Friday, February 13, 2009

Highlight #143: Another good deal - Restaurant: Dogwood

Last week's NYT's dining section featured an interesting article on restaurants "hugging the customers." Until last night, I really haven't felt this hugging, at least not such intense hugging. I am not saying that we got kiss-up service, we just got really attentive, warm, and personal service, the kind you get at a place where everyone knows your name, except they only learned ours last night.

The place was Dogwood downtown, more specifically the bar area of Dogwood downtown. I had only previously been here for lunch, so this was the first time I really took in the bar setup. I must say, it's a nice setup with cushioned leather bar stools both against a long counter and around four-top tables. There is also a small sofa lounge area against the sidewall, where a group was having a round of martinis.

I took a seat at a table and waited for my girlfriends. While waiting, the barmen warmly introduced themselves. And once they learned my intention to dine on the all you can eat mussels special that also comes with a glass of wine, got me started on the wine. I was additionally offered warm bread, but decided to wait for the good stuff.

This is a lot of food for $20. Besides the glass of Kim Crawford sauvignon blanc, one gets all the mussels one can eat. The mussels didn't come out in a massive pile, but rather in a large morning cereal sized bowl. You may think that this is Dogwood's way of deterring overeating, but I see it as a way of preventing waste. Because right before we were about to finish our first bowl, our server appeared to assess our interest in the next bowl in the nicest manner. And we were interested. These were good mussels. Plump and fresh, the mussels held their own, but it was the broth that made the real difference. Everyone of us took note of a distinct, but not overpowering smokiness, which we found out came from the hickory smoked tomatoes. That's a great idea this time of year, when the tomatoes are less than superb. The warm bread soaked up the broth beautifully, but it's best not to overdo it as the mussels are great.

For $20, this is a wonderful deal that you should check out Tuesday to Friday when it's available in the bar area. This type of offerings make it easy for us to support competent restaurants in during this difficult time.

If you are feeling indulgent and we were, you can also supplement the savory with a round of sweets. Every dessert come with a different homemade ice cream flavor and you know how I feel about ice cream. We had the blackberry shortcake with sour cream ice cream and the chocolate thing with dulce de leche ice cream. Both were very good, but the shortcake won overall with a less sweet composition of slightly salted biscuit and distinctly sour cream flavored ice cream. The dulce de lech ice cream accompanying the chocolate cake was just a little over the sweetness line in comparison.

565 Peachtree Street
Atlanta, GA 30308
Tel. (404) 835-1410


Leah said...

thats my arm in the picture! haha i will definitely have to try the mussels next time i am there, we only had time for a glass of wine and the baked oysters which were great!

Cathy said...

If I had known that you actually read this little humble blog of mine, I would have surely introduced myself. Maybe we'll run into each other again somewhere. :)