I’m not a fancy eater. Food — good food — doesn’t have to be fancy. You’d seldom see fine dining reviews on this blog. I’d rather eat everyday-food like Korean, Japanese ramen, Mexican tacos, or pho where I can stretch out 2-3 meals for the price of one meal I’d pay at a fine dining venue. But I do go to such places once in a while when I want to (dress up) and have a really nice meal. Yesterday, I was invited to a 4-course lunch prepared by Chef Linton Hopkins. The price tag was $20. Now, who would be crazy enough to turn down such an offer, right? Not only that, a chance to dine and converse with famed Chef David Tanis of Chez Panisse was included in the price tag.
Before I forget. Chef David is such a personable character. He talked a lot about the importance of meals and dining and how traditions are built on them. I could not agree more. My mom cooked three (sometimes four when 3PM snacks are included) from-scratch meals for us everyday while growing up. Meals were eaten as a family. Our Sunday afternoons were spent at grandparents’ house where the entire clan congregates for supper. Traditions. He also “chastised” me (as Jimmy puts it), for not cooking more at home. Well, I ate a lot of home-cooked meals growing up so I’m just making up for lost time, no?
Anyway. My $20 Restaurant Eugene meal started with some deviled eggs, duck terrine, and pickled okra. They were all good. The pickled okra had a lot of crunch and wasn’t slimy at all. Then came bread. I forgot all about the chatter around me when the bread box was placed in front of me. With fresh butter. After I came back to my senses, a bowl of beautiful, fresh-from-the-farm, sautéed winter veggies came around: baby carrots, cippolini onions, turnips, cauliflower. Next came a beet salad with tangerines and radishes which I really enjoyed. Lots of textures in a tangy-sweet background. There was also a plate of romaine lettuce salad that I never got around to (*smile*). Fine, it was a waste of precious stomach space so I didn’t touch it. There was also pimiento cheese and crackers, a staple at H&F. I’ve always loved their pimiento cheese because of the coarser texture. My mom makes a homemade version that’s creamier in texture.
The main course consisted of range-free roasted chicken. It was delicious. Period. The fresh black-eyed peas with crispy bacon was phenomenal. They were tender but still had enough bite. There was this simple cabbage dish that was also excellent. It was savory with the apples lending some sweetness to the dish.
Last was the Molasses Pecan Squares. Chef David says it was the best version he’s ever had. Recipe is on page 162 from his book if you’re interested. (Tami, are you listening? I’m goading the lovely Tami to call me when she makes them.) These pecan squares were awesome. It was moist and chewy — the consistency of cake but with the outer layer of a cookie. I’m not a big dessert fan (I would rather eat bread for dessert) but I finished a big square of it. Did you know? This would have been more awesome if there were chocolate chips in them. Just saying.
So there. That was the best meal $20 can buy. Be sure to check out Savory Exposure if you’d like to see more amazing pictures.
2277 Peachtree Rd NE
Atlanta, GA 30309
Holeman & Finch Public House
2277 Peachtree Rd NE Ste B
Atlanta, GA 30309