Restaurant Review – The Spence

The Spence
75 5th St. N.W.
Atlanta, GA 30308
Reservations through Open Table

Our First Restaurant Review.  Yippy!  My husband and I have talked for a long time about starting a blog about restaurant reviews.  We had originally thought about each of us writing a review of a restaurant, kind of East meets West review.  He being the “East” from India and me being the “West” from USA but he is swamped at work so we decided to add it to Food Done Light.

We went to The Spence on our 10th anniversary.  I had decided against a romantic type restaurant in lieu of a flat-out foodie restaurant.  It is what we love so why not celebrate our foodie geekiness.  This is a food centric restaurant.  It is like so many newer restaurants which are loud and more modern in style.  I had put on the reservation that it was our 10th anniversary and we were seated in the back in a corner.  It was a good choice on their part.  We were out-of-the-way to give us a little privacy.

Our waiter, Jeremy, noted that it was our 10th anniversary.  He is the kind of waiter we like.  We are talkers and like to interact.  We love to ask questions about the food and want someone who can give us answers.  We also love a sense of humor. He had just a spark of sarcasm which he mixed with excellent recommendations and perfect attention to detail.  In our minds, that makes an excellent waiter.

I have to admit a huge part of picking The Spence was the fact that it is Richard Blais restaurant.  We have loved him from Top Chef and rooted for him to win.  We had loved the way he would mix good ingredients with just a little bit of gastronomy.  The Spence did not disappoint.

We decided we would eat tapas style, maximum all the different flavors in small bites.  We started with my husband’s choice of dishes, Bone Marrow with raw tuna and a quail egg.  I usually hate bone marrow so I approached this dish with some trepidation.  Jeremy assured me I would like it – that all the flavors would meld together and it would not taste like bone marrow.  Boy was he right.  It was actually quite a delicate dish.  The bone marrow brought a hint of meatiness to the tuna and the quail egg added lovely creaminess.  I have to say the stand out was the bread though.  Holy guacamole!  The bread was fantastic.  It was more of a ciabetta grilled perfectly with a lovely chew and crustiness.  It held up so well to dipping into this creamy wonder.

Fresh taste of the sea with oysters and freeze-dried horseradish pearls.


Are you drooling over this picture? This was our next dish, Oysters & Pearls.  This dish was a perfect mix of the freshest raw ingredients, oysters, mixed with a little gastronomy, freeze-dried horseradish sauce pearls.  These delicate little creatures were sheer heaven.  Light, briny, refreshing with a hint of light spice.  One gulp and it was gone.  More please.

Smoky, creamy fresh Hamachi served with a splash of fried clams, radish and cucumber

FAVORITE! Yes, this one above was my favorite.  Funny it has another component I usually don’t like, Hamachi.  Serve it with some smoked aioli and I am all over it.  Apparently they make their own aioli then cold smoke it.  I so want to try this at home.  It was served with a few pieces of perfectly fried claims. fresh radishes and celery which all combined for the perfect bite.

There was still more – we were little piglets.  Foie Gras terrine served with brioche and peaches.  The foie gras was perfect, the texture was creamy, the flavor was rich and inviting.  My only criticism was the brioche.  I didn’t think it went well.  I am guessing they were playing off brioche being a bread full of butter and the buttery texture of the foie gras.  I would rather have had the luscious bread from the bone marrow.  This dish is one I could dream about though.

Sticky, sweet, melt in your mouth, fall of the bone lamb ribs.

I wish I had gotten a better picture.  It just does not do this dish justice.  Imagine a sticky, sweet marinade covering melt in your mouth, falling off the bone lamb ribs.  Served on picked green beans and okra.  You will be licking your fingers and asking for more.  The surprise ingredient was Malta (malt beverage) to give the ribs that lovely sweetness.  I am so going to do something like this at home.

The only total miss for us was the dessert.  We went with the pineapple upside down cake.  It was so sickly sweet we could not eat it.  Jeremy noticed we didn’t care for it and took it off the bill.

The Spence has great cocktails and a really nice interesting wine list.  There is so much to love about The Spence.  I cannot wait to go back.

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