I was lucky enough to be invited to the Muir Glen Vine Dining Tour at Buckhead’s Aria a few weeks ago. The Vine Dining Tour is a pretty interesting concept: the folks at Muir Glen are going around the country showcasing their reserve tomatoes, kind of like you would with a reserve wine. Their reserve variety is specially cultivated and hand-harvested and changes every year, this year’s being the “Meridian Ruby.” The Dining Tour asked 5 chefs across the country to come up with dishes showcasing Muir Glen’s tomatoes, and Atlanta’s was Gerry Klaskala, chef/owner of Aria.
We started with a number of passed hors d’oeuvres, including grilled cheese with bacon and tomato (OMG), tomato, blue cheese, and prosciutto bruschetta, fire roasted tomato burger sliders (missed these, sad face) and bloody mary’s. Unfortunately, I have no photos of the hors d’oeuvres, but I can assure you they were delicious, especially the grilled cheese. I won’t go into extensive detail on each dish because 1) I don’t think they’re offered on Aria’s regular menu, and 2) everything was perfectly executed, anyway.
So, once we were seated, we started by sampling Muir Glen’s regular and fire-roasted tomatoes straight from the can. Our first course quickly followed: fire-roasted tomato & shrimp bisque: