The first of a new Atlanta dinner series kicked off April 1 on the edge of Peachtree Road in Buckhead. In Bloom is the brainchild of Seven Lamps’ Chef de Cuisine Conor O’Reilly. The series runs every other Saturday from April 1 through August 19, with five courses highlighting a seasonal ingredient. Wine pairings are optional and Executive Chef Drew Van Leuvan usually begins each dinner with an adorable ingredient-focused amuse-bouche.
Van Leuvan said of the series’ inception, “I asked my staff to come up with new ways we could reach out and celebrate Spring. Guests really aren’t interested in traditional tasting menus as a whole so we have to think outside the box.”
His insight is what makes this series brilliant for both kinds of diners in the Buckhead restaurant. Guests can order this tasting menu while at the same table, more traditional companions can order from the regular menu.
The first dinner was dedicated to the first fruit to ripen each spring: the strawberry. Thanks to a warm winter, Georgia’s strawberries ripened a month early this year and the season is expected to be shorter. They are also much larger this year. (Read: juicier)
Van Leuvan and O’Reilly utilized the fruit that wears its seeds on the outside, using novel techniques and different phases of a strawberry’s life cycle. Beyond choosing a seasonal ingredient, Van leuvan said, “It’s also fun being creative just to be creative.”
The First Menu:
Amuse: Raw green strawberry, Prosecco, and Thai basil “Bomb.”
Course 1: Raw green strawberry, watercress, pickled allium, roasted strawberries, sumac, green strawberry, and honey vinaigrette.
Course 2: Pan roasted halibut, green strawberries and fried farrotto, blood orange reduction, chervil, and strawberry preserve.
Course 3: Wood grilled pork belly with ancho chili and strawberry bbq, cardamom, Lambrusco vinaigrette, shaved green strawberry, and watermelon radish.
Course 4: Wood grilled venison looin with smoked beets, green strawberry jam, roasted strawberry, and coffee crumb celery.
Course 5: Strawberry and mascarpone cheesecake, freeze dried strawberries, dark chocolate, vanilla meringue, and strawberry and black pepper sorbet.
Van Leuvan and O’Reilly have lined up a few guest chefs to enrich the fun. TAP chef Tyler Williams takes on ramps on April 29th. With his style of cooking, this one will be creative visually, texturally and taste-wise. On May 27th, Cooks and Soldiers chef Andy Montsanto takes on artichokes. Another great pairing is tomatoes on June 10th with chef Andrew Brookins from Italian restaurant Portofino.
Seven Lamps 3400 Around Lenox Rd. 404-467-8950 sevenlampsatl.com
Price for five courses $55. Wine pairings $30
Menu available from 5-11 P.M.