Simple fare with a dollop of extravagance at this Atlanta restaurant

Dish of the Week: Caviar and polenta at Gigi’s Italian Kitchen
Gigi's Italian Kitchen offers caviar and polenta. Angela Hansberger for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Credit: Angela Hansberger

Credit: Angela Hansberger

Gigi's Italian Kitchen offers caviar and polenta. Angela Hansberger for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

You might expect good, cozy food at an Italian restaurant, but Gigi’s unpretentious fare comes with a bit of posh gloss — at least, if you order the caviar and polenta.

The standout dish from the tightly curated menu is genius in its simplicity. With a humble base of earthy, nutty polenta, it can serve as an entree or an appetizer for two.

After this, you’ll never look at fried cornmeal porridge the same. Two oblong polenta cakes are lightly fried to a golden crisp on the outside, with a moist center that is reminiscent of mashed potatoes. There is a lightness to the polenta, and then tangy, silky creme fraiche is heaped upon the warm cakes. Feathery dill adds grassy sweetness and vibrant orbs of trout roe deliver pops of gentle sweetness, while inky sturgeon caviar adds rich salinity. Slivered chives provide a pretty garnish and flavor punch.

The presentation is dazzling, and in one bite you get warm and cool sensations, with sharp, sweet flavor.

Gigi’s Italian Kitchen. 1660 McLendon Ave. NE, Atlanta. 404-371-0889, gigisitaliankitchenatl.com

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