Forget the hurdles I had to jump to get to this restaurant. Ecco was worth the splitting headache on the bus and the musty smells on Marta. Ecco resides in the small and quaint part of midtown Atlanta. The dishes offered are unique and highly engaging; the atmosphere modern, warm and elegant; service acute yet personable; the prices more than reasonable. Ecco certainly has the potential to become one of my favorites, a bold statement considering how many fine restaurants are in this town.
appetizer of fried goat cheese balls with honey and cracked black pepper
Ecco’s food has Italian roots but rest assured no spaghetti with meatballs are offered. Passing up the meat and cheese portion of the menu, I settled on fried goat cheese balls drizzled with honey and black-cracked pepper. Wow! This was a near perfect combination. Not so much did the pepper and honey balance the cheese, rather than stand out on their own. The batter was soft yet barely crunchy. The sweet honey toned down the dish’s greasiness and set me at ease
befor the goat cheese made its grand entrance. Meanwhile, black pepper vibrated throughout.
pork belly tartine with apples, rye bread, and dijon-mustard.
I also tried a pork belly tartine which made use of apples and dijon-mustard. Plating was bland, but the flavors were good. The pork belly was wonderfully fatty.
entree of skate wing with wine, butter, pancetta sauce.
Moving on the the entrees, I ordered skate wing with a wine, pancetta, butter sauce. For a side I had roasted cauliflower bagna cauda. The skate was very fresh and the sauce perfectly complemented it, the wine playfully light and not overpowering the natural flavors of the dish. I never thought I’d say this but the cauliflower was incredible. According to the waiter, bagna cauda was a sauce consisting of parsley, butter, garlic, and cream. Count me in! The cream was so light and buttery and really gave cauliflower a depth that I didn’t think possible.
cauliflower. deceivingly wonderful. seriously. just believe me.
I also tried two other entrees at the table. Here they are…
classic pizza. San Marzano tomatoes, house-made mozzarella and basil. Crust was perfect. I wouldn’t change a thing about this pie.
Mako shark a la plancha with oil-cured olives and hot chilis. This was my first time eating shark. It honestly reminds of swordfish: meaty yet a fish. The olive sauce just didn’t do it for me. For sure my least favorite dish of the night.
After an explosive two courses, how could I pass up on dessert? I wanted to see if Ecco was well-rounded. This is what followed…
olive oil, sea salt, and chocolate ice cream. Homemade definitely because the texture was super silky, like velvet. This was such a wonderfully unique combination. First the salt hit the palette (unusual for ice cream) and quickly after a very subtle olive oil flavor tones the salt done. The chocolate finishes it all, the salt bringing out the sweetness of the chocolate even more.
canneloni with mascarpone cheese, pistachios, and chocolate. pretty good. Chocolate was stronger than the cheese, which for me is a plus.
George apple fritters. Reminded me of beignets. I would have preferred bigger pieces of apple because they were hard to notice at times. Very enjoyable to eat nonetheless.
Overall everything was very good. With the exception of the shark, the dishes were creative and well-executed. I can’t wait to go back.