Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Lean In to Lent with Seafood and Vegetarian Specialties

When Mardi Gras’ excess and fast times roll out, Lenten simplicity and fasting wash in. Atlanta restaurants have their ways with seafood and vegetarian dishes to help Lenten diners stay dedicated all the way to Easter dinner (but that’s another story).
 In Town5Church Atlanta pleases with Midtown lunch and dinner options such as appetizers of ahi tuna poke, charred octopus or butternut squash agnolotti. Lenten lunchers can bite into a crispy beet burger while the dinner crowd can savor a hearth-roasted whole fish. For dessert, save room for the Triple Scoop. Those forgoing meat for Lent can indulge on an elegant dinner of butter-braised lobster with truffle potatoes and broccoli mousseline presented with impeccable service at Aria in Buckhead. At Atkins Park Restaurant & Bar in Virginia-Highland, catch cornbread-crusted Georgia trout, mashed potatoes, green beans and bourbon brown butter apples on the lunch and dinner menus. Weekend brunch throws in fried green tomato Benedict and a vegetarian skillet. Bank on The Federal in Midtown for a satiating lunch or dinner appetizer of chopped chicken liver, toast and cornichons. Midday, make the main thing a veggie grilled sandwich. Come dinnertime, latch onto whole loup de mer with chickpea pancake, fennel, olives, saffron yogurt and bee pollen. Mom would be proud of the HOBNOB Neighborhood Tavern Super Food Plate, assembling a very veggie family of Mother Nature salad, fried green tomatoes and sautéed seasonal vegetables for a Midtown dinner. Jefe’s Tacos & Tequila heats up lots of Lenten “Ole!” in Brookhaven with seafood tacos filled with crispy calamari or “Baja fish” with slaw, pico de gallo, guac and serrano tartar sauce; Margarita shrimp tacos with green chili grits, cotija and picante and more. Order a couple of the same or go crazy and order a basket of several varieties.
On Atlanta’s Westside, harvest a veggie bowl at Ormsby's for the garden goodness of butternut squash risotto, asparagus, roasted red peppers and beurre blanc. Lenten diners can stay the course at Revival in Decatur where they’ll find dinner dishes such as local kale salad with apples, charred onion, artisan cheese and boiled dressing and savory Sunday brunch specialties such as cornmeal fried catfish served with smoked cheddar grits, milk gravy and hot sauce or a French-style omelette with soft herb cheese and roasted mushroom jus. OTPIn East Cobb, a stop at Drift Fish House & Oyster Bar at the Avenue East Cobb nets oysters from North American waters and at the Raw Bar, wood-roasted octopus as a starter and those luscious lobster rolls. Stop in for lunch or dinner or a relaxing Sunday brunch. At Seed Kitchen & Bar, white corn grit fritters with jalapeño pepper jelly and Thomasville tome spice up Lenten lunches and dinners. Bay of Fundy salmon with roasted garlic mashed potatoes, melted leeks and truffle vinaigrette fills the bill come dinnertime. At neighboring Stem Wine Bar, choose non-meat small plates like Gulf shrimp al ajillo with garlic, chili, parsley, lemon and extra virgin olive oil and Spanish octopus braised in red wine with fava beans, Fresno chili and spring onion vinaigrette. Multiple LocationsMarlow’s Tavern offers seafood selections to please any appetite including “AB Style” Firecracker Shrimp with Tempura Fried Shrimp, Red Bell Peppers, Pepperoncini, Sweet Chili and Cracklin’ Spicy Sauce and Crispy Pan Roasted Rainbow Trout, with Sauteed Farro, Tiny Green Beans, Parsnip, Buerre Blanc and Apple Shallot Gastrique. Items available at all locations.
Willy’s Mexicana Grill wraps up burritos to please, and tofu steps in perfectly when meat is off your list for Lent. Or, ask for Willy’s salad topped with black beans, pico de gallo, black olives, cucumbers, roasted red peppers and jack cheese. All locations. While fish fries are popular on Fridays during Lent, Taco Mac locations turn out beer-battered fish tacos daily that are plump with SweetWater 420 beer-battered North Atlantic cod, ancho chili aioli, house-made slaw and mango pico de gallo. Is that much fun allowed in a meal?

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