Cooks & Soldiers: Midtown, Atlanta, GA
It was restaurant week, and a friend had mentioned that Cooks & Soldiers was on the list. I had never been before but had really wanted to try it so this gave me the perfect opportunity. It’s tapas style, but not authentic Spanish-style. Still, I’ve heard great things about the food and so four of us ordered a bunch of things for the table doing their fix-prixe menu of one smaller appetizer, one main tapas plate, and a dessert. Things that we tried included:
- Shrimp on Toast
- Halibut on Toast
- Pan con tomate
- Clams in sauce
- Seared Foie Gras
- Smoked Duck
- Braised Veal Cheek
- Seared Octopus
- Pear Creme Brulee
Shrimp on Toast
- Definitely shareable but probably one plate for two people
- Good flavor
- Bread was not soggy which meant that it came out fast instead of sitting under a heat lamp
- Not shareable between four people
Halibut on Toast
- shareable for two
- generous portion of fish
- way too salty. It tasted like a salt lick had been dumped into the fish.
Pan Con Tomate: this is probably one of my favorite tapas ever. It’s even more delicious in Spain. I think this one dish was the closest to authentic Spanish tapas.
- good flavor, not overwhelming with the tomato-bread balance
- well portioned
- served with Iberico ham (Jamon Iberico), one of my favorite type of meats
- considering this is a favorite of mine, it’s hard to share between 4 people but 2 people? I’d make an exception if it was a significant other.
Carpaccio: definitely well plated, great flavors. I can’t say that there was a con with this dish and so I am going to write just what I think. It’s very difficult to share this dish because essentially, each person only gets a bite. The sauce was great, the fish was pretty fresh tasting as well. No complaints here!
Clams in Sauce: definitely not the biggest favorite. For one, it was pretty salty, just like the halibut on toast. I am not sure if this is just the “flavor” of the restaurant itself or if it’s just a fluke chance that two out of the four or five dishes we’ve ordered came out salty. That’s bordering on 50% salty dishes. My friend who polished off the dish said that there wasn’t enough wine. While she tends to like the wine to be a bit stronger, I couldn’t really taste it in the sauce so maybe she was correct.
Seared Trout: this was a really great dish. The fish was just amazing. It had that awesome crispy skin and also had great portions for sharing. The sauce had some pretty good flavors that balance out the fish and the kale. No cons.
Seared Octopus (Pulpo): it is really difficult to do octopus well, but C&S did a fantastic job. It wasn’t over cooked at all but rather, had that awesome expected tenderness to the meat. The seasoning went really well with the chickpea smear as well. I have to admit though, it was slightly salty. At one point, we saw the chef being extremely “generous” with the salt, “heavy handed” some would say. I’m sure that it is probably a restaurant tactic to maximize the amount of alcoholic drinks purchased at dinner, but for those of us who really go for the food, it takes away from the quality of the dish. I wish they wouldn’t do that but hey, what do I know?
Smoked Duck: this was my favorite dish. In fact, it was such a favorite at the table, we ordered two of this in addition to the octopus.
- not gamey
- super tender
- great flavors
Braised Veal Cheek
- perfectly done: meat was just flaking off at my fork and was super tender
- great au jus flavor, not overly salty like the octopus and the shrimp on toast
- best combination with the puree. I can’t remember what kind it was though, possibly parsnip?
Seared Foie Gras: definitely pricey but worth it if you can afford it. I know it’s absolutely revolting for animal lovers, but I’m limited to my animal love and not so much with my food love so pardon my vices. This went REALLY well with the duck, the veal, and the octopus. Truth be told, it did make the perfect bite for some of these dishes. I can’t say I’m the biggest fan of the angel foodcake bits though.
Pear Custard Brulee: I love brulees, especially in citrus form. The cookie that it came with was extremely cute and delicious as well.
- lighter and smaller than most creme brulees
- good size to finish off a fix-prixe menu
- not overwhelmingly rich
- not for chocolate or decadent dessert lovers
- not for those who love desserts and have to share
It was a fantastic meal. FANTASTIC. I’m so happy I did this on restaurant week. Thanks to Ber for bringing it to my attention and to DS and PN for eating with us. Foodie friends are the best. In summary:
- Shrimp on Toast: ***.5 (3.5 stars)
- Halibut on Toast: ***.25 (3.25 stars)
- Pan con tomate: ****(4 stars)
- Carpaccio: ***.5 (3.5 stars)
- Clams in sauce: ***.25 (3.25 stars)
- Seared Foie Gras: ****(4 stars)
- Smoked Duck: ****(4 stars)
- Braised Veal Cheek: ***.75 (3.75 stars)
- Seared Octopus: ***.75 (3.75 stars)
- Pear Creme Brulee: ***.75 (3.75 stars)
You can find Cooks & Solders in Midtown:
691 14th St NW, Atlanta, GA 30318
I definitely recommend this for date night or anniversary dinners, birthday dinners as well. Thanks for reading, we’ll be posting a lot in the next couple days to try and clear out some of the ATL early-fall eats before updating the NYC weekend that I just came back from for the Brooklyn Half-Marathon. Thanks again and happy eating!
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