Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Ivy




3717 Roswell Rd., Atlanta, GA www.theivybuckhead.com

On Friday night Erin and I had dinner at The Ivy. She had a Scoutmob coupon, I had a new job to celebrate, and this place seemed to fit the bill.

We started with the spinach and artichoke dip, which comes with house chips. It was good, very creamy. Lots of parmesan, not too much garlic. A little overpriced at $10.

Erin ordered the Dublin chicken sandwich ($11). She loved it. It's rosemary and garlic marinated chicken with portobello mushrooms, melted provolone and pesto aioli on grilled ciabatta. If you like the sound of it, you'll like the way it tastes.

I had the club sandwich, a monstrous thing that came with a nice portion of rosemary spiced fries. Loved the fries - a great spin on a classic. The sandwich was double-decker, and so large I took half of it home for lunch the next day. For $9, this was a deal. It was above average for a club - the ham tasted distinctively honeyed, the bacon was thick and not overcooked, and the dijon 3 pepper mustard was a bright spot.

One of the owners, a casually preppy guy who appeared to be about 30, came over and asked about our experience. He was very solicitous and seemed to be concerned about only getting the "coupon crowd" instead of creating repeat customers. Would Erin and I be back? I told him we would, and we might, because our food was good and the restaurant is in a convenient location. However, the food wasn't outstanding, and the parking is (complimentary) valet, a turn-off for me.

I'm not exactly sure what type of atmosphere the owners are attempting to create here. There's a large outdoor dining area, including a round beach style bar. Inside, there's another large, dark bar, a regular dining area with tables, and beyond that a large lounge area. None of it was particularly crowded on Friday night at 8, which is a prime dinner hour. The people there ranged from retirees to businessmen with their ties loosened to college girls. I know the restaurant is fairly new, so it hasn't come into it's identity yet, but obviously the end result won't possibly be appealing to all those different people. Hopefully for the owners it will gather a good following from one of these dynamics.

The owner also mentioned that soon they'll be simplifying the menu, which I think is unfortunate but will probably steer this place in the lounge direction, never good for foodies.

Verdict: Pretty good, just not completely there yet.

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