Archive for the ‘Atlanta visiting’ Category

The City Grill


Great special event venue. Recently went here for a wedding reception and everything – food, service, decor – was first rate. The decor of this place has not changed in years but it still looks as classy as ever. Upon entering, we ascended the marble staircase to the entrance where we were greeted with servers with h’ourderves of bacon wrapped scallops, stuffed mushrooms, mini beef wellingtons, and lamb chops. There was also an offering of wine, mimosas and blood mary’s.

The service and pace were great. Walking in the door we had servers with h’ourderves and drinks. And we had time to enjoy some drinks and mingle with other wedding guests before our lunch. The organization here was right on the money. They had 4 different food stations – 2 vegetarian, a carving station, and a pasta / potato station. The wait staff organized for a couple tables at a time to be at each station that way the lines weren’t ridiculously long.

As far as a wedding reception venue, the City Grill is a top notch venue. You can have great food but poor service and execution or vice versa. But everything here went extremely smoothly. I loved that we had service as soon as we walked in and never felt rushed at any point during our afternoon.

Here’s what the NY Times said about The City Grill:
“One of the grandest restaurant settings in Atlanta is the City Grill, on several levels of a former Federal Reserve Bank downtown….The space is stately, spacious, and serene…City Grill’s interpretation of new Southern cooking is equally refined.”

50 Hurt Plz SE # 200
Atlanta, GA 30303
(404) 524-2489
City Grill

Other Wedding Resources:
Ultimate Wedding Planning Guide
The Wedding Day Diet
Bridal Show Planner

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Eclipse Di Luna – Dunwoody

Eclipse Di Luna is a great place to go with a group. It is not a great place to go with a group and not have separate checks. The food comes out really quickly, but if you aren’t careful they will overcharge you.

My friend had a birthday which was on a Thursday and asked me where she thought we should go. I’ve been getting emails from this place about this great salsa music and drink specials they have on Thursday nights. So, I suggested we check it out.

Thank god she made reservations. With a party of 14 people like we had we would have never gotten seated. The place was really packed. I guess that is why it is so hard to find parking, well that and the fact that they reserve about half the parking lot for valet.

They supposedly have drinks specials but I guess you have to remind them because when my boyfriend ordered me a Dos Equis, they charged him the regular price not the $3 special it was supposed to be. Long Island Teas are supposed to be $5 on thursday nights too. See the promotion page.

We ordered about four tapas – Ribs in Balslamic sauce, Hanger steak, Shrimp and Scallop cerviche, and 2 different types of empanadas (duck with cilantro cream sauce and black bean with bananas and caramel sauce). The ribs and Hanger Steak (both my choices) were just average. Glen chose the cerviche which had a great spiciness to it and I was pleased they didn’t skimp on the scallops and shrimp. The black bean emapanadas although they sound a little strange were actually quite good.

If there is a next time I will try the calamari. Not only did it look really good, but the portion is a good size versus some of the other menu options. That’s one recommendation I have for them. They should have a cart that shows their various menu portions or pictures on their menu as some are very small (ie duck empanada) and some are very large (calamari).

At this point, I decided to switch from beer to mojitos. Not usually what I would go for, but they are a specialty there. There were very tasty, which I guess they should be for $7.50 a pop. Be forewarned while they are good, you will go through them fast as your glass is mostly ice and mint leaves and very little liquid.

By this time everyone had finished eating, and about half of our group settled their tab and headed out. Fast forward half and hour when I ask for our check which comes to $230. Of course, they helped themselves to a 20 percent gratuity. The entire table’s tab was $300, so I found it really hard to believe that we owed as much as it said. We all kicked in more than our fair share, I still can’t help but wonder if the 20% gratuity we paid was in addition to what our other dining companions paid.

Pros: Really cool atmosphere, good music, great tasting drinks
Cons: Parking, Expensive Drinks

What are your thoughts? Should restaurants be allowed to add on a gratuity to your bill when you may feel they really don’t deserve it?

Siam Square Thai Restaurant

We went here with a group of 6 to celebrate a birthday on a Saturday night. Located in a strip mall off of Windy Hill Road, you wouldn’t expect this place to be so nicely decorated on the inside. I love the stained concrete floors . They really add a nice touch. Candle lit tables make for a romantic evening, but it also works for groups too.

