A New Year’s Eve Dinner to Remember


It is officially 2012, and it is officially my birthday.  One more year until the big 3-0.  Yikes!  I also woke up at 3am with the flu.  Happy Birthday to me. Sad smile   Luckily, I wrote this post last night.

I must tell you about our New Year’s Eve dinner because it was amazing!  We went to Empire State South which serves Southern food in Midtown Atlanta.  They had a set menu for New Year’s Eve consisting of four courses.  Within each course, we could choose from four dishes.  Check out the cute yet classy mini-menu!

empire 1

Tyler loves oysters on the half shell, so we ordered half a dozen along with a glass of red wine.  The pour was very generous.  We were very happy.  I am not crazy about oysters, but these were really tasty because they were fresh and chilled to perfection. 

empire 3

We had to order all of our courses at the same time.  I started with the Winter Greens Salad and Tyler ordered the Crudo.  I had never heard of Crudo (I had not heard of many of things on the menu like sweetbread which I will get to soon).  The Crudo included smoked trout, scallops, and red snapper.  My salad had lots of veggies including my favorite…kale!

                  empire 6               empire 7

Each course was elegant and memorable.  They did not serve a ton of food which was nice.  The second course was my favorite.  I ordered the Roulade of Crisp Sweetbread.  Now, I thought that a sweetbread was literally a piece of sweet bread.  Clearly, I was wrong.  The waiter was kind enough not to laugh at me when I asked him to describe the dish.  Anyway, a sweetbread is part of the cow’s throat or neck.  I was apprehensive to order it, but he assured me that Erin (the chef) was the perfect person to try sweetbread from for the first time.  He was right.  The sweetbreads looked like scallops, and they were served with lentils.  Wow!  Tyler tried the local carrots which were out of this world. 

                 empire 8                empire 9

Neither of us were full (I was worried with four courses), so we were excited for the main meal to come.  I tried the Farroto which was made with farro (so hearty), brussels sprouts, more kale, mushrooms, and pecans.  To…die…for!  Tyler had the ribeye which he said was excellent.

                 empire 10               empire 11

To end, we both had the Lemon Custard Cake.  It was served with a slice of grapefruit and orange as well as some black sesame crunch.  If you have never had black sesame crunch, you need to find some.  So yummy!  The lemon cake was okay.  I could taste an herb at the end of each bite, but I could not put my finger on it was…sage, rosemary, thyme?  As it turns out, it was thyme!  Tyler loves the lemon cake from our favorite restaurant in Kansas City called Café Europa.  They are known for the lemon cake, and it is out of this world!

empire 12

All of the flavors from the night were fantastic.  We had a nice time.  It was only 8:00 when were done, so we came home and watched the Hangover Part 2.  It was definitely not as good as the first one, but it was entertaining.  Unfortunately, I did not make it to midnight.  I went to bed at 11:00, but Tyler woke me up at midnight.  I felt so old…oh well!

Yesterday, we woke up at 9:00 which has not happened in years.  We went for a nice walk at Piedmont, and then came home to have a lazy day.  Pure bliss!  It looks like we are going to have another lazy day given that I have zero strength.

Here’s to the new year and the new you!  Cheers!  This is going to be my motto to live by for the year…

stop sign

Have you ever had sweetbread?

Did you make it to midnight this year?


One response »

  1. Happy (belated) birthday Stephanie! Hope you’re feeling better. Your New Year’s eve meal looked amazing. I love when restaurants serve smaller portions. It’s so nice to eat a delicious and full meal and not feel completely stuffed afterwards. I’ve never had sweetbread myself, but I’d like to try it. I did make it to midnight, but not by choice. Fireworks kept me up. 🙂

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