Tuesday, March 31, 2009

ONE, TWO, TROIS – a delicious tale of redemption

A while back I wrote about how I wanted to gush about Parish – a great spot in Atlanta – but couldn’t due to a self-imposed boycott resulting from a dreadful customer service experience at Trois – a restaurant from the same company.

Having worked in retail and having represented four-star fine dining restaurants – I am particularly sensitive to customer service issues. The original offense paled in comparison to the ensuing complete lack of response to it…

Enter gracious GM Mike Maxwell. He reached out and explained how a great many contacts went unanswered due to the actions of an incompetent FORMER employee. SIGH – feeling better…

I was pleased to hear from him and happily surprised by his grand gesture. My friend Dejie [previously gushed about cabaret diva and top-notch concierge] and I sipped and supped and laughed the evening away on a wintry Thursday at Trois.

The stunning room wasn’t particularly busy [a sign of the times?] so our well-informed, delightful server and his colleague Christopher Blackburn were able to chat with us a bit throughout the evening.

We began with delicious martinis and a sinful amuse of crisped chicken skin with sausage gravy. Um… yum! We shared tempura Georgia prawns and a crudo trio of pristine raw fluke, scallops and tuna – the beet “nipples” on the fluke were – while slightly disturbing – great

Dejie opted for salmon accompanied by veggies and a neat-sounding gruyere consommé – though I wish it were more than just a shot glass full, I opted for roasted suckling pig with tiny [cute] vegetables and cauliflower gratin. The meaty pig - accompanied by a slab of belly – was drizzled with rich reduction. The tiny vegetables were actually tasty little root vegetable balls [not what I envisioned - but good nonetheless], the cauliflower generous and delicious.

Earlier we skipped some intriguing salads to save room for dessert. In hindsight I wish we’d gone for something chocolate – the pistachio crème brûlée was more like a pot de crème and somehow ever-so-slightly gritty. The accompanying shortbreads rocked as did the taste of toasted oats ice cream I begged for [from another dessert]. Frankly, I could eat that ice cream every morning. I’d weigh 700 pounds and have to be carted around on a flatbed truck – but I’d do it and be happy doing so.

A final, lovely touch was the surprise of a crackly thin dark chocolate bar to take home. Just neat.

Redemption... from the confirmation call of the reservationist to the warm, informed service and great food.

After dinner we ambled downstairs to the ultra swank bar to hear a musician Dejie had heard about – that was a sexy, luxe end to the evening and may even warrant its own post. FOR NOW – CALL and see when he’s playing and GO, have a drink and take HOT, HOT music of Ike Stubblefield.

UPDATE – subsequent visits have proven just as lovely – though, sadly, Mr. Blackburn will be [or has] departing Atlanta to work with the restaurant group to develop another groovy restaurant and bar at an upcoming boutique hotel in Chicago’s loop. I wish him the best and promised him I’d post this sooner rather than later. It’s later – but – many thanks for your hospitality and best of luck!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Hmmm... GSP to DFW

Was I sitting next to smart, snarky, syndicated sex columnist Dan Savage on my flight from GSP to DFW [on my way to Sante Fe]?

Yes. Yes I did. Nice chat. He was in Gville to speak at Furman University. Neat.

OHHHHH... NOW I understand what Twitter's for.