Last week I had an opportunity to enjoy an evening beautifully curated by Kayvon Gerami, President & CEO of Eat Out Atlanta, an Insider Dining Club for people who not only love food but appreciate the passion each chef puts into its preparation. Members receive exclusive access to dinners, tastings, secret menus and events with an emphasis on the experience. This event was arranged by invitation via The Atlanta Food Bloggers’ Society.
The evening included two dining destinations: The Southern Gentleman and Gypsy Kitchen. Both restaurants are located in the new Buckhead Atlanta Development and are among the first to become part of the Eat Out Atlanta initiative. Here’s a look at how our evening progressed:
We gathered first at The Southern Gentleman for cocktails and lite snacks. The decor was refined and charming with a vibrant yet relaxing energy. As soon as we walked in, we couldn’t help but admire the details of the space’s Southern design accented with modern touches.
There were two signature drinks prepared for us to try. The first was the East of Hudson cocktail, an incredibly smooth blend of Bourbon, Sweet Vermouth, Bitters and Smoked Cherry. The second was a Scarlett Belle which my Southern sensibilities can only describe as quite lovely. It’s a blend of Strawberry Infused Vodka, Lemon & Lime juice, Mint and, of course, bubbles.
The snacks were TSG Deviled Eggs (not pictured) and a wonderful bowl of Bourbon Bacon Caramel Corn. The deviled eggs were artfully presented with a cube of egg white as the foundation to a ball of their fried filling perched neatly on top. I’ve mentioned my affinity for bacon previously but never imagined it with popcorn. They’re a match made in Southern heaven.
The next stop of the evening was Gypsy Kitchen, a Spanish inspired restaurant with some Moroccan and Indian flavor. This is where Kayvon took the opportunity to share the benefits of an Eat Out Atlanta membership for both foodies and for the restaurant community.
The objective of EOA is to give dining establishments an option outside of coupons, discounts and freebies and to provide members with a way to discover them through elevated dining experiences. Participating restaurants, like Gypsy Kitchen, have committed to creating curated dining experiences for members in a manner similar to what we would enjoy on this night.
After settling into our places, our journey of tastes began with something to sip on. The Spice Trader, a blend of Housemade Ginger Beer, a little bourbon, honey and lime juice, apricot liqueur and a hint of cayenne, set the bar of expectation high for the tastes to come.
The following is quick look at the dishes we tried with an emphasis on my personal faves.
Let’s start with the Chilled Charred-Steamed Leeks with a classic Spanish Salbitxada Sauce and Leek Ash. This is one vegetable that I don’t ordinarily crave but the way it was prepared here was indeed appetizing. I often find it difficult to appreciate vegetables on menus because they’re typically watered down and tasteless. That was not the case at all in this instance.
When platters of Spanish-Style Toast topped with housemade Marcona Almond “Nutella” and Shaved Chorizo were served, I almost passed on them because I am not a fan of hazelnut flavored anything. Since the night was about exploring cuisine, I decided to open my mind to it for at least a single bite. Next thing I know, I was polishing off my first toast point and circling around for another. It was simply delicious. The pairing of the sweet spread with the delicate spice of the chorizo is a good one.
Also served were Mixed Greens Salads and a dish of moist, tender Moroccan Spiced Lamb Kefta Tangine with egg, tomato and Herbs.
We also nibbled on Chicken Croquetas – a dish traditional to Spain and my second favorite bite of the evening.
There were platters of “Paella” Fried Rice with Shrimp, chorizo and a fried egg, well-seasoned Pan Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Sherry Cream Brussels Sprouts and Leeks and Marcona Almond Tikka Masala Chicken with Cauliflower ‘Couscous’ and Cauliflower Almond Puree.
The Garlic Shrimp with Chorizo was my favorite appetizer. Head-on shrimp is something I’m willing to get used to if it means that I’ll always enjoy the explosion of flavor a dish like this offers.
Our 7 Course experience concluded with Churros and Almond Cake. These two desserts are such opposites but welcome ones nonetheless. The rich, decadence of the chocolate paired with the crisp fried pastry dough was the ending I had hoped for on a night like this. The Almond Cake was gently sweetened making for a lighter finish to our meal.
I truly enjoyed the quality of service and the tastes provided by The Southern Gentleman and Gypsy Kitchen. This singular experience was an impressive introduction to the type of dining options Eat Out Atlanta can facilitate.
Visit the Eat Out Atlanta website for more information on Membership and to explore the restaurants and chefs currently participating.
Disclosure: The appetizers, dinner and cocktails provided by The Southern Gentleman and Gypsy Kitchen were complimentary. I also received a one year membership to the Eat Out Atlanta Insider Dining Club. I was not compensated for this post. All opinions are my own and were not influenced in any way. You can view my full Disclosure Policy here.