Meat Week Series Continues April 22-28 with ‘Beef Week’
“What is it with this city? I need to write a letter to the Chamber of Commerce.” – Gil Pender in Midnight in Paris
I first learned of “The Meat Week Boucherie Dinner” series when it launched back in February with ‘Wild Game Week’. It turns out, this was a returning series of four-course dinners featuring whole-animal cookery. Intrigued, I waited for the launch of ‘Veal Week’ in late March to see what it was all about. Plus, any excuse for me to enjoy BLT’s famed popovers is always a good idea.
As I exited my car and handed over the keys to the valet, I hurried across the pavement as I was already a few minutes late. By the host stand, my dining companion had waited patiently, and flashed me that familiar smile, which put me at ease. As we continued into the dining room, I instantly felt transported. The wonderful thing about BLT Steak is that it truly has that French appeal that any francophile would appreciate. Soft, yellow-haze lighting, prime people-watching, and a feeling of exclusivity.
The general manager sat us in the center corner table, giving us views of the rest of the dining room, and sneak peaks at the members of government who were dining in the private room. What deals were being brokered and secrets being spilled over a few bottles of Beaujolais Nouveau, we’ll never know. But we certainly had fun dreaming up a story or two.
We had to put our daydreaming (evening dreaming?) aside as our food and wine pairings began to appear, and the evening really took off. Chef Cyrille Holota took inspiration from the word boucherie, the French term for butcher, when developing this dinner series for Atlantans to indulge in. Chef Holota highlights different serving techniques and approaches to incorporate parts of a whole animal into a unique dining experience. The end result was a smart mix of dishes that demonstrated Chef Holota’s true talent and imagination. From an incredibly fresh veal tartar and sautéed veal sweetbread to a succulent veal chop, our meal was finished off with a lemon tart with creme fraiche sorbet – all which transported me back to another (euphoric) place in time.
Tired from the day, yet full of optimism, Chef Cyrille joined us at the table to wax poetic about the meal among other things. With one arm on the table and the other thrust against his cheek, Holota went on to tell us stories of his time in France. How he came to be in Atlanta (by way of Joël), on being a chef, his parents charming château, and other little anecdotes. To be honest, I could have listened to him for hours. He has this peculiar presence, one that is calming and commanding – both at the tables and in the kitchen. I can’t promise that he’ll come out for every table to charm them in the way he does so effortlessly, but I can promise a memorable meal with all the necessary french glamour you’ll need right here in our own southern metropolis.
The Boucherie Dinner series concludes with Beef Week this month, which takes place Sunday, April 22 through Saturday, April 28, 2012 at 7:30 p.m. in the Private Dining Room at BLT Steak Atlanta. Each dinner is $65 per person, with wine pairings by sommelier Dorine Buche available for an additional $30.