Sunday, June 19, 2011

Atlanta Restaurants: Sauced Revisited

When Ria's Bluebird owner, Ria Pell, first opened Sauced in Inman Park, I was charmed by its mid-century vibe, but I hadn't been back in ages. So many good restaurants, so little time, right? Fortunately, I had the perfect excuse to return when I was invited to check out some dishes from new sous chef, Andrew Thomas, most recently of Local Three.

Sauced also boasts its own onsite, organic garden, where they grow ingredients like the mint used in mojitos as well as tomatoes, beans and habanero peppers. We sampled their fresh grown goods and much more, and lucky for us, each course came with a cocktail/wine pairing.

I love a good cocktail, but I need it to strike the balance between not really tasting of liquor and not being cloyingly sweet. The strawberry fizz, with muddled strawberries, basil and mint, was just right. Refreshing and full of summer flavor, it was a perfect accompaniment to a beet and tomato salad served with greek yogurt and pistachios. Beet salads are ubiquitous, but I liked the use of thick yogurt in this version instead of the typical goat cheese.

Beets and 'Maters with Greek Yogurt and Pistachios

The real star of the show, though, was the German Fried Chicken made with Springer Mountain White Meat Schnitzel, Lemon Aioli, Tarragon 3-Bean Salad of Garbanzos, Red Beans and Sweet Sugar Snap Peas. I have been craving fried chicken as of late, and this was just what I needed. Crunchy with a juicy interior, and a heavenly lemon ailoi I could eat by the spoonful, it was total bliss! I will definitely be back for this dish next time the craving strikes!

German Fried Chicken
Apparently Ria's has quite a music scene, too, complete with vinyl bebop and jazz records and $5 flatbreads on Wednesday nights. I took note that there is a tattoo-covered and retro pinup girl styled clientele that you don't see everywhere, but Sauced is still the kind of place anyone can be comfortable, even decidedly ink free unmusically hip gals like me.

You know how great it is when you find a $5 bill in your pocket that you forgot I had? That's kind of how I feel about rediscovering Sauced. It had slipped my mind, but I'm so glad to have found it again!

A few other pics from our meal:

Falafel Kebabs and Dipping Sauces

Eggplant Napoleon, Fra Diavola, Parmesan
Duck Duck Goose with Baby Turnips, Greens and Warm Pecan Vinaigrette
Passion Fruit Mousse, Grasshopper and Chocolate Almond Cake

Sauced on Urbanspoon
*Full disclosure: Although my meal was comped, I always endeavor to offer my unbiased opinion of the experience!



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