I was recently invited to attend a food blogger’s dinner at the restaurant Veni Vidi Vici in midtown Atlanta. The restaurant, which formerly featured a rotisserie in open view of the diners, suffered a fire this past summer. The fire destroyed the rotisserie and temporarily closed the restaurant. However, like a phoenix arising out of the ashes, Veni Vidi Vici has reopened its doors and has embraced a new direction.
The restaurant, with Chef Jamie Adams at the head, remains an Italian restaurant with a host of house made pastas, fresh fish and classic desserts. The real change is that Chef Adams is redirecting the focus previously on the rotisserie to a new emphasis on charcuterie.
Chef Adams is working with the Virginia-based company Olli Salumeria to create a diverse and delicious sampling of cured meats. The menu also offers a cheese plate that samples a range of Italian cheeses to go along with your tasty cured meats.
As for the food blogger’s dinner, the Veni Vidi Vici management and staff really did a wonderful job wining and dining us. We were treated to a full tasting menu, served family style, with about 5 different dishes for each course.
We started out with the antipasti, which had grilled octopus, meatballs, fritto misto, a charcuterie board, mussels, clams and a cheese sampling. I’m generally a sucker for any kind of meat and cheese board, so I was pretty happy with how the meal started out. It didn’t hurt that the antipasti was served with a Nino Franco “Rustico” Prosecco.
The pasta course consisted of spaghetti carbonara, orecchiette, three-meat tortelli, butternut squash agnolotti and a risotto. While I do love a good carbonara, my favorite of the pastas was the three-meat tortelli. The risotto was also prepared very nicely.
The fish course included four different fish prepared in traditional regional styles: Trout “Piemontese,” Mahi “Veneziano,” Red Snapper “Ligure,” and Baccala “Toscano.” If you are a Peaches, Please regular, then you likely know how particular I am about fish, but I tried each of the dishes and found that the trout and the red snapper were really delicious. The trout also came topped with these fabulous cipolline onions that were just divine.
Next came the meat and vegetables course, which included pork ribs, chicken alla romana, rabbit, cauliflower, broccoli and a tomato gratin. For me, the real stand out here was the rabbit. Everything was tasty, but the rabbit was tender, moist and flavorful — really very good. If you end up at Veni Vidi Vici and are in the mood for trying out a different protein, go with the rabbit.
Last, but certainly not least, came the dessert course. We had Pizza de Fragole, which was a pizza with ricotta, strawberries and balsamic vinegar, crême brulée, tartufo, which were essentially balls of a chocolate mousse-type concoction, and bomboloni. The bomboloni were basically little fluffy doughnuts, reminiscent of beignets, and they were my favorite of the desserts.
Now, I mentioned the prosecco we drank at the start of the meal and, I have to say, there was a lot of prosecco to be had. We also had wine pairings throughout the meal, including a Michele Chiarlo Roero Arneis, a Mastroberardino Fiano and a Querciabella Chianti Classico. As you may be able to infer, the wine list is almost exclusively Italian. It turns out that there are a lot of Italian wines I’ve never heard of, so it was quite interesting going over the wine list and learning about new wines. Or at least wines that were new to me.
And now for the amusing anecdote of the evening: I was sitting next to Ale Sharpton, who ordered a beer, since that’s pretty much his thing. One of the servers came by and thought his glass was ice tea and, being an attentive and helpful sort, immediately topped off the glass with ice tea. Poor Ale Sharpton, he was so sad about his beer/ice tea, but don’t worry: the restaurant immediately gave him a new beer.
Another highlight of the evening was getting to try Amaro. One of the other bloggers requested a glass and, upon hearing that I’d never tried it, one of the gentlemen assisting us with beverages brought me three different types to try. As it turns out, amaro tastes quote like liquefied Ricola.
All in all, I had a lovely evening and Veni Vidi Vici worked hard to give us a lovely meal. The restaurant is located at 41 Fourteenth Street, Atlanta, Georgia, which puts it right in the prime big law firm lunch zone, as well as making it a nice place to eat before going to see a show at the Fox or one of the other theaters in the midtown area.
As the dinner was complementary for the food bloggers, I’m not in a position to discuss what a dinner at Veni Vidi Vici would cost. I would also like to add that, while the dinner was complementary, I was not otherwise compensated for this review and my opinions are my own.