If I was thinking properly, I would have played the lottery last Thursday since I had such winning luck.  But honestly, I was perfectly content with scoring two reservations for last weekends Staplehouse dinner.  If you recall, I wrote a post here about my first visit to Staplehouse and how achieving a reservation is literally about who can respond to their invitations the fastest.

Well last Thursday I responded pretty quickly.  So fast in fact, Jen (the chef's wife), was shocked when I replied asking for a reservation since she hadn't even sent out the invitation yet.  I can't reveal my secrets of how I knew so quickly 1.) so then maybe it will work for me again 2.) because there really was no method. Just the right place, right time and extreme luck!

When I added Staplehouse dinner to our weekend agenda, the husband was impressed and looking forward to it, but after first eagerly reminding me that I am obsessed.  He didn't tell me anything I didn't already know. Once you get a look at the photos below (cellphone quality but still mouthwatering) you will get an idea of why.
First Course

The fruit salad was delightful.  Cantaloupe, prosciutto, figs, blueberries, Parmesan cheese and purple basil. I've never seen purple basil and I would have never thought of this combo.  But a forkful of the basil, blueberry and prosciutto was so flavorful, I helped myself to the remnants of the husbands plate since he doesn't eat pork.
Second Course
Next up was the Staplehouse version of a grilled cheese...with peaches!! Whole grain mustard and Peaches! The lightly buttered bread, creamy soft cheese and fresh peaches was an excellent balance of the different flavors.

Third Course
After 1/2 a sandwich, I could feel my little tummy expanding but my taste buds were alive with anticipation.  Carbonara with housemade pasta and big, meaty chantrelle mushrooms.  I love homemade pasta although I have never attempted it in my kitchen.  It needs to be my next mission because I can definitely taste the difference. Although there were many bites of flavors I enjoyed throughout the meal, this was my favorite course.  You can't blame a girl for loving good pasta.
Fourth Course
Technically, the fourth course was the "main" course. Duck meatballs served on a bed of lentils with housemade tomato marmalade. They served this dish during a previous dinner so I had seen a picture of this dish on the website and thought it looked appetizing.  Looks didn't disappoint.  The marmalade was spectacular.  Spicy and sweet and beautifully paired with the meatballs.  An extremely close runner up to my favorite course of the evening.
Fifth Course
And last but certainly not least, Mr. Foodie's favorite course, the dessert.  Shortbread cookies with chocolate ganache drizzled with salted caramel sauce, pecans and sea salt. The chocolate was a little much for me but the cookie and the caramel were divine.  We were served such a huge portions that we were able to take the leftovers home.  The husband devoured some that night and the remaining cookies Monday morning.  He has declared this the best dessert he has ever had.  And has assigned me the task of learning how to make it.
But I think I will leave that up to Staplehouse.  Ryan and Jen are doing such a fantastic job as is.

Follow them here to try and get in on one of these dinners. They also have some better pics of the food
Oh and stay tuned for the opening of their restaurant!


Miller Union

Two years.  This restaurant has been open for two years.  And the first time I went was last Thursday night.  I am very disappointed in myself for continually putting this place on the back burner because it has been on my list since the first time I read about it.  TWO years ago. 

So judging from my self-imposed angst, can you tell that the food was not just good, but excellent? I really should not have waited so long.  But it is worth all the hype and rave reviews.  I went with my dinner club but now I can't wait to go back with the Husband.

Miller Union is again located in the Westside neighborhood of Atlanta but on an street that still feels industrial and with minimal life.  You kind of feel like you're in the meat packing district of NY. Although my reference to that is only based on episodes of Sex in the City.  The restaurant evokes warm feelings drawing on clean lines and wood details.  The food is known for the chef's use of fresh and locally grown veggies which are evident in every bite you take. 

While waiting for my girlfriends to arrive, I ordered a cocktail and struck up a conversation with co-owner, Neal.  Being very fond of Neal's English accent, I asked him a ton of questions (I can sometimes be known for that but I get it from my Mommy so little hope of that trait changing) and not surprisingly asked him which dish he recommended.  He said the chicken and the duck.  Generally not a fan of ordering chicken while at restaurants, I told him I'd think about it.  

So then I inquired about this appetizer dish that is listed on the 100 things to eat in Atlanta before you die (trying to kill two birds with one stone) and I had read so much about on local blogs; Baked Egg in Celery Cream.  A little doubtful, but of course Neal said it was a must and since it was an appetizer I was open to it.  Now trying to convince my girlfriends to share the appetizer was another thing.  A few of them had their doubts about the restaurant but I begged them to trust me so I didn't want to push them too far.
I convinced them and when the waiter put the dish on the table, he suggested it is best served if you break the yoke up and mix it together.  Then spoon the cream onto the toast.
I really wish I had taken some "after" photos because the bowl was clean. CLEAN I tell you. We asked for more toast and a couple of my girlfriend literally sopped up the rest of the egg cream with the bread. That is how good this dish was.

After being delightfully surprised with this dish, I followed Neal's recommendation and ordered the chicken.  Three of us ordered the chicken.  And we all LOVED it. Although I didn't get some more pics of the food, this was the general consensus of the rest of the meal (got to get better with taking pics using the camera phone if I am going to document the journey more appropriately. Or charge the battery in my camera).  The skin on the chicken was pan seared giving it a nice crunchy exterior but the breast and the thigh were so moist and succulent.  A winner indeed.  A couple of my friends ordered the veggie plate and fell in complete adoration, proclaiming it to be one of the best veggie plates they had had (and one is a vegetarian so that's big).

The food at Miller Union is Excellent.  The staff (waiters and Neal included) were friendly, knowledgeable and attentive.  The alcoholic drinks were delicious (Neal made a few concoctions for us that weren't on the menu and I've read that their flavored soda combos are also great).

Bottom line, Mr. & Mrs. Foodie will be back really soon.


Caprese Salad Appetizer

This dish literally screams Summertime to me.
Firm bite sized tomatoes with the perfect juicy pop when you bite into them, paired with smooth and cool mozzarella cheese and a torn pieces of basil to add that little something extra to the flavor combo. 

With a 5 minute prep time, this is perfect for entertaining or just dining alfresco. 

What more can you ask for after getting home from work to help you unwind. 

A glass of white wine of course!  
Sorry this is so short but I'm off to sit on my deck and do just that!