I was recently invited by the Atlanta Food Bloggers' Society to experience Chef Ian Winslade's meatless creations and wine pairings from Murphy's Restaurant wine experts. At the heart of Virginia Highlands neighborhood, Murphy's has been a regular on my brunch rotation so I was excited to try dinner for a change.
Meatless Monday has been something I've incorporated for a few years now as part of a healthy lifestyle. In general it's better for our bodies and the environment to go meat-free at least one day a week, and if more people made this change I believe it could have a profound impact on our lives.
Read on to get the details on this deliciousness. Now, on to the wining and dining!
The Wine Shop
Before being seated we stepped into Murphy's Wine Shop, a quaint corner of the restaurant stocked with wines from around the world.
Michael Kunz, our Wine Consultant for the evening, greeted us and poured a few glasses of Ca' Furlan Prosecco, a lightly fruity chilled bubbly that paired nicely with the hot summer evening.
Once seated we shared a bottle of Villa M Bianco Moscato, which was sweeter than the Prosecco. Please take a moment to notice that there's actually a Nutrition Facts label on the back of this bottle...with calories. That's a new one for me! (I usually have to look it up online.)
Have you ever seen a nutrition label on alcohol bottles?
Meatless Monday Meal
I believe Murphy's changes the menu often for the featured dishes on Mondays, which means more frequent trips to try out new things. We started off with a Cucumber Mint Gazpacho with Goat Cheese Foam, which paired nicely with the sweeter wine. It was so refreshing, light and flavorful that I wished my bowl was bottomless.
For the main course we enjoyed a Hand-rolled Goat Cheese Gnocchi with Tomato Fondue, Mushrooms and Peas topped with a Tempura-fried Squash Blossom and finished with Arugula Oil. The flavors went perfectly together, and if I could cook like this becoming a vegetarian full time would be a cinch!
The squash blossom came from a local garden, and was a first time food for me (loved it). For those unfamiliar with this food, it's the actual flowers that grow and bloom on squash plants. I even saw them for sale recently at the Freedom Farmers Market too! The chef stuffed the blossoms with finely chopped spring vegetables (a nice surprise when opened up) and fried them up crispy.
We all wanted a little sweetness to top the evening off, and ended up sampling a pretty dessert pairing. I mean, who's counting calories when dessert looks this good?
Strawberry Pistachio Shortcake
pistachio sponge cake, fresh strawberries, whipped cream, toasted pistachios
walnut carrot cake, cream cheese icing, vanilla pineapple compote
And I saved my favorite for last...
Meyer Lemon Crème Brûlée
lemon custard, caramelized sugar, candied meyer lemon peel, coconut tuile
997 Virginia Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30306
Thank you for a wonderful evening, Murphy's and AFBS!