March 7, 2011 at 10:26 am , by Serina Patrick
For my birthday, LC took me to The Iberian Pig in Decatur. My only other visit had been for an Atlanta’s Finest Dining article when me and my companion sampled half the menu. The Spanish inspired tapas and entrees are rich and delicious….a perfect choice for a decadent birthday binge.
Wanting to stick to Spanish red wines, I ordered two different 3 oz. samples, a tempranillo blend and a carmenere, both great paired with the cana de oveja, a ripened sheep’s milk cheese similar to French bucheron, with apricot jam and toasted rustic bread.
Aware of the enormous portions here, we ordered a few tapas to share. Albondigas, meatballs made with wild boar sausage and stuffed with piquillo peppers, Macedonian dates, and roasted tomatoes, are served in a creamy sauce with pimentos and oyster mushrooms. It sounds like too many ingredients competing for your taste buds’ attention, but surprisingly, it works. Although there are only two meatballs, the sauce is heavy with cream.
I wanted to try something new, but it’s hard to resist ordering dishes that are proven winners. Huevos con trufa is just such a dish. A mini casserole holds a huge chunk of slow roasted pork cheek topped with caramelized onions, a poached egg and black truffles. The soft egg yolk coats the fork tender pork, making a decadent spread for more of their fantastic toasted bread, which I accurately guessed is supplied by Holeman and Finch Bread Company.
LC insisted on the manchego mac ‘n’ cheese. I knew how heavy it would be, but what the hell, it is damn good. Made with garganelli pasta twists, the individual dish is baked to form a crispy top that hides the gooey, cheesy pasta beneath it. An extra hour of cardio next week.
Still hoping to try one new dish, we went with the meat “cocas”. A large wafer-thin flatbread topped with serrano ham, arugula, caramelized onions, shaved manchego, pistachio, and olive oil. While we waited for its arrival, I ordered 3 oz. pours of two different Spanish wines. Trying new wines this way is perfect for me….lots of variety with no commitment!
Unlike the other dishes at Iberian Pig, the flatbread was light and airy. Salty ham, crunchy pistachios, sweet caramelized onions, and peppery arugula provided excellent contrasts in flavor and texture.
LC made no secret that it was my birthday so I was expecting a sweet treat from the kitchen. However, I still had my heart set on their trio of housemade gelatos….pistachio, fig and sherry, and dulce di leche. Although creamier and sweeter than gelato should be, I do love the creative flavors.
The gelato was especially good with the churros, fried dough sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon, served with a dark chocolate chili dipping sauce. Our server brought them out with a birthday candle secured to the plate with a dollop of frosting. Crispy on the outside, the churros were remarkably light on the inside. We ate four and took two home, where my birthday celebration continued for several hours.
It was all delicious.
121 Sycamore Street, Decatur 404-371-8800
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.