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New Year's dinner at The Colonnade in ATL

ted | Jan 4, 200304:35 PM

Well this year, we decided to be lazy on New Year's Day, which led us to The Colonnade on Cheshire Bridge for an old-school restaurant experience that met the pre-requisite of having greens and black-eyed peas. Despite having lived within 10 minutes of it for 7 years, we'd never been.

First off, the place was jammed with people. Young, old, black, white, very gay, and very straight, they were all there. The wait, advertised for 45 minutes, ended up being only around 30. But it was just enough time to down a bloody mary that had either enough or cheap enough vodka to curl my eyelashes and give me a light, happy feeling in anticipation of eating.

For dinner, I chose the half a roasted duck with raspberry sauce, sweet potato souffle, and fried okra. My lovely wife chose the leg of lamb along with mashed potatoes and collard greens. The black-eyed peas were complimentary, and it looked like they'd made a special effort to get a hunk of ham fat into every bowl. The yeast rolls came out hot and the cornbread muffins were very good (i.e. not sweet).

All in all, it was quite good in a traditional, Southern sense. My duck was tasty, with a crisp brown exterior, and the raspberry sauce, though essentially more liquid-y jelly, hit the spot. The sweet potatoes were nicely spiced with nutmeg and cinnamon, and the okra wasn't too oily. Both the greens and peas had been cooked to death (and beyond), but what do you expect? The lamb was thinly sliced, with mint jelly and an ample portion of gravy, and the mashed potatoes were real.

Neither of the dishes were over $16, and the portions were ample. I think we'll definitely go back when we're in the mood for that kind of meal again- especially given the looks we exchanged when a slab of nicely pink prime rib passed by.

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