Although this restaurant hasn’t really been on my radar for a few years, Gorms and I had an AMAZING pre-Oscars dinner a few weeks ago at Lobby Bar and Bistro in the Twelve Hotel and Residences in Atlantic Station. You need to know about it…
As I was getting ready for dinner, I thought about how cool Lobby’s bar space is, but I couldn’t recall anything that really stood out in the past about my dining experiences at the restaurant.
Well, I was in for quite a surprise when we arrived, because since I last visited – Lobby got a face lift. Lovely renovations to their dining room and a hip new Cellar space for private parties. (I’m obsessed with the Cellar space…)
…Chef Russell Hays (who is kinda a big deal, y’all) took over Lobby’s kitchen in November of last year. Gorms and I spoke with Russell at length about the changes he’s making to the menu, his career path (worked in France/ at the Ritz Buckhead/ Joel/ Peasant Bistro/ Buckhead Life Group – in no particular order and among many other super exclusive gigs), and his personal take on the Lance Armstrong drama (he’s an avid cyclist). This is huge that he’s now calls Lobby home!
We told our new friend, Russell, to just send over whatever he thought would really wow us. He said he could handle that, so we set aside our menus.
I started off with some wine: a lovely red blend with a feisty name. (Someone needs to wash out that bottle’s mouth with soap!)
And here’s where the rest of the night took us:
Korean BBQ Tuna: sticky rice, tempura eggplant, serrano chili. This was an absolutely fantastic way to officially kick off our feast at Lobby! It was delicious.
Heart of Palm Salad: orange, avocado puree, hazelnut, blood orange vinaigrette. I’m not huge on heart of palm, but Gorms raved about this dish. It sure was pretty, too!
Slow Cooked Chicken Thighs: smoked mushrooms, creamy polenta, parmesan. This really won us over! SCCT is not a dish I would have typically ordered on my own (do you have beef carpaccio or tuna tartare, please??), but I’m SO glad that Russell sent it over to our table. It was succulent, flavorful, and it made me question what I’ve been missing for the past 30 years… Okay, 31… It’s an absolute “must try” on Lobby’s menu!
Lobster Risotto: carnaroli rice, thin beans, zucchini, black truffle. So good.
Seared Scallops: brown butter cauliflower puree, asparagus, caper-raisin emulsion. Beautiful and the scallops were perfectly cooked.
Grilled NY Strip: roasted potatoes, asparagus, hen of the woods mushrooms, peppercorn-brandy sauce. Heavier than I’d normally order for myself after all of the food that preceded it, but it was still excellent. If I were going to order this again, I might stick to one appetizer and entree instead of five, but other than that it was great!
We were stuffed, but that didn’t matter because everyone knows you have a separate stomach for dessert. This was our outstanding dessert sampling:
Passionfruit Soup: exotic fruits, vanilla ice cream. A complete surprise! Reading about it on the menu, I would not have opted for this dessert over any of the others. As it turns out, it was my favorite! Tart and refreshing – it was exactly what I wanted to eat after our enormous meal.
Chocolate Ganache and Hazelnut Crunch Bar: espresso anglaise. Although Russell learned how to make this in France, it reminded me of my favorite dessert at Rathbun’s. I hope Kevin R will still let me visit his joint after I tell you that this was done better at Lobby!
Warm Chocolate Cake: vanilla bean ice cream, mi amere chocolate sauce. I mean, it’s hard not to lick the plate when eating this one…
Pistachio Creme Brulee: red fruit jam, chocolate tuille. Gorms liked this one best. It was pretty special.
We. Ate. So. Much. !!!
The only thing that Russell didn’t bring us that I wish he had was a cot to nap on after we finished our massive meal… Don’t judge.
In all seriousness, we were incredibly grateful to have tasted such wonderful dishes at Lobby. It was like connecting with an old friend who has really taken off in life! Lobby is making significant strides to break away from being a hotel restaurant with hotel food and setting itself apart as something truly special in Atlanta. And it is VERY special! I’m so happy to have rediscovered it, and I see a big future ahead for it. Their menu changes seasonally – so I am thrilled to head back soon to see what Russell has up his sleeve for spring!
Lobby Bar and Bistro
Twelve Hotel & Residences – Atlantic Station
361 17th Street NW
Atlanta, Georgia 30363
Tags: ,careful cowboy!, clean plate club, comfort food, concentrics restaurants, dinner date!, don't judge, food coma, Gorms, I'm just saying..., incredibly bold statements, LMR, midtown mavens, sugar rush!, SUNDAY FUNDAY, sweet tooth, Table for Two, Things that are awesome..., Things we love!, very important people, You Can Find Me in the A