Venture Out for Valentine’s Day

Picture this. Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. Neither of you can decide where to go. One wants romance, one wants fun, one wants new, one wants different. What if you could have it all? This Valentine’s Day, four of our Atlanta restaurants will be offering exquisite prix fixe menus, and you are sure to find a favorite among the mix. Take (and taste) an experience that ranges from the cuisines and styles of Greece to authentic French and Italian favorites! You may fall more in love with the food than your date (fair warning).

Here’s the rundown:

Buckhead Diner | 40pp

Alexa, play I Will Always Love You by Whitney Houston. Buckhead Diner will be playing 80s & 90s love hits all night long! What is more classic than an American diner with all the right decor, food, and music? Enjoy three courses from their prix fixe menu, and have a sweet ending by splitting a milkshake or one of the diner’s new menu items, Sticky Toffee Pudding!

 

Pricci | 78pp

Love (and pasta) is all you need. Want to recreate a Lady and the Tramp moment? Now’s your chance. Pick your four courses from over 17 specially curated options. Pricci is the definition of classic, sophisticated romance. Add some wine pairings and you’ll feel like you’re in Italy itself!

 

Bistro Niko | 79pp

Fans of French? Look no further. Bistro Niko is known for its French fare, and it also has the environment to match–a grand ceiling and art from Paris, as if it could get any more romantic. You can choose wines to pair with your four-course meal, but if you want to be bold, branch out and try one of Bistro’s many unique cocktails! There’s also an extensive craft beer list. The perfect option that has something for everyone!

Kyma | 85pp (Vegan/Vegetarian | 59pp)

Kyma has two menus for Valentine’s Day. One caters towards guests with a regular diet, and another is made specifically for vegan/vegetarian only diners. Both menus offer four courses and plenty of options to choose from! You can even choose to add on wine pairings for your meal. Fun fact: Kyma has over 100 selections of Greek wines!

By dining at any of these locations, you’ll surely be both sharing and tasting the love. To make a reservation, call or book online!

 

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What We’re Eating: Mignonette Sauce

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Super fresh oysters need very little accompaniment. That’s why we only serve the freshest oysters in the city with the simplest of sauces. The word “mignonette” stems from the French word “mignon” meaning small and sweet. As if we needed another reason to be charmed by this classic!

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The mix of vinegar and shallots seems like it would be overpowering, but it pairs perfectly with the creamy, briny oysters.

Here’s the basic recipe:
3 parts Red Wine Vinegar (we use high-quality vinegar imported from France)

Black Peppercorns (to taste)

1 part Minced Shallot

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What We’re Drinking: Barrel Aged Cocktails

Bistro Niko’s “Monteleone” is not your average cocktail. In fact, it doesn’t even feel fair to call it just a cocktail. What it is though is bourbon, dry curacao, and sweet vermouth that’s aged in a port barrel anywhere from three to six weeks. When it’s finally ready to enjoy, it’s served over a single ice cube in a low ball glass dashed with Angostura bitters.

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The Monteleone is the brainchild of Manager Tommy Mclaren, who has been with Bistro Niko since its opening in 2009. He’s the kind of guy who’s always pulling bottles down from the bar, urging you to try what he’s creating, and thinking aloud about what he might try next. In short, he’s exactly the kind of guy you want to talk (and taste) cocktails with.

Fascinated by the New Orleans cocktail renaissance of the mid-1800s, Mclaren began with a fixation on the Sazerac. He then he moved on to the Vieux Carre, a lesser-known bourbon and cognac-based drink that was created by the head bartender at you guessed it, The Monteleone Hotel in New Orleans in 1938. His intention was to take the spirit of what was happening then, the intense creativity, the serious devotion to high quality spirits, and translate it into a cocktail that people would enjoy and appreciate today.

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Mclaren has been perfecting the drink for several months. His original vision was a drink that was dark and solid, essentially a dream for serious bourbon drinkers, and the written recipe fully suggests it would be. But, after weeks of turning the barrel and patiently waiting for the first taste, Mclaren found a cocktail that was complex with a balanced sweetness and had bright, underlying notes of ripe citrus. So if you can’t quite put your finger on what’s so surprisingly special about this drink, you’re not alone. It wasn’t until the next batch that Mclaren discovered that the port barrel was responsible for unlocking the complexity of the dry curacao, yielding complex flavors of orange, not one-dimensional sweetness.

McLaren recommends making a large batch (half gallon) of this cocktail for your next party for easy hosting.

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Mclaren recommends making a large batch (half gallon) of this cocktail for your next party for easy hosting.

The Monteleone Cocktail
12 cups Angel’s Envy Bourbon (12 cups)
2 cups Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao (2 cups)
2 cups Dolin Rouge Sweet Vermouth (2 cups)
2 dashes Bitters 18.21 original bitters (add in each glass before serving serving)

Combine first three ingredients and allow to age 3 to 6 weeks.
When ready to serve, add 2 dashes bitters in a lowball glass with one large cube ice and top with the aged drink.

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