Savor the fun and flavors in Sandy Springs, GA.

Savor the fun and flavors in Sandy Springs, GA.
Renuka Christoph
As warm weather approaches, it’s the perfect time for some weekend escapes.
Nashville is a central location to many destinations so it’s a matter of what kind of
escape you seek. If it is for an adult getaway, consider Sandy Springs, GA. This
hidden gem, located minutes from Atlanta, offers ample dining, entertainment and
activities with a suburban charm.

Dining
Enjoy an omakase experience at the trendy District M where the chef’s spontaneity
brings excitement to dining.

Hokkaido Scallops from District M
Hokkaido Scallops from District M

There are plenty of cold and hot appetizers, rolls, nigiri , sashimi and chef’s specials to pick from. Consider the blue fin o-toro black truffle
with caviar. Served over ice, the blue fin is served is a wooden dish, next to a carved
lime filled with caviar. The scallops are divine in the Hokkaido Scallop Crudo. Another great option is the anago with foie gras, topped caviar.
To heat things up, indulge in tableside-cooked Japanese Wagyu on a stone. The raw
meat is cooked on the hot stone and served with three types of salt, black truffle, Macha green tea and fleur de sel.
Embrace the flavors of Oaxaca, Mexico at Casi Cielo. The authentic dining
experience begins the moment you sit down as fresh blue corn tortillas are served in
a basket, cooked fresh on the traditional grill.

Mezcal, verdita and grasshoppers at Casi Cielo
Mezcal, verdita and grasshoppers at Casi Cielo

A great starter is the Tlayuda Garden of Oaxaca. Considered a street food, the Mexican pizza-like dish is made with real Oaxaca cheese, along with black bean
puree, asiento de cerdo, jalapenos, avocado and microgreens. The Pulpo Al Carbon is another savory option. It consists of octopus, which is chargrilled and served with aioli chile Caribe and veracruzana sauce. It is cooked in a charcoal oven and accented with charred tomato, onion and bell pepper. The salmon prehispanico is a culinary masterpiece, wrapped in a plantain leaf and tortilla dough.  The slowcooked fish absorbs a smoky flavor and cooked to perfection. The way to eat it when served is to cut in a semicircle and lift the dough and with the banana leaf.

Blue tortillas at Casi Cielo
Blue tortillas at Casi Cielo

And you cannot leave without having a shot of mezcal, an agave based drink. Tequila is in the mezcal family, which is considered an artisanal novelty. It is distilled for about 12 years with lava rocks, giving it a smoky flavor.

Alternate a sip of it with verdita, a freshly made juice with jalepeno, cilantro, orange and cucumber. And to keep with tradition, eat a couple of spiced grasshoppers, yes, grasshoppers after the shot. Spirits are enlivened after the experience. Next stop is Italy for some mouthwatering dishes. Step into a warm and cozy atmosphere at il Giallo Osteria & Bar where guests can watch pasta being freshly
prepared. For starters, a must get is the grilled octopus served with olive oil Yukon smashed potatoes and topped with pickled onions.

It is perfectly cooked, overcoming the chewy texture, which is not an easy feat. The pasta at il Giallo, which is imported from Italy, is made from organic, non-gmo, double zero and semolina flour. Highly recommended is the agnolotti, ravioli stuffed with duck. A whole duck is seasoned and roasted on a smoker grill and from there, it’s mixed with fontina cheese and stuffed in freshly made ravioli. Brown butter, sage and
pecans give this a dynamic flavor. A great pairing is the Boedecker, a pinot noir.

Entertainment
Check out a show The Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center. Convenient parking
and easy access make this a great modern style venue for some live entertainment
while vacationing. Relax Indulge at the Healing Touch Iyashi for release and relaxation. Iyashi means
“soothing” or “healing” mentally and physically in Japanese. Before the massage,
guests receive a foot washing. A bamboo bin is filled with fresh water and the
masseuse washes and massages from calves to toes. Warmth, hospitality and
comfort are extended in the Japanese style Omotenashi.

Stay
The Westin Hotel offers comfort and prime access to dining and entertainment.
Within the hotel is the Bar. Unwind with a peach margarita. After all, it is peach
country.

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