The Food: I always try to read any reviews of restaurants before I go there, so I know if there are any special dishes I should try OR avoid. Almost every one mentioned the cucumber flavored water. If there was supposed to be a cucumber flavor in the water, I didn’t taste it. We had basil rolls as an appetizer and the portion was just right for our size group. It also came with a tasty dipping sauce.

I think I was the only one in the group who enjoys really spicy food, so I ordered the ginger chicken medium spicy which was spiced just right. And I had plenty of leftovers to take home. I would like to go back to try the Green Papaya Salad, Coconut Chicken Soup, and the Siam Square Curry (they all sound pretty tasty to me).

The Service: Our server was excellent! He was always around if we needed something but not pushy. Most of the group didn’t want spicy food. He was very attentive about accomodating everyone’s special requests.

I also hear it’s a great lunch spot. So, if you work around the area definitely check it out.

1995 Windy Hill Rd SE
Smyrna, GA 30080
(770) 333-1700

Read my review of Red Elephant Thai Restaurant

Season’s 52

Health Food in Disguise

All items on the menu are 475 calories or less. I’m not understanding that with the flatbread pizza type thing which is served on a plate that must be 2 feet long. It must be low carbs, but that is just too tasty to be that low in calories. And the stuffed mushrooms are too die for.

I think the fish is a better bet than the meat on this menu. My dining companions both had fish and it was delicious. I had the pork medallions which is supposedly the most popular item on the menu, but I bet no one orders it more than once after they taste the fish – especially the curried snapper. If you are dieting but are still looking for an upscale place where you don’t have to feel guilty about what you’re eating or count calories, this is definitely the place to go.

On Peachtree at W Paces
3050 Peachtree Rd., NW
Atlanta, GA 30305
Phone: (404) 846-1552
Seasons 52

Olives Waterside Martini Bar

Couldn’t wait to try this place after experiencing some great dueling piano bars in Orlando and Vegas. Just as a side note, if you ever travel to Vegas don’t miss The Bar at Times Square at the New York New York hotel. But unfortunately it was not meant to be as they no longer have the dueling pianos here. Why don’t we have any dueling piano bars in Atlanta? If anyone knows of any, please let me know.

So, needless to say, I was pretty disappointed. But I made the best of the evening – I was with a good group of friends and the bar does have like 30 different types of Martinis to choose from at $5 each. My suggestion is the Nutty Martini made with Frangelico – soooooo yummy! So, I guess the evening wasn’t a complete loss.

The crowd is slightly and older one – 40s and 50s. The music is a mix of mostly 70s and 80s with some 90s thrown in occassionally, which you can tell the crowd doesn’t like as they all scatter from the dance floor when Will Smith starts singing.

6450 Powers Ferry Road
Atlanta, GA 30339
Phone: 770.226.0201
Olives Waterside


Riedel Vitis Martini Glasses (Set of 2)

Restaurant Certificates 60% off – ends 8/31

Restaurant.com is offering discount certificates for 60% off the regular price. That means that a $25 certificate to the restaurant of your choice is only $4.00. The way the program works is that you purchase a restaurant certificate for $25 at a cost of $10 to you. But with this special promotion you get the certificates for 4 bucks! This is a great deal to try restaurants that you’ve never been to before.

Now take 60% off $25 Gift Certificates. Pay $4 when you use the code LABOR. Valid 8/26/08 through 8/31/08.

I’ve been using restaurant.com for years now and am very pleased with the service. I’ve never had a single problem with them in all the restaurants I’ve been to. It’s allowed me to try many restaurants in Atlanta that I wouldn’t have gone to otherwise. But hurry, this offer ends 8/10/08.

There is NO LIMIT to how many certificates you can buy. So, stock up, certificates may never be discounted this much again. And remember, this isn’t just limited to Atlanta. If you’re traveling to other parts of the country, you can find certificates for restaurants there as well. Restaurant.com is all over the United States. Check out the link below.

Now take 60% off $25 Gift Certificates. Pay $4 when you use the code LABOR. Valid 8/26/08 through 8/31/08.

The Spotted Dog

The Spotted Dog is a cool place to stop for a beer if you are in the area. But I wouldn’t drive down to North Ave just to go here. I’ve driven by the Spotted Dog on the way to other functions and it seems to be more of an after work crowd than a late night crowd.

