The understated pale yellow dinning room expertly worked by soft-spoken staffs hardly seemed deserving of a name like Bacchanalia. There was no riotous, boisterous, or drunken festivity to be seen anywhere. The name only became fitting when we dived into the food, in the company of a nicely chilled bottle of rosé, and experienced that wine-drenched orgy in the mouth. Somewhere out there, Bacchus was smiling upon us.
The evening’s feasting actually began with thumb sized cheese puffs. Unfortunately, we gobbled them up so fast they had no chance to pose for the camera.
Next came this dainty little cup of chilled summer squash soup. The consistency was wonderfully thick, but very sippable. Alone, the soup was a bit on the salty side. But when taken with a nice bite of the hot and dense bread, it was quite delicious.
While others at the table were distracted by the various tempting appetizers such as foie gras torchon and sautéed sweatbread, I had no trouble settling on the blue crab fritter for the third time in a row. In a way, this is very unlike me, whose goal in life is to fill limited dining time and stomach space with the most varied foods. In another way, this is exactly me to all those who know me well. Having grown up in Maryland, when it comes to blue crabs, resistance is futile and all cautions are thrown to the wind. I devour with abandon and offer no apologies. In other word, she is no crab nibbler!
What followed was the much anticipated halibut. After almost a year, E still salivates every time she talks about it. What came looked every bit as georgeous as I remembered. The tri-colored cherry tomatos were painstakenly peeled and gently braised to achieve amazing balance between freshness and flavor. Unfortunately, my fork encountered resistance when it came in contact with the beautifully seared halibut. A few extra minutes of cooking turned what was once light and flaky into dense and slightly chewy.
With a name like pink lady, the Georgia native radish had the grace of a princess. It needed very little and was dressed minimally. The feta cubes were very mild and creamy, perfect little pillows for a princess' throne.
A mint panna cotta was served before the dessert course to cleanse the pallate. There were no surprises, just perfect execution. The panna cotta was the right creaminess, sweetness, and freshness from the mint.
Finally, the adorable peach tiramisu. I am not a big fan of marigue, but the softserve shape is a delightful touch. The tiramisu has no Italy in it at all. It is probably better described as a warm fruit triffle. The focus was very much on the ripe Georgia peach. It didn't wow me, but it also didn't leave me feeling heavy after eating the whole thing.