Food and sex pretty much go hand in hand. If you're like George Constanza, that means craving a Pastrami while in the sack, but for the normal among us erotic eating can be a very classy affair. Scallops, oysters, and chocolate are only the cusp of the aphrodisiac affair, all of which are served (with so much more) at the newly opened Atame-Restaurant Aphrodisiaque on Duluth and Drolet. Sleek, classy, with strong erotic undertones from dishes to decor, Atame is a truly erotic eating experience.
A little inconspicous. you may now notice Atame from the outside. The coy exterior hides an inside lined with white and marble, like you're entering a modern day temple of love.
Drinks were out in full force at Atame's press opening, and the bartenders served up some very sensual creations. The 'Pink Potion,' a cocktail created from amaretto, creme de cassis, cranberry juice, and Tabasco, was sweet and lightly spicy with great colour. A cinnamon-gin Old Fashioned also went down smooth, with actual cinnamon smoke lining the class and imparting some fragrance to the citrus drink. While these were claimed to be special drinks for the opening, I hope both stay, 'cuz I could see people loosening up with a few of these.
A wide array of finger foods and entrees were sampled, all seemingly meant to share with your date while you eat. To cleanse your palate from wine and cocktails is a strawberry-watermelon soup. Strange, yet cooling and sweet to cut through any strong flavours left on your tongue.
Oysters, the classic aphrodisiac, are available, with a fun twist. Served with spicy passion fruit jelly, the oysters are fun treat to eat and start your meal.
Pork and veal meatballs atop Boston lettuce made for a savory and tender tasting, and light enough to not get bogged down by the meatiness.
Salmon tartar, served with spicy mayo and sour apples, was texturally quite interesting. The soft salmon worked well with the apples, albeit some were a bit too soft, and paired well with the heat added by the mayo.
Crab cakes, or in this case crab balls (so fitting), were creamy and chock full of real shellfish. A bit stronger in fish-flavour than some may be used to, and not a bad thing if you're into crab.
Eroticizing another classic is the beef tartar with tonka beans and light sprinkling of cocoa. Rich and velvety, the meat and chocolate fusion is rich in flavour.
Slightly phallic, yet still tasty, is the homemade lamb sausage served with baba ghanouj on pita bread. If you can get your mind out of the gutter, the middle eastern inspired dish is smooth and savoury.
No night of aphrodisiacs is complete without some scallops. Seared and served in a coconut milk and lemon grass broth, Atame's scallops are buttery, with light edge from the seared exterior and citrus.
A great choice for a date, anniversary, or holiday, Atame is made for couples. The question is whether Atame will be able to pull a regular crowd of lovers, or if they will turn to the singles market to beef up their clientele. For the food and drinks, I'd say its well worth a night out, even if its just with a friend (hopefully with benefits).