They did a great job restoring this old firehouse. It really is beautiful inside. And when the weather allows for it, definitely sit outside.

The Spotted Dog has many great beers on their list. And the Dog has this beer there that comes with a slice of orange, or is it lemon? Can’t remember which, but it is kind of sweet tasting – I get it every time I go there. It’s great.

30 North Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30308
(404) 347-7337

Mosaic Restaurant in Buckhead

Mosaic Restaurant, situated just off the main drag of Buckhead, is one of those charming old homes that has been converted to a restaurant. Mosaic makes great use of the space inside and although it was pretty, we opted for their patio seating.

Mosaic definitely has a later crowd. We had reservations for 7:30 and on a pleasant June evening we were the only ones seated outside. By the time we were leaving there wasn’t one open table outside.

The service was exceptional at Mosaic and very attentive but not overly intrusive. The food, on the other hand, was average. Maybe if it was priced a little lower I would have enjoyed it more. But at nearly $30 an entree, the bar was set a little higher.

We started off with the Mosaic salad. I am always a sucker for artichokes and hearts of palm. The salad was a generous portion (of lettuce) and big enough for me to split with my other 2 dining companions. However, I spent more time looking for the almost non-existent artichokes and hearts of palm then I did enjoying my salad.

Next were the entrees: Lobster Ravioli, Coriander Crusted Ahi Tuna, and Pork loin with sausage and chick peas. The tuna and pork loin were ok, but there wasn’t anything spectacular about either one and the tuna definitely was not worth of the $27 price tag. I didn’t try the 28 dollar lobster ravioli but I’m guessing it was on par with the tuna and pork loin.

One great thing about Mosaic (besides the service and atmosphere): There is plenty of free parking available.

3097 Maple Drive NE
Atlanta, GA 30305
(404) 846-5722
website

Lime Taqueria

Don’t read this review…..

……….if you are expecting a review of a typical Mexican restaurant

……….if you are looking for an inexpensive meal

……….if you are looking for a casual eatery or a family style restaurant

Lime is none of these things. What it is is an upscale restaurant that has spared no expense when it comes to design and decor. It is evident in the colorful furnishings and the lime them throughout the entire restaurant. They have giant limes throughout the restaurant, limes are printed on the napkins in restrooms, even the dishes are lime-shaped.

What it is is a great place to go after work on nice day and sit outside and sip mojitos, cosmos or margaritas with friends. I went there on a recent Wednesday after work to meet a friend for drinks and dinner. They have drink specials of cosmopolitans for $6. As we are both Sex And The City fans we couldn’t pass this up. And I’m so happy I didn’t. They were outstanding! I had a buzz going on 3/4 of the way through my first drink. Any restaurant that isn’t stingy with the liquor gets big points in my book.

As far as the food, we both had to try the mini gordas which is like a huge dumpling if you can imagine it stuffed with shredded beef, potatoes, tomatillo sauce, and some amazing spices. Definitely the best thing we tried. As this was quite filling on its own, we each opted to try some tacos: mole, shrimp, chorizo, and chicken.

Had I known how small these would be I think I would have just gotten a salad or another mini gordas order. For the price $3-$5, I expected more. My shrimp taco had 1 shrimp in it and was $4.50. Not to mention the sauce just about set my mouth on fire. I would go back but probably just for drinks or if I had a gift certificate (click banner below).

Service was great. Very attentive but not overly annoying. Just the way I like it.


Cobb Energy Center

Great new venue in Cobb County!

I just attended Glenn Beck’s kickoff tour at the Cobb Energy Center. It is wonderful that there is another venue rather than being limited to the Galleria or having to drive down to the Fox. Although it may not be as big as the Fox, the Cobb Energy Center is a nice modern building that has great views no matter where you are seated.

The Cobb Energy Center is located just off I75 at Cumberland Blvd close to where I75 meets I285. Parking isn’t a problem as there are 1,000 onsite spaces available. And its not a ripoff either at 5 bucks.

If you are looking for somewhere to grab a drink or a cocktail before or after performance, head to nearby Vinings. Dining options include Garrison’s, The Orient, La Paz, among others. For drinks, there’s the Vinings Inn, Meehan’s or the Grape.

2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway Atlanta, GA 30339

770-916-2800

http://www.cobbenergycentre.com