Friday, April 16, 2010

EAV and Morningside eating

I got out to Rosebud with some ladyfriends a couple weeks back… it was the very beginning of patio season, and theirs is a gorgeous one. My entrée of free-form pork ravioli in a smoky, slightly sweet mushroom gravy was too heavy and altogether soft for my tastes, but my friend's duck risotto with sage was bright, earthy, and al dente, just the thing for open-air dining. The real gem of the evening was our appetizer of duck & sweet potato croquettes, served with sharp and creamy goat cheese and a spicy-sweet dipping sauce. I could've eaten a whole meal worth of that. The cocktails I tried, one a gin, ginger, and blueberry cider martini (called a Blue Philly) and one a lavender-infused gin & tonic with a bit of egg white foam (called a Bathtub Gin), both lacked flavor punch but were dangerously smooth and drinkable.

Still in the throes of my Spring patio love affair, I got out to the EARL for lunch -- I'd only ever been there for a) Sunday brunch, and b) ridiculously drank concerts. Don't let the double-plus divey dive-bar part fool you -- the EARL serves better pub fare than most restaurants. My black bean burger was a bit too moist & soft (read: fresh) to stay together in its tender (read: also fresh) bun, but it was so tasty that I didn't mind. I ordered it with their Guacamole Burger toppings (guac, cheddar, & salsa), which were a terrific compliment to the slightly spiced, grill-kissed black bean patty. Their sweet potato fries (which they don't charge extra for as a side) were excellent -- thick-cut, crisp & crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside, and salted -- and the cranberry horseradish sauce that they came with was punchy-hot and more bitter than sweet, which provided an I-can't-believe-more-places-don't-do-this contrast to the flavor of the sweet potatoes. I think I just had a Terrapin Rye, but they've got a full bar (durr, see above re: drank).

In a rare in-EAV-for-the-second-time-in-a-week occurrence, I stopped in at East Atlanta Thai & Sushi (which always seems to be playing Latin music -- I sorta adore cultural schizophrenia) on a Monday night and sampled their dollar sushi menu. It was actually $2 for 2 pieces of selected nigiri or a 6-piece maki, which, despite some technical inconsistencies with the advertisement, is still a great deal. They didn't skimp on the cuts of fish, which were all of perfectly acceptable quality. The salmon was particularly nice, and the spicy tuna roll was non-creamy and sinus-clearing. A few nitpicks: their edamame was a bit undersalted, their wakame salad was a bit over-sesame oil'd, and their sushi rice was overchilled. But if you're in the area and looking for an inexpensive, sushi-laden meal, it's a thing I'd recommend. Bring your best banter -- the chef (who slipped me an extra pair of tuna nigiri, which I love him for) can be boisterous. I didn't have any drinks, but they have a full bar.

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