We dined last night with our friend Rose D'Agostino, who said she was in the mood for comfort food. So we headed to the Colonnade, which we'd not visited during the last year. The restaurant, infamous for its clientele of gay men and blue-haired ladies, was not crowded, at least not the way it has been in years past.
We used to be regulars here. (My hair is not blue.) I went primarily for the inexpensive lamb shank and the fried chicken. The menu is quite abbreviated now and no longer includes the lamb shank. The Colonnade was among the first in the city to offer this dish, which I grew up eating at home. Lamb shanks became quite trendy five or more years ago and prices seemed to rapidly double.
Sunday night, I had (the gigantic serving of) fried chicken livers, Wayne had a chef's salad and Rose ordered very mediocre pork loin with dressing. I started with the famous wedge of iceberg lettuce with blue cheese dressing, another iconic Colonnade dish that's become ubiquitous. Now, the restaurant has added blue cheese crumbles to the plate, along with beets, purple onion and a lonely cherry tomato.
Back to So Ba
We returned to So Ba in East Atlanta Village again Friday night. We'd had consistently good meals there and then encountered appetizers mediocre enough for me to pause and reconsider my earlier assessment.
I'm glad to say that the dishes were both back to standard.
The restaurant was also very busy, which was great to see. We can argue about its authenticity but I'm happy to be able to get a huge bowl of pho a few miles from home.
Quick visit to Olive Bistro
is still my favorite for Middle Eastern cooking. Owner Steve Masri cuts no corners in preparing his menu of traditional dishes.
If I have any complaint, it's the heavy use of garlic in just about every dish -- a habit that makes him close kin to David Sweeney of Dynamic Dish.
During my quick visit last week, before seeing clients who don't want to deal with garlic breath, I ordered a Caesar salad with rosemary-roasted chicken and real parmesan.
The restaurant's baklava is also among the city's best. I won't eat it because one of those tiny servings is never enough.
(Photos by Cliff Bostock)
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