Resort dining, healthy bowls, sweet treats to put on your metro Atlanta radar

Looking for some newish dining options in metro Atlanta? Take your pick from a cheffy meal at a hidden lakeside retreat, a plant-forward menu, or European-style pastries and desserts that taste as good as they look.

Leisurely lakeside dining in Chattahoochee Hills

After a yearlong delay due to the pandemic, Foxhall Resort has opened its clubhouse, featuring a full-service restaurant. The resort in Douglasville has more than 100 hotel rooms, but you don’t have to spend the night to avail yourself of breakfast, lunch or dinner at Pheasant Blue.

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Pheasant Blue Executive Chef Steven Brooks shows his steak and egg breakfast dish, featuring a striped omelet made with pureed mushrooms. Ligaya Figueras/ligaya.figueras@ajc.com

Credit: Ligaya Figueras

Pheasant Blue Executive Chef Steven Brooks shows his steak and egg breakfast dish, featuring a striped omelet made with pureed mushrooms. Ligaya Figueras/ligaya.figueras@ajc.com

Credit: Ligaya Figueras

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Pheasant Blue Executive Chef Steven Brooks shows his steak and egg breakfast dish, featuring a striped omelet made with pureed mushrooms. Ligaya Figueras/ligaya.figueras@ajc.com

Credit: Ligaya Figueras

Credit: Ligaya Figueras

A frequently changing farm-to-table menu has been designed by recently appointed Executive Chef Steven Brooks. A native of Germany, and a graduate of the Culinary Arts Academy in Switzerland, Brooks worked at hotels in Bensberg, Germany, before heading to New York, where he worked at Thomas Keller’s renowned Per Se, among other places. In Atlanta, he’s had stints at the now-defunct One Eared Stag, Restaurant Eugene and 5Church Atlanta.

Pheasant Blue’s morning fare includes steak and eggs — sliced ribeye and chimichurri, paired with an impressive omelet whose brown stripes are made of mushroom puree. A nicoise salad hit the spot as a filling summer lunch. Among handhelds, try the hot chicken sandwich, with pimento cheese, chowchow and chili oil, or the New Reuben, with country ham, pickled red cabbage, Gruyere and white barbecue sauce that flips the classic on its head. Recent dinner options have included scallops with succotash and black garlic; a summer risotto, featuring baby eggplant and cherry tomatoes; and a seared hanger steak with potato mousseline and Brussels sprouts. There’s also a full bar with a brief cocktail menu.

Opt for a table outside. It’ll come with the shade of an awning, the breeze from overhead fans and a serene view of a freshwater lake. With approachable, reasonably priced food and an address that’s a mere 20-minute drive south of Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, Pheasant Blue is an easy choice when you want to escape from the city.

Pheasant Blue at Foxhall Resort. 8000 Capps Ferry Road, Douglasville. 770-800-4592, foxhallresort.com.

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Maepole, which got its start in Athens, has opened a new location in Summerhill. Courtesy of Brandon Amato

Credit: Brandon Amato

Maepole, which got its start in Athens, has opened a new location in Summerhill. Courtesy of Brandon Amato

Credit: Brandon Amato

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Maepole, which got its start in Athens, has opened a new location in Summerhill. Courtesy of Brandon Amato

Credit: Brandon Amato

Credit: Brandon Amato

Healthy fast food in Summerhill

As mealtime meetups with friends and co-workers resume with more regularity, Chattahoochee Food Works and the cluster of restaurants on Georgia Avenue in Summerhill are among my picks. Both offer a variety of fast, affordable dining options, plenty of outdoor seating and ample, free parking.

Joining the roster of Summerhill storefronts in late spring was Maepole, from Athens chef-restaurateur Peter Dale. Like the original Athens location, the new healthy-bowls spot offers the option to build your own creation, or pick from a handful of seasonal chef plates. Select greens or grains as a base, two sides from among salad or cooked-veggie options, a protein and a sauce. For more heft — with an upcharge — you can throw in a hard-boiled egg, half an avocado, chowchow or other nutritionally crunchy munchies.

Without paying attention to texture and flavor combinations, a self-designed bowl can taste like a jumbled mess. Pressed for time, I pointed to the already curated Heat Wave, a combination of quinoa, summer hash, braised red cabbage, tempeh, kimchi and a spicy, creamy avocado dressing. The $12.99 bowl brought heat, a balance of crisp and chewy bites, color contrast and enough sustenance to carry me snack-free until dinner.

Maepole. 72 Georgia Ave. SE, Atlanta. 404-907-4355, maepole.com.

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The chocolate flowerpot from Amore Mio features chocolate mousse studded with cherries inside a chocolate shell that rests on a shortbread cookie. Courtesy of Paula Pontes

Credit: Paula Pontes

The chocolate flowerpot from Amore Mio features chocolate mousse studded with cherries inside a chocolate shell that rests on a shortbread cookie. Courtesy of Paula Pontes

Credit: Paula Pontes

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The chocolate flowerpot from Amore Mio features chocolate mousse studded with cherries inside a chocolate shell that rests on a shortbread cookie. Courtesy of Paula Pontes

Credit: Paula Pontes

Credit: Paula Pontes

Indulgent calories from a Cumming cake shop

On a recent drive to Cumming to check out Five Boroughs Pizza Tavern, I pulled off Route 400 a few exits early to check out Amore Mio. The location in a nondescript strip mall belies the beauty you’ll find behind its doors.

Open since last August, Amore Mio is a counter-service cafe that specializes in European-style cakes and pastries. Drool over desserts such as fruit tarts, chocolate truffle cakes, strawberry white chocolate cheesecakes, macarons of myriad flavors, cannoli, Italian cookies (amaretti, raspberry-filled linzer, hazelnut and more), and then point at what you want from the case.

Do not miss the flowerpot, which features rich and airy chocolate mousse, studded with cherries, and encased by a chocolate shell. If you’re after breakfast treats, Amore Mio offers a selection of croissants and danishes to go with that espresso. On the savory side, you’ll find mushroom and cheese quiche, panini and other sandwiches.

Fridays bring freshly baked baguettes, country French loaves and sourdough, but they are available only when pre-ordered before 10 a.m. Wednesday.

Amore Mio. 5955 Bethelview Road, Cumming. 678-456-8829, amoremiocakes.com.

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