It’s been a while since Katie and I have been on an actual sit down date night. We tend to visit the bars of restaurants, maybe just for a night cap, or perhaps an appetizer or dessert. As I was trying to figure out what we wanted to get into on our Friday evening, the chef of Kyma sent out a tweet with some specials for the evening, and my plans materialized. Seriously, social media has advantages for businesses and consumers alike.
The first thing everyone notices upon walking in is the prominent ice display of fish, crabs, and live lobsters, the latter wiggling their antennae every so often, stuck in a partially frozen state of animation. Poor guys. They can see the door but never quite make it there.
Service is friendly and impeccable, as I find to be the case at all Buckhead Life restaurants. We were given plenty of time to select from the large menu, which has many vegetarian and vegan options, one of the reasons we decided to go there. Kyma is also a great place for Katie to try fish, as she will eat it on occasion. As a rule, she likes mild, clean, white fish. It helps if it’s expensive. It cracks me up when she says to people, “I loved the fish at Le Bernardin!”
We sampled some spreads and a baby beet mezza. Really nice all around – colorful and inviting with contrasting components of acid and creaminess.
Zucchini fritters are silly good. Light enough to inhale, with just enough creamy cheese, and a soft tempura-like batter. They’re served with a zippy saffron and feta yogurt.
I ordered two seasonable appetizer specials as my main. I’d heard of shad roe, but I had not tried it, hence my intrigue. The lobe of eggs was larger than expected, a dense portion of what must be tens of thousand of tiny, mildly briny eggs, with a flavor somewhere between salmon eggs and chicken liver, if that makes sense. Brown butter, asparagus, pea shoots, salsify (hip root vegetable du jour), and a few other elements add some liveliness. I’d order it again to share.
The other special were soft shell crabs, which I love when they are fresh. Now is the time to strike if you are into them. Cucina Asellina has them on special, as does Aqua Blue. I’m told that South City Kitchen will have them soon, and JCT is going to have soft shell crab related “festivities”, with a different preparation every day.
But I do highly recommend the version from Kyma. So excellent. I believe both specials were $13 each, which combined ended up being less than most entrees, and I couldn’t finish everything.
Other comments – We also had a chocolate cake and ice cream, of which I had one bite. And it’s cool to see them embrace such an extensive list of Greek wines, but I’ve yet to try one I really enjoy – last night’s white wine was not an exception.
We swung by the newly opened STG Trattoria on the way home. It’s right next to the St. Regis, tucked away in the back of the shopping center, not easily seen from the road at night. I tried to look up the address on their website, but the whole thing was done in flash so the website is a blank white screen if you try to pull it up on an iPhone. Luckily that device seems to be on the way out.
I like the space, it has a regal bacchanal feel, with a large u-shaped double-sided bar in the center of the room, adjacent to the kitchen where one can easily see the pizzaiolos (recognizable by their red scarves) as they fire pie after pie in the large Acunto ovens.
We were full, and while many menu items were enticing, we just ordered a Margherita pizza. The “Amaro bar” isn’t complete yet, but I was invited by Kristine Lassor (formerly of Abattoir, and wife of chef Josh Hopkins) to peruse the liquor they did have, so I simply had a High West rye. I wasn’t sure if Kristine would be working with STG, and I’m glad she is – Kristine is very friendly and knowledgeable.
So – here’s the pie. I was quite happy with it, especially as I like a fair amount of sauce. And it was cooked with just the right amount of ‘leopard spotting’, as the pizza geeks say. Tasty cheese, thin crust, with a nice and chewy cornicione. I could nit pick and find fault, but seriously, no one is going to be complaining.
The Obligatory ‘up-skirt’ shot, which shows more even spotting and what I call “speed holes”.
I hope the pastas are of as high of standards as this pie. I’ve been saying for years that I want a place nearby that does high quality pizza and pasta. STG appears to have the pedigree and potential to fulfill that promise, and with an Amaro bar looming, no less.