Friday, December 3, 2010

Social Vinings

3621 Vinings Slope Dr. Ste. 1100, Atlanta

Kyle and I had dinner with some friends at Social Vinings, one of the several restaurants around town owned by Chef Paul Albrecht (I previously reviewed another one, Paul's). Social Vinings is located in (surprise) the Vinings area of Atlanta/Smyrna, just off Paces Ferry Rd. There is limited self-parking in a deck behind the restaurant along with valet.

We started with the tuna tartare ($8) and the filet mignon bruschetta ($7.50). The tuna was very good, better than what I had recently at Eclipse di Luna, with a little spicy aftertaste. The bruschetta was stupendous. Kyle wants us to go back and just get about 3 orders of this for dinner.

Next we had a large sashimi platter. Wonderful fresh fish on a cumcumber salad. The yellow tail was especially good, which surprised me since I found this fish at Paul's to be sub-par.

My friend John loved the sauteed calf's liver with caramelized onions (always a good addition), apples, mashed potatoes and crispy bacon ($19). The more he ate it, the more he praised the strong flavor of the liver with the perfectly cooked bacon, creamy potatoes and locally grown (Ellijay, GA) apples.

Kyle had the ribeye filet ($25), and Amr ordered the surf and turf ($38 - filet mignon and lobster tail), and they were both very pleased. Pam and I both ordered the pan roasted sea bass ($29), which came with a juicy tomato risotto and some dynamite brocolli drizzled with basil oil. I don't know if I ever want to eat broccoli without basil oil again. The sea bass was tender and buttery, exactly as I'd hoped.

Last but certainly not least, we indulged in dessert. We tried both the rocky road spasm with Bailey's ice cream and the deep fried oreo cookies. The former is sort of a deconstructed, abstract version of rocky road - chunks of dark chocolate fudge, mini marshmallows, candied pecans and fresh sliced strawberries litter the plate, with a big scoop of absolutely luscious Bailey's Irish Cream ice cream on top. Very good. But the real favorite was the fried oreos. One plate gets you 2. It's a warm, gooey batch of goodness. Pam said she considered it a combination donut and double-stuffed oreo with powdered sugar. Ingy said that if she could eat these every day she would be content to live the rest of her life alone. Guess that makes them the ultimate comfort food. All desserts are $6.

Followers, I have to say that I can't find anything to dislike about Social Vinings. Everything we ordered was excellent and our server was great. If anything, the volume was a little loud for my taste. It's on the pricey side for Cobb county, but it's also far and away a superior choice to most of the restaurants in the area.

A word of advice - this restaurant is the "it" place to eat in Vinings right now. Be sure to make a reservation through Open Table. My friend Amr says the bar is packed solid on Friday nights.

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