Thursday, February 2nd, 2012
After a busy week of work and travel a casual dinner close to home was just what the doctor ordered. It had been a coon’s age since I’d eaten at Two Urban Licks. With so many new trendy spots opening each month, revisiting old favorites often ends up on the back burner.
LC and I walked into the dimly lit restaurant, which is cozy despite its cavernous interior, and took up residence at the first bar. We lucked out, as a cool little band was playing in the corner. The huge rotating rotisserie remains the focal point of the space, centrally located in the open kitchen.
Two is where chef Scott Serpas sharpened his skills prior to opening Serpas, one of Atlanta’s best restaurants. In fact, his signature salmon chips and lamb lollipops remain menu favorites.
I started off with a glass of red wine poured from one of their 42 stainless steel barrels, an ingenious one-of-a-kind gravity flow system. We proceeded to order several appetizers to share….the salmon chips, shaved calamari, black bean soup, and tacos.
The first dish to arrive was the salmon chips, four big potato chips each topped with short smoked salmon, chipotle cream cheese, capers, and red onions. I’ve eaten these many times and remember them being much better. On this visit, an overabundance of salmon, which tasted fishy, made the chips soggy. None of the other ingredients stood out resulting in a disappointing start.
The shaved calamari followed. A respectable yet standard fried version drizzled with a sweet a spicy sauce and wasabi cream. Black bean soup, garnished with a bit of cotija cheese, cilantro and jalalpeno creme fraiche was soothing and flavorful, but not very photogenic.
However, my favorite small plate was the tacos filled with tender Korean BBQ beef, crunchy kimchi, jack cheese, and cilantro. Only complaint is they sat in a puddle of juice, causing the crispy shells to become instantly soggy.
A few small plates leaves room for dessert! I couldn’t pass up the bread pudding, although it is described as “white chocolate cranberry”. I have no love for white chocolate, an oxymoron for a product made from cocoa butter, sugar, milk solids, and vanilla, lacking the part of the cocoa bean called the nib that gives chocolate its flavor. So it is not chocolate.
However, I had it on good authority that the stuff was undetectable in this dessert. The bread pudding was luscious and perfectly paired with excellent brown sugar ice cream that sat upon a mound of chocolate cookie crumbs for a textural extravaganza of crunchy, creamy, chewy deliciousness. We licked the plate.
820 Ralph McGill Blvd. 404-522-4622