Cheers!! I have some exciting news to share!!
Last week, I accomplished something I’ve been working on for the past year.
I made my final payment on my student loans! This is something I’ve been working on paying for the last 11 months. I buckled down and paid them as quickly as I could (which was no small feat on a classical musician’s salary, ha!), and it feels so. so. good. to be finished!
To celebrate, Nate and I got dinner at Emmer & Rye, an American farm-to-table restaurant on Rainey Street. Bon Appetit called it one of America’s best new restaurants of 2016, and Food and Wine named Emmer & Rye’s chef Kevin Fink the best new chef of 2016. Sooo, I’d say we had enough of a reason to try it out!
We walked in without a reservation and lucked out on the last two spots at the chefs counter, overlooking the busy kitchen. That’s my favorite place to sit in a restaurant because I get to see the action, smell the food, and check out how the dishes are being made!
Cocktails to start, because we’re celebrating!!
|Army Navy: Gin, Pecan Orgeat, Lemon|
And bubbles for me! Nothing says “special occasion” like a glass of bubbly!
|Macabeo/Xarello/Parellada, Mercat, Cava Brut, Penedes, Spain|
Emmer & Rye is a small plates restaurant, so we picked a few dishes to start and added more as we needed. One of the coolest things about this place is that they don’t only make their own bread and pasta…they mill their own flour, too!
Ok, get ready. This next dish gets its own paragraph. If I could give it its own website, I would. This Cacio e Pepe (translating to cheese and pepper, for this who are rusty on their foreign language skills like this girl..) was so simple and so perfect. After I took a bite, I’m pretty sure I told Nate that our engagement is off because I need to marry this pasta. I’m not exaggerating when I say it’s one of the most delicious things I’ve ever tasted. I wanted to order 4 more servings right then and there.
The homemade pasta was perfectly chewy, and the Challerhocker cheese (which, according to our waiter, is a hard cheese from Switzerland with a nutty, caramel-y, salty flavor) gave off a slightly sour, creamy, salty, stunning flavored that was perfectly cut through by the bitter dandelion greens.
Emmer & Rye changes their menu based on what’s available, but it’s no shocker that this dish has been one of the few that’s been around since the restaurant’s opening.
Ok, I’m done now.
|Blue Beard Cacio e Pepe, Challerhocker, Dandelion Greens|
Wine with dinner! Just taking a quick little taste to pick one…
Something really fun about Emmer & Rye is that the restaurant has a dim sum cart that rolls around, stopping at each table to offer plates! We declined the first couple of dishes, but on the third try we picked a couple to try. Like this one:
|Emmer Johnny Cake, Confit Pork, Cheddar, Nuka Radish, Creme Fraiche|
We also picked these GIANT shrimps off the dim sum cart. They were messy and creamy and so, so good!
|Grilled Shrimp, Crispy Potato, Chilli Sauce, Drawn Butter|
The next pasta dish didn’t rock my world in quite the same way as the Cacio e Pepe, but it was still fantastic!
|Oklahoma Winter Wheat Angolotti, Confit Pork, Brassicas, Brodo|
Ahhh! Just enjoying some wine, knowing that I have no more student loans to pay!!
No lie, every single dessert on the menu looked perfect, and it was hard to see all of the delicious desserts leaving the kitchen in the waiters hand, heading toward someone else’s table, and not order every single one. But I was stuffed, so Nate and I topped off the meal with this one:
|Brown Butter Apple Tart, Honeycrisp Apple Compote, Red Fife Strusel, Creme Fraiche|
I hear they do a brunch, which I’m excited to try some day. For now, I’m THRILLED beyond belief to have all of my student loans paid, and I’m thankful for this delicious celebratory meal!