I was in Atlanta for a few days last week. It was nice to see the sun after 5 consecutive days of rain in Boston. Stayed at the Omni CNN Center which was a lovely hotel, but, there was no real food there. So, I ventured to Midtown.
- this place was great. When I made a last minute reservation, I thought I was lucky in snagging a 6 top. When we arrived, the bar was hopping. There was a nice outdoor area with couches and tiki torches. We were immediately seated in the dining area. Nice touch - they gave us a round table so socializing was easier and pleasant. Within a few minutes, we noticed that the restaurant was empty. Apparently, there is a theatre next door and that is where everyone went. We were the only diners in the restaurant and the bar looked empty. At intermission, theatre goers came back to the bar, but we had the dining room to ourselves.
The cocktail list was fun... I had the Italian Job which was vodka and limencello. Tasty and refreshing.
For an appetizer, I had the fava beans with red radishes and pecorino cheese. This was an excellent start with some of the biggest fava beans that I had ever seen. The beans were crisp and barely cooked. And the radishes gave it a nice crunch.
A friend and I split the whole fish baked in salt crust. This was also served with tajarin pasta, olives and tomatoes. This dish was amazing. The waiter wheeled out the cart with the fish. He proceeded to fillet the fish on to two separate plates. He also carefully divided the pasta and olives equally on the plates. He took a lot of care in the presentation and even though the plate only had half a serving, it looked lovely. But the taste was out of this world. The fish was perfectly cooked. Flaky with the hint of salt from the crust. The pasta was clearly homemade and not overpowered by the egg yolks. The olive and tomatoes were on the side of the pasta and gave the pasta a contrasting salty flavor. The entire dish was magnificent. Another friend had the pork chop on the bone. It was huge. She couldn't finish it so I small piece of meat attached the bone and grabbed it. This pork was again, perfectly cooked. Just the right shade of pink and so tender. Gnawing on the bone was also tasty. You could taste the porky goodness on the bone and there were little flecks of salt and pepper with the fat.
Dessert - I got the trio of sorbets which was the perfect way to end the meal. Blueberry, lemon and grape, each served in a cordial glass.
After we ate our desserts, we asked the hostess to call us a cab. 20 minutes later, she told us to go upstairs to the valet desk and that our cab would be there. We wandered around, found the valet desk but no cab. We went back downstairs but no cab ever came. We waited a long time (probably close to 40 minutes total) to get cabs, off the street to take us back downtown. This almost killed the whole experience because the hostess was not helpful at all in helping us get cabs at the restaurant. It wouldn't have been so bad except that she told us the cab was waiting for us already but the valet said no cabs had been by.
South City Kitchen
This place was also good, but not as good as MidCity. It was packed though and very, very loud. The service was spotty too. The waiter couldn't get it together. He kept auctioning off the appetizers and entrees and would joke how he kept getting it wrong.
The mini biscuits in the bread basket was amazing. Flaky, buttery and salty. What more could I want? As a starter, I split the cornmeal crusted oysters with a grapefruit fennel salad. The oysters were fried perfectly. Crispy and light. The fennel salad was also lovely but I thought the grapefruit was superflous.
For entrees, I split two entrees - shrimp and scallop with grits and the bbq fish with hominy. The shrimp and scallop dish was delicious although the shrimps were slightly overcooked. While tasty, the dish itself was not visually appealling. Too brown. The bbq fish dish was interesting. The fish had a nice flavor and the mushrooms and hominy were delicious. But I didn't like the bbq sauce. Too sweet and it overpowered the delicate nature of the fish.
Dessert, 4 of us shared 4 desserts. The nice thing is that they served it on a long platter. Chocolate pecan tart, banana pudding, chocolate buttermilk cake and the special - peach upside down cake. I didn't like the tart or the peach cake. That's personal preference though. I always find that chocolate pecan tarts are too sweet and upside down cakes to be too mushy. I loved the other two though. The banana pudding was scrumptious with shortbread cookies in it. The chocolate cake was fabulous, with just enough buttermilk to lighten the cake and enough ganache to give it a rich chocolately flavor.
Breakfast at the Flying Biscuit.
I was disappointed. The menu looked so promising and it was a cute place. I ordered the Hollywood Omelette and coffee. The omelette was overcooked and slightly burned. The biscuit was too heavy and not as good as the mini-biscuits at South City Kitchen. But it was a fun atmosphere and I think I just chose poorly.
Midtown has such great places to eat, and Buckhead looked promising but it was just too far. It's a shame that downtown didn't have anything other than the McCormick and Schmicks and Bed.