Second, in our series, Date Night in Atlanta: FanBolt Edition, is Aziza. Located in the Westside Provisions District, Aziza offers modern Israeli cuisine made with fresh and local ingredients.
Aziza is the latest restaurant from Tal Baum, who I’ve been a big fan of for years. Bellina Alimentari, her Italian market and osteria at Ponce City Market, was one of my weekly go-to’s when I lived in Midtown.
How does her new venture compare? It’s just as delicious! With dishes inspired by Moroccan, Lebanese, Persian and Iranian kitchens, the menu comes to life with a contemporary twist from Executive Chef Brandon Hughes.
Aziza means happiness in Arabic, and it’s the first emotion that hits you as you walk in the front door. The beautiful, warm and welcoming environment embraces you just like an old friend. The exposed brick and handmade light fixtures create the perfect ambiance for the Israeli food and craft cocktails that await.
First up for us was the Near East Old Fashioned (Rye, Wheated Bourbon, Chartreuse, Black Cardamom, Coffee Bitter). If the description alone doesn’t capture your attention, the presentation of the drink will. It’s poured at the table from a Turkish coffeepot.
For those that find themselves reaching for the wine menu, there are some truly amazing options hailing from Israel, Lebanon, and Greece. Not to mention, all of the by-the-glass options are reasonably priced at $11 to $14 a glass. Beverage director Demario Wallace did an incredible job with compiling a list worthy of exploring. It’s situations like these where I wish I could try everything on the menu!
Aziza: The Appetizers
As our drinks arrived, we put in an order for a few small plates that caught our attention. The Roasted Eggplant (Charred tahina, Pearson peach), Kibbeh Nayyeh (Kibbeh Nayyeh), and Butternut Squash (Arugula, Mercier apples, labneh, pumpkin seed dukkah) all tasted incredible!
Aziza: The Main Course
Next, it was onto the main dish, the Duck (Roasted breast, confit leg, Morrocan carrots, spiced jus), which was beyond words. It was tender, juicy, and had a considerable amount of flavor. We split this dish since we wanted to have room for dessert and one more round of drinks.
As we finished the duck, my husband, Doug, ordered another Near East Old Fashioned. And I decided to try one of their gin drinks, the Bab Ak Tumm (Gin, rum, immature brandy, fino, lychee, and orange bitters).
And for dessert, we picked the Milk and Honey (Decimal Place Farm goat milk ice cream, cajeta, tahini, and silan). It’s hands down in my top 3 favorite dessert dishes that any Atlanta restaurant has to offer.
In conclusion, what were my overall thoughts? In short, this modern Israeli restaurant couldn’t have done a better job of bringing something new to classic middle eastern flavors. It engages and excites a new area of the palate.
After Dinner Plans
And if you’re looking for something fun to do pre or post-dinner that’s a bit geeky and film-related, check out the Goat Farm. It’s walking distance from Aziza, and was featured in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (It was District 12), The Walking Dead, and more.
Aziza – Thank you for a wonderful date night!
Food & Beverage Photos: Emma Loggins & Doug Sprinkle
Date Night in Atlanta: FanBolt Edition is a series of features that highlight recommended establishments for a geeky date night in Atlanta. From foodie hotspots to nerdy gamebars and everything in-between, FanBolt showcases the best that Atlanta has to offer to those us that like to geek out!