Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Another Awesome Neighborhood Joint: H. Harper Station

The Fox Confessor

Reynoldstown is a small neighborhood just south of Little 5 Points, and it now also happens to be my neighborhood. I spent my entire childhood in the suburbs of Atlanta, a short 20 minute drive from the city, but never knew that Atlanta had these amazing unique communities all over the city.
Reynoldstown began as a community of freed slaves after the Civil War, who worked for the railroad. The neighborhood is named after Madison and Sarah Reynolds, one of the first families to settle in the area. The community has deep, southern roots and the residents are proud to be a part of such a rich, historical district.
Reynoldstown suffered alongside the decline of the railroads in the 1950s, but currently it is undergoing a revival. Old homes, like mine, are being repaired and loved, and best yet, great businesses are moving in. There's Wonderroot, a local arts co-operative, and there's hope of Eye-Drum coming, as well. It is also the home of the Trees Atlanta amazingly eco-friendly headquarters.
About a month ago, H. Harper Station opened on Memorial Drive. H. Harper Station is the newest venture from Lush Life Group: Chef Duane Nutter, Reginald Washington and Mixologist Jerry Slater. The old train depot has been respectfully re-fitted with moody lighting, heavy oak and deep comfy booths. The menu is full of local southern comfort food, and there are over 40 signature cocktails.
Some of my favorites on the cocktail menu are: the Amulet, which is Hendrick's Gin, Apricot Brandy, Dolin Dry, Grapefruit and Pernod Absinthe; the Fox Confessor, which is Karlsson's Gold, Muscadine Shrub, Black Pepper Syrup and Peychaud's Bitters; and the Calexico, which is Don Diego Reposado, Pineapple, Jalepeno Syrup, and Aztec Chocolate Bitters. Every drink I have tasted has complex flavor; combining sweet, bitter, sour and fragrant notes together in a clever way.
On the food menu, I'm always a fan of cheese, and I love that their cheese board is from Georgia. We have wonderful local producers of cheese and it's great to see someone showcasing the delicious dairy products. I also enjoyed the country ham plate on the starter menu. My favorite entree has been the pork belly with crawfish over creamy grits. It's not so much bacon that you feel ill after eating it, and the crawfish are wonderfully saucy over the starchy grits. My family loves the burger, which comes with a huge helping of crisp tater tots.
If Reynoldstown is undergoing a revival, H. Harper Station is just the sort of congregationalist that I am hoping we will draw.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Pacci's Caesar of a Different Color

One of the great things about food blogging in Atlanta is the amazing Atlanta Food Bloggers Alliance. There is something really lovely about the camaraderie that exists between people who have true passion about food. Yesterday, I was able to join the AFBA at Pacci.
Pacci is run by Executive Chef Kiera Moritz. She has a simple, straight-forward approach to classic Italian cuisine, stating that there are rarely more than 5 ingredients on a plate which leaves her kitchen. While simple, the dishes we tasted were fresh, and flavorful. We started with a Grilled Caesar Salad (pictured above,) followed by Strozzapreti (gnocchi,) and finished with Brown Butter Pear Crespelle (the Italian version of Crepes.) It was a pleasure to watch chef and her team work in harmony to prepare each dish.

Pacci was very generous and shared with us their recipes for the dishes we tasted. I have posted the Grilled Caesar here, because it was my favorite. I really love the char taste from the grill with the amazingly fresh Caesar dressing.

Pacci's Grilled Caesar Salad



1 Coddled Egg (An egg that has been placed in boiling water for exactly 1 minute)
1 Clove Garlic, Chopped Finely
8 Anchovy Fillets, Chopped
1-1/2 Tablespoons of Worchestershire Sauce
1 Teaspoon of Dijon Mustard
Juice of 1 Lemon
1/3 Cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and Fresh Black Pepper to Taste


In a bowl, mash the garlic with a fork or pestle. Add in the anchovy, Worchestershire, mustard, lemon and egg. Stir until completely incorporated. With a whisk, whip the mix while adding in a slow, steady stream the olive oil. The dressing should have a creamy consistency. Add salt and pepper to your taste.

To Prepare Salad:

Slice Romaine heads into halves, and place on grill or broil on high until the edges have a light char. Drizzle dressing across, add shaved Parmesan and croutons and you are ready to dig in!