neighborhood nuggets: tantra

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02.28.2011 by Andrea

I dropped the ball, like the Huskies men basketball team has been doing. Enough said. [It’s okay, I would rather they work out the kinks now, and be ready to go big come tournament time.] The blog got tabled, in the name of busyness, and then all of a sudden I realized that I was reading all of my normal blogs and not keeping up with my own. So, I apologize dear readers, this week will unleash a torrent of posts all of which I do believe are exciting and worthy of a read. To make up for the absence of my posts, I would like to give a shout out to a couple good blogs of late. My friend LV takes a whole new spin in her stay-cation report about midday lunchtime grocery shopping. You will never think of blood oranges in the same way again.

homemade. nom. nom. nom.

Also, my friend EM is residing in Italy [the pictures above and below were swiped from his blog], in a few months I will be hopping the pond to swing through and experience this eating haven. This last post had me drooling. I am hoping to see shots of the local goodies, throughout his tenure over there. [hint, hint]. If you want to see homemade tiramisu, and the freshest cuts from the butcher then peruse his latest entry.

save me some meat.

Enough chit chat, more about my latest eating endeavors. I am packing my bags tonight to head back to Atlanta. I had all intentions of packing my latest favorite road treat in my carry-on tomorrow, however since I was hungry I broke the seal and have already devoured half the canister of my Wasabi & Soy Sauce Almonds. If you haven’t already sampled this salty treat, I highly advise it. I shovel them into my mouth by the handful.

Back to Atlanta, I do believe I am going to be treated to another fun night on the town tomorrow. More to come I am sure. Shameless plug/sidenote if you happen to be in Atlanta next Thursday [Thursday 3/10/11] swing through Ri Ra if you’re wanting to shorn your locks for a great cause. My pal J is going bald to support the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. I do believe that Tabatha Coffey of Tabatha’s Salon Takeover will also be making a guest appearance to aid in “shaving the way to conquer kids’ cancer.” I looped in Ri Ra because I just got to experience the nightlife that is Midtown there the last time I was in Atlanta. However, the restaurant that caught my eye, satisfied my hungry beast of a stomach, and pushed me to a whole new dining experience was Tantra in Buckhead. Upon arrival, in Atlanta, I was informed that I was going to check out this restaurant out with my partner in crime JD, her man friend, and then her co-worker, E.

Being that I am naturally inquisitive admittedly I did Google the restaurant while we were enroute and read some of the patron reviews via Yelp. The reality was that I was still woefully unprepared for what I was going to experience. Immediately upon entering the restaurant the ambiance of the restaurants envelopes you like a warm cocoon. The staff is attentive, and friendly. What knocked my socks off at the beginning were the cocktails. They were exquisite in both presentation and flavors. It reminded me of Tavern Law and Zig Zag [both of Seattle], innovative and tailored to affect the customers sensory cues visually and then of course through taste. Conglomerately it was easy to say that all the signature drinks were a hit. I even deviated from my normal pint of beer to sample each one that was ordered. It was an easy segque to the amuse bouche of the evening the foie gras pate & toasted brioche and I was in small bite heaven. We decided to go for the gusto and order everything that looked tantalizing on the menu. Oysters on the half shell [perfectly shucked], a trio of hummus with warm naan, and the kibbe nayeh pizza which I had never had before but was equally tasty.

Drinks and appetizers should’ve have quelled the average diners appetite but I already had my eye on the prize. I am absolutely the eater who usually carbo-loads and speed eats on the front end and then finds myself middling to halfway hungry come entree time due to all my pre-main course nibblings. I almost always decline desserts because I am stuffed, unless there is a port & cheese involved. That being said, so many entrees looked and sounded so out of the Seattle ordinary, I properly paced myself during the first go-around. If the appetizers were an indicator we all knew that we weren’t going to be disappointed. Dining semi-family style seemed to make the most sense so we ordered the pan roasted Arctic Seabass, grilled Australian Lamb Chop, grilled Ostrich filet, and the White Oak Pastures Strip Steak. Amazing. That word encapsulates everything that is Tantra. I had never sampled ostrich and was wanting to order another entree just for me. The pork chop was tender, hung on the bone and had savory flavor that is unparalleled. And finally the sea bass, it had been a toss up to choose between that and the sea scallops and most assuredly the sea bass was a home run. You would think that we would be stuffed, rolled out of the restaurant akin to Violet from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. But wait there was more, a full bevy of desserts awaited us. My crew snacked on a myriad of scrumptious goodies. I declined to sample the goodies because I [as per usual] was stuffed like a turkey on Thanksgiving. Everyone else gave two thumbs up and rave reviews.

Call me Butterball because I couldn’t fit another thing in my belly that night. I was impressed on a multitude of levels. Executive Chef Terry Dwyer, made a point to meet and greet the diners on a busy Friday night, always a nice touch. The concept works and I wholeheartedly endorse a visit to Tantra to anyone who is in the Buckhead area. In my Georgia rating scale [peaches, naturally] it received 4 out of 5 peaches.

I apologize in the advance for the waterfall of posts that are too come in the next few hours, days, and maybe even week. A step away from blogging has me full of my latest dining adventures!!! Cheers. I will meet you at the next bite.

I’m back and it’s full steam ahead!!! And yes, by the way, the cansister of almonds is now empty!

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