Summer in Bloom at Ecco

Summer has arrived at Ecco. The European-influenced restaurant in Midtown has added new dishes that feature fresh, seasonal ingredients, some grown in the rooftop garden.

In planters that line the edge of the roof grow basil, cow peas, squash blossoms, tomatoes and peppers. Additional produce and herbs used in the restaurant’s dishes are sourced locally.

The tastes of the season have found their way into Ecco’s cocktails. The drink menu reads like a whimsical stroll through a garden, with a story in addition to the ingredients. Try the refreshing Long Live the Queen, which is Bombay Sapphire gin with hints of elderflower, lemon, peach and mint served up.

Ecco is a favorite restaurant among Atlantans and it’s easy to see why. Executive chef Craig Richards excels at consistently producing flavorful dishes that make you feel happy, not heavy.

To start, try the Stuffed Squash Blossoms. They are filled with rich and creamy mozzarella, anchovy and chili flakes, and placed on top of a basil emulsion. Another tasty addition is the Piri Piri Squid. Gently cooked to preserve a delicate texture, the squid is served with Castelvetrano olive puree and a sunny side egg.

For the main course try the Sea Trout a la Plancha. It is topped with green tomatoes, cucumbers and mint, with a Romesco sauce made with Fresno peppers and cherry tomatoes. The delicate and flaky fish, when combined with the fresh tomatoes and cucumber, really captures the essence of what makes a perfect summer dish.

Of course, you can’t leave out the pasta. Spaghetti, often an afterthought on menus or a bland option for children, gets the proper treatment at Ecco. Homemade thick strands of pasta are cooked al dente and served with fresh tomatoes, basil, shaved pecorino and a touch of olive oil and garlic.

The dessert menu is inspired by the fresh fruit of the summer. The Blueberry Clafoutis is reminiscent of a sweet blueberry muffin just out of the oven. If you’re in the mood for ice cream try the peach ice cream, which tastes like it was just picked from the tree.

Ecco, 40 7th Street NE, Atlanta, Georgia 30308. (404) 347-9555

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