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The author dinner series at Restaurant Eugene has consistently combined the refined written word with culinary art. But next week’s event on Monday, November 19, with renowned poet Kevin Young strikes a particularly intuitive tone for those who regard dining as an opportunity to experience something lyrical.
Reservations Required: Atlanta Food Events, Aug. 6-12: Chopped Battle at P&P, wine dinner with Todd Richards, author dinner at Restaurant Eugene
Chopped Battles at Proof and Provision on Tues., Aug. 7, 7 p.m. Chef Zeb Stevenson of Proof & Provision and Livingston Restaurant + Bar will be on Food Network’s Chopped. In the meantime, Chef Andy Thomas of Fig Jam & Chef Andy Gonzales of Steinbeck’s will battle it out live at P&P. Guest judges will be on hand to deliver verdicts.
Reservations Required: Atlanta Food Events, July 23-29, Tomato Prix-Fixe at Haven, Sockeye Salmon Dinner at Canoe, Peg Leg Porker at Fox Bros.
All-You-Can-Eat Pizza at Alon’s in Dunwoody on Mon., July 23 Alon’s Bakery & Market in Dunwoody recently installed a new wood burning pizza oven and now offers weekly all-you-can-eat pizza nights from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. each Monday. The cost is $12 per adult and free for children four and younger.
“Blood, Bones & Butter” by Gabrielle Hamilton is the memoir of the moment—deservedly so. Whatever your feelings about Anthony Bourdain, his hyperbole on the front cover—“Simply the best memoir by a chef ever. Ever.”—isn’t off the mark. She writes about her childhood, fragmented by her parent’s divorce; her run of cooking jobs that led to her own restaurant; and her atypical marriage with close detail and bittersweet (sometimes wonderfully coarse) humor. It’s told through the lens of food, of course, but it isn’t precious. What I love about the book is that Hamilton never veers into the soft-focus, feel-good trap of so many other culinary memoirs. Food is often a human comfort, but memoirs about cooking and eating are tiresome when they attempt succor without truthful storytelling. Hamilton, who earned an M.F.A. in writing at the University of Michigan, can also craft lovely prose. Describing the ravioli her Italian husband-to-be made for her soon after they met, she says, “They were small and delicate and a beautiful yellow from the yolks in the pasta dough and you could see the herbs and the ricotta through the dough, like a woman behind a shower curtain.”
Among the forty-four dishes listed on an April menu at Restaurant Eugene, my eyes came to rest on a description that roused my curiosity: "Roasted shad roe, onion puree, lime pickle butter.” An uninitiated tablemate cocked his head quizzically when this plate arrived at the table. No way around it: Shad roe is one of nature’s uglier handiworks. A lobe of tiny eggs from the notoriously bony shad fish that runs briefly through the mid-Atlantic rivers in spring, the roe looks like a bloody horror-flick prop when raw and turns an unappealing gray when cooked. Yet this fleeting prize is sublime in flavor, offering a mild but hardscrabble pungency that suggests freezing water, upstream struggle, and the funkier nuances of caviar. Matching it with lime pickle butter tamed its feral qualities and evoked two distinct cuisines: Pickles are a staple in the South, but the triple hit of brine, heat, and citrus tasted undeniably of an Indian condiment. What an ingenious collaboration.