the Rockefeller but none went back to the kitchen
They have an extensive menu but we were getting full so we shared a few. (No charge for shared plates) The fish special which was a sautéed Yellow Snapper (mine and Marty’s-DELISH), Scallops (Amanda) and Steak Frites. We had a wonderful Chard that worked with everything, even the steak. We all agreed that we ordered VERY well and would do a repeat anytime!
Amazingly, the tab was very reasonable (about $75 each) so off we went to Johnny’s Hideway to dance off some calories and find some trouble
Don’t miss Bistro Niko if you haven’t been and if you have, check out their new offerings soon.