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Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Emmer and Rye Brings Passion and Freshly Milled Flours to Rainey Street

Nested in the Sky House building on Rainey Street, Emmer and Rye is poised to be a new restaurant darling. "How can you say that before they open?" you might ask. I'll respond with a several qualitative data points gathered from a preview tasting.

These guys are going to rock it.

  1. They boast an all-star team. With Kevin Fink, Page Pressley, and Tavel Bristol-Joseph, impressive culinary pedigree, you better believe these chefs are going to bring something beautiful to the table.
  2. The team's passion is incredible. One of my favorite quotes from Chef Kevin is, "If I ever lost the ability to learn everyday, it would be the greatest travesty." Those are words you want every leader to be saying.
  3. Grinding grains from scratch. Not with bare hands, but with a fancy marvel of German engineering. I can't do justice on describing the different grains, techniques, and nuances of making your own flours. That task is best served by the Chefs themselves, but I have tasted the fruits of their labor. A restaurant that goes back to the basic, and I mean that far basic, is building a foundation on quality ingredients.
  4. Kevin Fink's Wife, Alicynn. Holy Cow. This woman's resume reads like a Michelin Star, and the way Chef Kevin introduced his wife makes you shed a tear. It couldn't be more blatantly obvious that their hearts and souls are in this endeavor.
  5. Somehow, after the tasting, I had a strong urge ride a bike along country roads in Denmark and tickle the flower blossoms as I go by. You probably won't get that same feel simply by enjoying the food at Emmer and Rye. But if you get a moment to chat with any of the staff, get ready to be inspired to do something crazy, like visit another country to taste their cuisine.
  6. Two words: preview tasting. I'll leave you with some appetite stimulating photos. Now put on your boots and run over as soon as they open at the end of October.

This is the marvel of German engineering, otherwise known as the miller. My favorite freshly milled grain was the fire thrust emmer. Freshly milled grain has a nuttiness and earthiness that is unforgettably aromatic. 

Our first course was Puffed Fire Threshed Emmer Cracker - Raw gulf shrimp, buttermilk, Springdale Thai chilies, fennel, amaranth blossoms, and puffed Sonoran white wheat berries.

And the second course was Fire Threshed Emmer Arrepa - Eggplant chow chow, toasted habanero, Malabar spinach blossom, sunflower, fermented peppers, and fermented apple cider vinegar. Did you know that the malabar comes from Hausbar Farm?

This toast was really tasty. I could survive on this quite well. Red Fife Sourdough Toast - Nixtamilized black eyed peas, golden eye creamer peas, garlic chive, mustard frill, and garlic blossoms.

Fourth up was Rye Garganelli -Windy hills goat, sweet and fermented peppers, hoja santa, papollo, and cultured butter.

Homemade goat cheese.

Dessert was Tres Leches Cheesecake -Three-layer cake with traditional Tres Leches cake topped with New York style cheesecake and a Malabar spinach berry glaze. This eye catching dessert was so beautiful, it was hard to stop looking at it.

Everything about this cake is just perfect, including the flavor.

This cake was on so delicious with the different textures and pop of color. I thoroughly enjoyed it with my eyes and tastebuds!

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