Dining Out: Kimball House
On Friday and Saturday nights I frequently receive text messages from assorted friends who are eating out. The context of the text usually fall into one of two buckets - asking or giving restaurant advice. The texts usually look like this:
1) I'm eating at ______ which dish should I get?or2) Have you ever been to ______? This place is awesome!!!
I usually send blog links to the first question and I stockpile the recommendations to the second. I initially heard about no. 246 and Fox Brothers this way. For the past year or so the two most frequent mentions have gone to BoccaLupo in East Atlanta (still on my short list!) and Kimball House in Decatur. My foodies friends LOVE these places, and I've decided there aren't enough days in the weekend!
Still, one of the benefits of having a birthday is the ability to go any place your heart desires, so I picked Kimball House. What a treat!
The star of the evening is the environment. The Kimball House has an amazing vibe, not just because it's set in an old, small, and oh-so-hip train depot, but because the service is so nice. And by "nice," I mean exceptionally great!
I rarely write about the service because I am not a very demanding diner. I don't order stuff on the side. I barely consume any water. I usually like it when the check is slow to arrive. In other words, the things that bother most people I don't usually notice. Most places I eat the wait staff doesn't call attention to themselves and they blend in with the food. This is a good thing!
However, at Kimball House, the place made me feel as if I were jumping into a fun family dinner. I counted six different people who interacted with us during the course of the evening and all gave the impression of really enjoying their jobs. HUGE props!
Kimball House doesn't take reservations (but they are open until 2AM, so you can definitely get in at some point), but if you sit in the bar, the service is attentive and you can have a fabulous appetizer. We started with the beef tartare (in dim lighting!).
I could NOT talk Billy into joining me for oysters, but I couldn't resist trying a couple. One East Coast and one West. If you're new to ordering oysters, let your server recommend his top picks!While I had the oysters, Billy had the mushroom crepe. This isn't always on the menu and the waiter swooned over the dish. We had to give it a try. I almost canceled the rest of the meal so I could eat just this dish.
The mushrooms were served in a gorgeous cream sauce and topped with grilled romaine leaves and a hint of mustard. Oh my!
Uh-mazing!!! This will be on my OWN top dish list, and it was our favorite of the evening.For my entree I had the Roasted Sturgeon with a divine smoked ham.As much as I loved my dish, Billy's was even better. He had the grilled octopus, broccoli, sweet peppers and crispy rice. (What in the world? Was this part of some chef's challenge?) I LOVED every bite I could squirrel away from him! The picture doesn't do this dish justice!We had the fried apple pie for dessert. It was solid, but not as remarkable as the rest of the meal (which is not a criticism!).Thank you, friends, for recommending this gem. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience!!