Chez Madeleine

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


Saturday night was a girls' dinner night. Give us wine and appetizers, and a loud bustling dining room, and we'll be happy. We chose to eat at Feast, which I had heard about from a few friends. It was local, new, convenient to Decatur, and I liked the name. I cursed them for using it first.

Feast was a sight for the eyes and the tummy. The atmosphere is decadent and draped and dimly lit. There is a heavy curtained room in the corner that reminded me of a bed from medieval times or Harry Potter.


Marietta and I met Emily at the bar, and we were quickly shown to our table which had a great view of the wood-burning oven. Sarah joined quickly thereafter and we started with a great Cote de Rhone for $20. This was Feast's first win- 20 wines for $20. Madi had checked the menu first and had pre-selected our appetizer-a trio of dips: Lemon artichoke pesto, coal roasted eggplant, and herbed goat cheese.


The goat cheese was fluffy and flecked with chives and basil. It had been scooped with an ice cream scooper. My personal favorite was the pesto-which was lemony and oily. Its tartness was the perfect addition to the grilled pita. My least favorite was the eggplant which was unattractive (brown, mushy), flavorless (needed tons of garlic), and cold, rather than room-temperature.

As we munched on our trio, our waiter, who was quite attentive at first, took our order. Marietta had the special--she was after my own heart-ordering the special--Sea bass seared with balsamic reduction over lemon risotto with a shrimp and mushroom ragu. I eyed the wood-burning oven and chose the wild mushroom, gorgonzola, walnut & rosemary pizza. Emily had yellow tomato gazpacho and fried artichokes.


Marietta's entree was by far the best. The sweetness of the carmelized balsamic was the perfect match for the tart risotto underneath. I could've done without the ragu. Emily's gazpacho was smooth rather than her preferred chunky, and her artichokes were delicious-who doesn't love a fried artichoke? My biggest disappointment was my pizza. Was the wood-burning oven a prop? My pizza looked like boboli-perfectly round, no lines or bubbles from the oven. The gorgonzola searched in vain for a flavor to match it. Nothing could stand up to the powerful cheese, and as a result, the mushrooms and walnuts fell flat except for texture. The cheese was too strong and my pizza went uneaten.

By this point, dizzy with wine, we ordered dessert. Feast gets most of their desserts from Southern Sweets-a local bakery, and the same one where my birthday cake (raspberry red velvet) was from. We shared one slice of cherry pie-perfectly tart. The crust was flaky and crisp. One last note about Feast. It uses paper napkins....can you feast with paper napkins?


In the end, I suggest that you go to Feast with three things in mind: the affordable wine list, inventive specials, and fabulous desserts. You won't be disappointed.


Blogger Srikanth said...

I am glad you ladies had fun whilst we were out celebrating the fleeting bachelorhood of Mr Dollacker.


3:05 PM  

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