Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Why not fine dining in Andersonville?

Posted By on 06.13.12 at 02:50 PM

honeydew spheres strewn with baby cucumbers, arugula, and candied peanuts
  • Andrea Bauer
  • Honeydew spheres strewn with baby cucumbers, arugula, and candied peanuts
In this week's Food & Drink, Mike Sula reviews Premise, where chef Brian Runge, formerly of Graham Elliot, has introduced a seasonal menu of modernist cuisine without the egoistic self-references. Here you'll find lots of fish—a crispy bass fillet or a refined presentation of mackerel, of all things—and dishes like seared spring lamb loin, "silky and perfectly rare slices that spent some time in the water circulator, dressed with tahini and a spicy Greek yogurt sauce, and accompanied by charred zucchini batons." Prix fixe options are also available, among them a $100 three-course dinner for two with complimentary wine pairings on Wednesdays. Those pining for the more casual fare of In Fine Spirits can turn to the "neighborhood menu," inexpensive small plates including fried green tomatoes, octopus salad, and charcuterie. And upstairs in the salon bar, bartender Luke LeFiles, formerly of Hot Chocolate, is presiding over a cocktail lounge Sula likens to the Aviary's subterranean Office, "but with better drinks and none of the exclusivity."

In this week's Key Ingredient, the Bluebird's Dave Ford puts a fruity twist on fish, using roasted strawberries and rhubarb to complement seared sturgeon he paired with farmers' market spinach and fried green garlic. Next up is Ian Rossman, sous chef at Dale Levitski's Frog N Snail, challenged with cattails, called by some the best of edible wild plants. Ford, who ate them while growing up in Nebraska, says they taste surprisingly like corn.

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