Heartbreak! My First Post About A Restaurant That Has Since Closed: Gymnopedie
Just a week ago I got an email from Sarah, the owner, manager, cook, hostess, marketing coordinator (you name it) of Gymnopedie (pronounced Gym-nop-eddie … I’m pretty sure. And I didn’t catch the entire story but I overheard her telling other customers that the restaurant is named after a song.); an awesome, awesome little vegan restaurant in Athens, GA that said they have just closed their doors. Noooooo!!!! I. Am. So. Sad. Gah!! Rarely does a restaurant stick with me to the point where I can’t wait to write about it and tell almost everyone I meet how great it was. The good news is that Sarah is still hosting a Tuesday night food series and spreading delicious vegan food throughout Athens, in other ways. So if you’re in the area or will be passing through, do sign up for her e-newsletter so you don’t miss out because seriously, her food is wonderful!! Also, the thought of not posting about Sarah’s restaurant didn’t even cross my mind. So, I’m going to write about it anyway because it was so delicious and I truly hope there will be a Gymnopedie 2.0 in the near future! :)
Gymnopedie – 100% vegan (closed)
675 Pulaski St, Ste 1400
Athens, GA 30601
Gymnopedie was adorable and quaint with simple clean lines. The menu was wonderfully small (which to me is an indication of some quality food stuffs). Sarah explained to me that the offerings were set up to be the opposite of one another so if one of the selections doesn’t draw you in, perhaps the others will. There were a total of two snacks, two starters, two mains, and two desserts. The ambiance is nearly unmatched, so comfortable and would be ideal for special, intimate occasions.
Sarah is from New Zealand and moved to Athens for graduate school. She received her PhD in physics and then chose instead to follow her passion for food prep and cooking. I loved that Sarah took the time to talk to me, she is so kind! We ended up discussing the trip and we also talked about how much she loves providing healthy, wholesome, delicious food to those who come into the restaurant. She said, “It’s not about pushing people through but about making connections and providing good food.” Oh, I just love this!!
I opted for the Tomato Tartar with Green Goddess Dressing, the Farmers’ Market Platter (assorted goods from local farmers, including grits, onion, carrot, chard, and beet), and finished with the Beet and Rhubarb Tart (puff pastry, house made strawberry jam and red wine reduction). Everything was simply lovely. I particularly enjoyed the the dessert, as the bits of rhubarb and jam mixed into each bite bringing the entire dish to life! Just stunning!! In addition, everything was beautifully plated and Sarah explained the intimate details of every ingredient as she set the plates down. Oh it was just so nice!!
While I was having dinner here a group of four sat at the table next to me. It was really cool to listen to them talk to Sarah about her food and such. It seemed like there was maybe one or no vegans in the group. But they were super open to trying new stuff, which was cool. One of them enthusiastically said, “This is the first turnip I’ve ever had!”
I’m not sure how long Gymnopedie was open but I am certain it changed the lives of many people who stopped in for a wonderfully unique and delicious dining experience.
Sarah, I wish you all the best and look forward to your future foodie endeavors! Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help!! :) xo