It’s no secret that fine dining restaurants in Atlanta are a dying breed. In the last few years we’ve seen many in the last bastion of cloth table cuisine shutter; big names such as JOËL, Seeger’s, and The Dining Room have all taken the plunge into the great beyond, taking their silver trays, cheese courses, and big name chefs with them.
The shift toward moderation probably began with The Great Recession, as diners have sought comfort and a sense of value, but I think it also has to do with the rise of foodie-ism. Those interested in thoughtful and well executed food are seeking out accessible restaurants they can visit on a regular basis. Even at bars sub-par food is no longer acceptable. And so we’ve been given restaurants like Holeman & Finch, Bocado, Abattoir, hell, even Heirloom BBQ. The culinary zeitgeist has shifted.
When I had a meal at Park 75 in the Four Seasons in Midtown recently, I found it notable that I was excited to throw on a suit and get ready for a fine meal with friends. It’s a feeling I can last recall in my hotel room in New York City, putting on my coat and making sure my tie is just right before walking down the bustlings streets of the city, entering into the tranquil and wondrous environments of Eleven Madison Park or Le Bernardin. But I couldn’t recall the last time I dressed up for food in Atlanta, and it set the tone for the meal I hoped to come.
The food, in fact, was tremendous, as were the fine-tuned servers. I won’t go on and on about each dish, but I thought this post was worth sharing, as I’d been thinking about the way I usually dine and how good of a time we had that evening. More often than not Katie and I sit at the bar when we go out to eat. I love the casual nature, chatting with the bartender, perhaps splitting a single appetizer and entree between the two of us. But there’s nothing quite like going to a restaurant where the service is so attentive but unintrusive you never realize your fork has been replaced.Without asking they’ve gauged the exact pacing of your meal, so each dish arrives right at the moment that seems most appropriate. Service of each course becomes a show, and the food is not only delicious and well executed, but a visual treat as well. And the next thing you know, amongst the conversation and laughter, you feel like dinner had only just begun, but three hours have passed by and the meal is over.
It had been a while since I’d had a meal like that in Atlanta, and I would to thank Park 75, Chef Gerstenecker, and sous chef Sydney Jones for the wonderful dinner.
caviar, potato blini, salmon
ricotta stuffed squash blossom, honey, chive cream
lemon thyme seared halibut (photo by atl_legend)
wagyu skirt steak (photo by atl_legend)
steak was with grilled mushrooms and truffled potatoes
caramel Bavarian (photo by atl_legend)
a walk through the kitchen
the prep list back in the kitchen
wines were had