The Petite Auberge Restaurant is no stranger to innovation. The Gropp family was one of the first to bring Continental fine dining to Atlanta. Now the Petite Auberge presents their Olive Oil and Vinegar Boutique, a tasting bar and retail store located inside this landmark Toco Hills Restaurant.
Michael Gropp, General Manager, says “We have switched from cooking with traditional oils and fats to cooking with EVOO. We will be blending many of the boutique’s products into the existing menu, and we will create new menu specials featuring the product. In the near future, we will have cooking demonstrations and other special events as well, incorporating the new retail line.”
Many people use extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar just for salad dressing, but there is so much more you can do with them. Please note that while these oil and vinegars do make great dressing, these products are not to be confused with the items on a grocers shelf. The Petite Auberge Olive Oil and Vinegar Boutique offers a collection of approximately 30 varieties of flavored and infused olive oils (including EVOO) and vinegars (including balsamic) to be tasted, custom blended, bottled and sold to patrons to take home to cook with or give away as gifts.
Oil flavors range from garlic and cranberry walnut to blood orange, while vinegar options will include chocolate, raspberry and even peach. All of the olive oils will be ultra fresh, and the staff will be able to inform customers when the olives were pressed (by date or season).
With Michael Groop as my tour guide, we began with how to taste the oils. Remember this key tip when tasting oils: Take. Your. Time. Then on to my favorite part, tasting the balsamics. These are an amazing treat. Tasting cups and water are provided to cleanse your palate as needed next to the stainless steel Fustis, where the product is stored. When you pick out your flavors to take home, they will be transferred into dark green bottles to ensure that the delicate flavors and the polyphenols (heart healthy antioxidants) do not break down due to exposure to light.
The Petite Boutique offers three sizes. A 200ml bottle costs $10.95, while the 375ml bottle runs $16.95, and a full 750ml wine bottle size is priced at $28.95. Patrons may taste any and all oils and vinegars, with or without sampling bread, before purchase.
So what can you do with these oils and vinegars? Here are just a few suggestions:
- Marinades, glazes, sauces, ketchup
- Cocktails, sparkling water, smoothies
Michael provided the following menu to experience the food of Petite Auberge with their new oils and vinegars.
Tuscan Chicken Skewer / Tuscan Herb Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Lemon Balsamic Grilled Salmon / Lemon Balsamic Vinegar
The Petite Auberge Olive Oil and Vinegar Boutique, 2935 North Druid Hills Road Northeast, will be open from 11:30 a.m. until 10 p.m. Monday through Friday, and on Saturday from noon to 9:30 p.m. The restaurant’s weekday hours are the same, while the restaurant is only open for dinner on Saturdays from 4 to 10 p.m. Visit their site at www.PetiteAuberge.com.