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The place to eat in Atlanta -- Canoe

TeknoFin Aug 4, 2009 06:55 PM

This weekend Gabriele and I were in Atlanta, and had the chance to visit one of our favorite restaurants. On Sunday night we had dinner at Canoe, a fantastic place we first visited in 2006 and had a very special meal with our friends Amanda and Russell.

Often a place where you’ve had a special meal can’t quite match your memories the second time around. There’s no place to go but down, in a way. Thankfully, that was not the case with Canoe.

We got there on the late side and decided to eat in the quiet bar area. At good restaurants you can usually do this and still get good service, and that’s what we got Sunday night. Tammy the bartender was also a super waitress, and had a lot of passion for the menu and the wine selection.

Canoe lets you order half glasses of whatever they pour by the glass, and their wine list is large. So we were able to have a lot of fun sampling various bottles to decide on the right wine with the meal. We had:

* Mongeard-Mugneret Bourgogne 2006 — A French burgundy started us off. It was light in color and body, on the mild side with very little of the funky, earthy flavor of some burgundies. It was a nice Pinot with a tart finish but not very impressive.

* Chateau Bellevue-Peychaneau Bordeaux, 2005 — This Bordeaux throws you a bit of a curve ball. It has a beautiful, big bouquet that leads to a very thin, mild wine. There’s nothing wrong with this wine but it’s almost not there, nothing memorable at all.

* Grenache Blend, Acoustic Montsant 2005 — This was a very interesting Spanish wine with lots of flavor. It was strong and almost thick in texture, delicious but definitely not right with any kind of subtle dish. It would be super with seasoned steak or chops.

* Anne Amie Pinot Noir 2006 — From Willamette Valley in Oregon, this Pinot had a bright, fresh bouquet. It tasted the same, very nice fruit and flavorable but also a little simple and straight-forward.

* Etude Estate Pinot Noir 2006 — This one was the winner of the evening. Bigger and deeper that the average Pinot, with excellent fruit. Lots of descriptions talk about black cherry and currants — with this wine you really taste them. Just a great tasting wine without being too big or powerful for food.

And oh what food! The smoked salmon came riding on crispy potato cakes along with traditional items. Tomatoes carpaccio were amazingly fresh and delicious, and the George’s Bank scallops were perfectly prepared and paired with a leek and bacon risotto. But maybe my favorite was the ruby red and golden beet salad, which came out looking like a fruit tart, riding on a bed of goat cheese.

The setting is beautiful inside and out, with a large patio and a garden right up against the Chattahoochee river. The next time you’re in Atlanta, check out Canoe — and tell them you read about them here!