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Food Crush:

September 18, 2011

Oyster Crudo Voodoo !

Chef Robert Phalen rocks oysters and just about everything else at his quirky-cool Inman Park eatery One-Eared Stag

By Nancy Staab

Check out this bivalve dish of beauty and simplicity, posted late summer on the seasonal menu at One-Eared Stag—chef Robert Phalen’s new joint in Inman Park. There’s a reason we recently named him one of Atlanta’s chef’s to watch in our Culinary Compendium piece in July.

The seasonal oyster crudo dish at One- Eared Stag The seasonal oyster crudo dish at One- Eared Stag

Robert Phalen’s oyster crudo  at One-Eared Stag is a sublime dish, consisting of several plump oysters in the raw (of course, it’s crudo), jewel-like sections of pink grapefruit, mint leaves, little pools of extra-virgin green olive oil and a dash of Thai chilis for heat. It’s sweet, its briny, its fragrant, textural and a tad spicy. That’s a whole lot of mouth-play for one little plate.

We also sampled the lunch menu lump crab roll with organic celery and lemon aioli served with a charming tri-colored garden tomato salad with pink radishes and dill; the super fat, whole sardines stuffed Mediterranean style with meyer lemon, black garlic and arugula (already a signature dish); and a refreshing end-of-summer salad of organic watermelon, house cured strips of salty lomo (similar to prosciutto), powdered guajillo chili, mint, and Thomasville thome. The latter dish was served in a clear glass bowl to highlight its rich color.

Phalen’s individual menu, featuring lots of small plates, is global and inventive, but it also remains approachable and, above all, good-tasting. What more could you want out of this quirky-cool resto named after the one-eared mascot hanging over the bar?

One-Eared Stag, open for lunch and dinner, 1029 Edgewood Ave., 404.525.4479, www.oneearedstag.com

Chef Robert Phalen in front of his restaurant's mascot. Chef Robert Phalen in front of his restaurant's mascot.