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Restaurants & Bars

Birthday dinner at Joel...

janet of reno | Feb 28, 200512:45 AM

Well, there should be the umlaught over the e, but don't know how to do that....this place in Buckhead (is it Buckhead or Buckhorn?...sorry guys its late) was the site of a lovely birthday dinner Friday night. I was in Atlanta, far from home on my special day, at a meeting I really didn't want to be my friends cheered me up by taking me out for a nice dinner. It was a lovely evening! The restaurant is very attractive in a hip sort of way...We were given a private room, which had beautiful candles hanging from the ceiling. (with glass containers for the wicks...). I thought that was a great decorating have the soft light of the candles without the flames right in front of you where inevitably the smell is bothersome....But on to food (and service): First of all, our party of seven women was treated wonderfully, even though our number changed numerous times after making the original reservation. My only possible complaint about the service was that the waitress with the combination french/southern accent was a little hard to understand:-) The food was excellent. They do have a three course fix prix meal for $29...a good bargain. None of us ordered it, but they were very nice about letting us choose some of the items on it to round out our orders. I had the cold beet gazpacho..well, it was really a borscht but maybe gazpacho sounds more chic. Regardless, it was the essence of beets, a deep red/purple, and wonderful. It was topped with a horseradish sauce that was really a horseradish gelato...yum! My friend had the scallops, which she pronounced some of the best she'd eaten...can't disagree. My main was the roast lamb...tender and delicious. Because this is Georgia, after all, I ordered a side of grits...they were creamy and wonderful. For desert, I was able to finish this meal of my all time favorite foods (beets, lamb, and grits) with my fourth favorite food...something mango! (actually a pavlova merengue filled with a mango cream and served with a mango/cinnamon sorbet). I was a very happy birthday girl....and not too embarrassed that they brought out my desert with a candle and the HB words written in chocolate on my plate......BTW, the wine list is very extensive, and yes, pricey. I was handed the list and told that it was my privilege to order. Since we had just finished a story about someone who ordered 500 dollar bottles of wine on someone else's expense account, I decided a little help from the sommelier was in order. He was very nice about discreetly asking the hostess the price range and then making suggestions to me. (and she was very generous in the price range!). We started with a Chalk Hill Chardonnay, and then with our mains tried his stated medium-bodied favorite, a spanish rioja. Not something I would pick, but I must admit it was very, very drinkable...and should have been, at those prices!! He later offered us all complimentary tastes of his favorite desert wine, a late-season Alsation was wonderful!! So all in all, a great night...and if you don't feel like a big meal and you're in the area...stop off for a drink and to check out the beautiful bar and the very interesting wash basins in the restrooms! No, they didn't even let me peek at the check, but I can tell you that most entrees are in the mid-20s. It would seem a bargain to San Franciscans or New Yorkers for that quality of food. But I guarantee you'll make up the savings when you order the wine!


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