Omnivore - Here and there August 05 2010

I'm sure you've noticed that a lot of restaurants are offering recession-fighting prix fixe menus these days.

I'm a sucker for them much of the time. These menus usually tempt diners by offering them an extra course, usually dessert, basically for free. If you stick with just ordering an appetizer and an entree from the regular menu, nine times out of 10, you'll end up spending about the same amount of money — sometimes less — and getting a better range of choices. And, of course, if you just ordered an entree, you'd save even more money.

Oh well. We visited The Shed at Glenwood recently and both of us ordered the $24 prix fixe menu, mainly because we wanted the restaurant's excellent profiteroles made with Valrhona chocolate sauce and espresso ice cream. The rest of our meal was great, too: a pan-seared, free-range chicken breast with butternut squash for me and (cod)fish 'n' chips for Wayne.

The restaurant posts its special menu on its website daily....

I returned to La Pietra Cucina with friends last week and, as usual, had a phenomenal meal. I ordered the short ribs, but this amazing snapper with caponata and a creamy tomato sauce (left) also made its way to the table.

A dish of brussel sprouts with butternut squash puree and gnocchi (below) was, hands down, the best treatment of the vegetable I've ever encountered....

Note to Publix: Find a new supplier of Fuji apples. Kroger's are about 10 times better than yours. While you're at it, put cherries back in your nuts and dried fruit bins....

Flip is open! Everywhere I go, people are taking bets about how long Richard Blais will remain at the restaurant. His technical title is "creative director," so I'm not sure we're even supposed to expect him to remain there as chef....

I had probably the worst meal and service I've had in years at a new Buckhead restaurant last week. We're talking entree side dishes served literally in little butter cups and service so bad that my annoyance turned into resigned embarassment. You'll have to wait for next week's Grazing column to learn the identity.

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