Michael Andre Adams
Furthest from your mind right now is another turkey dinner. At the same time, the thought of a sublime meal that comforts both the palate and the soul is always a good thing.
Enter the world of Kyma, a Greek-themed Atlanta eatery specializing in some of the most satisfying seafood dishes in the city. And to thank for it all, is a dynamic team led by the great Pano Karatossos, executive chef.
Chef Pano, son of the founder of Buckhead Life Restaurant Group, which includes Kyma and the recently-opened Lobster Bar Sea Grille, in Fort Lauderdale, has cooked under some of the most celebrated chefs in America. The list includes the likes of Thomas Keller of the French Laundry in Napa Valley, Jean-Georges Vongerichten of Jean-Georges in New York and Eric Ripert at New York’s Le Bernardin. It is therefore easy to understand how and why Pano’s modern take on Greek cuisine can blow your mind!
Kyma, which means “wave” in Greek, opened in December of 2001 to the appeasement of many, including restaurant critic John Mariani, who in Esquire Magazine named Kyma as one of the top 20 restaurants in the country. And the list goes on to include all of the great food publications, as well as locally, via The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, which continues to designate Kyma as one of the city’s finest in the four star category.
To ensure that all seafood served throughout the Buckhead Life Restaurant Group is at its freshest, Chef Pano explains that they have their own seafood import business. Day in and day out, Kyma is therefore able to blow the minds of its patrons with dishes such as the:
Course 1: Caviar: sea urchin caviar in a velvety smooth whipped lemon oil
Course 2: Insatiable Cape Cod oysters, grilled with caviar
Course 3: Seared tuna with a ragout of mushrooms sautéed in thyme, chives, tomatoes, and carrots tossed in olive oil with a pinch of salt. This was a pure demonstration of chef prowess!
Course 4: Seared scallops over hummus with capers and a bay leaf on top
Course 5: Tender, savory grilled octopus with pickled red onions was caramelized on the grill to absolute perfection.
Course 6: A plate of tziki, eggplant humus, and htipiti served with toasted and buttered wedges of bread helped to usher in the Greek authenticity. Just marvelous!
Course 7: Barbounia (similar to red snapper) from Brazil, was the “fresh-in today” fish that was pan fried and served in a puddle of saffron yogurt.
Course 8: Lavraki, a Greek Sea Bass, grilled with olive oil, opened and dressed with capers, fresh parsley and a side of quinoa mixed with kale that has a touch of lemon (pictured)
Course 9: Fennel and raisin puree with bulgur and a citrus olive oil emulsion and a micro green salad on top that comes from the chef's personal garden.
The Sweet Ending: Honey walnut rolled baklava with cashew ice cream, banana kataeffi (baked with a shredded banana, Greek yogurt.
The After Party Celebration: Pumpkin Buttered Bourbon ($14): hot buttered rum with Bourbon substituted and puree pumpkin and a touch of brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, butter and Haagen Dazs vanilla for the fall season, served now thru the end of February.
Atlanta’s Kyma is definitely a cut above your typical seafood restaurant and therefore worth the trip!