Several times over the last couple of years, when I was scrolling through the choices on Open Table, Restaurant Eugene has rolled across the radar. I’d look at the reservation slots, pull up the menu on-line and think, “one day, we’ll go there. Just not tomorrow, or Saturday night.”
Finally, last month, after seeing where Restaurant Eugene ranked (#2) in the Atlanta magazine Summer 2011 article, we decided to pull the trigger and go.
On a Saturday evening, we got a 6:00 pm reservation and headed over, with high expectations. I don’t know if you’ve ever been to a restaurant that managed to be both “white-tablecloth” yet feel comfortable at the same time, but for us such times are few and far between. Prior to ordering, the chef sent out his “favor”.
Have you seen the show Extreme Chef? Where, for the finale, they make the contestants prepare one spoonful of “whatever” to win $10,000? That’s what chef’s favors equate to in my world. Impress me…… This pre-appetizer was a cube of de-constituted melon, in a gelatin like state, with a fried basil leaf and a dollop of ricotta-like cheese. I don’t like melon at all, and this was good. A fried basil leaf? Who’d have thought of that?
Then we went through the menu. Simply divided into three categories, Fish, Vegetable and Meat and Game, running from small plates, at the top, to full entrees, at the bottom.
This salad was excellent. The tomatoes were well-mixed, from both a flavor and color standpoint. The mozzarella – exceptional. The olive oil – citrusy and light and a perfect complement to the fruit and cheese.
For the main course, Jo went with the vegetable plate. The vegetable plate is one of the dishes that people always rave about at Restaurant Eugene. When it came to the table, it was a mix of six to eight market-fresh vegetables in a skillet. Working around the clock, from twelve clock-wise, she testified that every preparation was a winner.
To quote the menu:
Iron Hills Painted Hills Beef Ribeye
rainbow chard, potato dauphine, chanterelle mushrooms, butterbean puree, tomato jam, veal jam.
To quote me:
The beef was spectacular. The potato exceptional. The accompaniments perfectly executed.
I can’t come up with enough words. Without a doubt, this was the best meal that Jo and I have had in the past year. I’d highly recommend this place to anyone. I have recommended it anyone. And everyone. You need to go. We’ll be back.