Monday, March 18, 2013

Restaurant Review: Gilbert's and 10th & Piedmont

Communitas Hospitality owns three Atlanta restaurants - Hobnob, Gilbert's and the new 10th & Piedmont. Recently, we were invited to try Gilbert's and 10th &Piedmont, which are in fact connected and are located in the heart of Midtown at, you guessed it, the corner of 10th and Piedmont.

10th & Piedmont is more chic and trendy feeling than Gilbert's. Think lots of white with pops of bright yellow in the form of modern furniture and accessories. 

A similar cocktail list beckons at both spots, with an emphasis on vodka. Alas I had to skip the vodka flights and specialty cocktails. I asked if they could create a mocktail for me, and I gave the direction that ingredients from their regular drinks menu such as ginger or honey syrup were most compelling to me. Alas, it was a mocktail misfire, and our waitress brought me what appeared to be a Ginger Mint Julep minus the bourbon. I've found when mocktails go wrong, it's typically because they just subtract the booze, but unfortunately, muddled mint, ginger syrup and ice tastes like virtually nothing. Bartenders of America, mocktails do require some creativity and tweaking of recipes, but I promise you the teetotalers and pregos among us appreciate the effort!

Fortunately, the Mr. enjoyed his G's Old Fashioned, and our friend loved her Lavender Lemonade, so I have the utmost confidence that beverages with actual booze in them taste good.

Dinner at 10th & Piedmont is primarily small plates. We chose the Southern Arancini (blue cheese grit arancini with tomato marmalade) and an unusual twist on chicken and waffles, which actually resembles a corn dog, and is served with North Georgia Sorghum syrup, hot sauce and powdered sugar.  

10th & Piedmont's Chicken & Waffles and Southern Arancini
If the waitress hadn't forewarned us, we might have been shocked by the chicken and waffles, but I thought the corndog style of preparation worked quite well, and I enjoyed the contrast of sweet and savory.  Who doesn't love food on a stick?

The arancini were also a success. Grits are not typically my fave, but in the context of arancini, the dish was deliciously rich and I thought the funk of blue cheese worked well with the creamy grits.

The Mr.'s moscow mule

Next we headed to the darker, less trendy feeling Gilbert's for our main course. My mocktail here was much more successful with a booze free variation on a mojito that actually tasted pretty similar to the real thing. And bonus points for serving the Mr.'s Moscow Mule in a legit copper cup.

The entertainment at Gilbert's

A belly dancer kept us entertained while we perused the menu at Gilbert's. I'd have never guessed Gilbert's had that sort of thing, so it was a nice surprise to see that the Imperial Fez isn't the only place in town getting in on the belly dancing action.

Gilbert's lamb shank

Gilbert himself highly recommended the Lamb Shank with Chickpea Polenta, Cherry Tomato Confit, Swiss Chard and Natural Jus, so how could we resist? For just $19, this delectable dish is a steal. It's definitely hearty and cold weather appropriate, and the meat is so tender and full of flavor. It's seasonal, so get there soon if you want to sample this!

Gilbert's sausage paella

A Sausage Paella with Chicken Sausage, Smoked Chorizo, Haricot Vert, Zucchini, Peas, Tomatoes was fine but definitely not as compelling as the lamb. At $14, it's also a bargain, and it wasn't short on sausage, but I missed the crunchy rice and bold saffron flavors of my favorite paellas. Needless to say, I had dish envy as my honey scarfed down his lamb shank!

Chocolate souffle is available at both restaurants. It takes a while to prepare so be sure to order it in advance. Even if you forget to pre-order, it's well worth the wait. It was light as a good souffle should be, and there was no shortage of blissfully molten hot chocolate inside. Even after a big meal and a tiny pregnancy stomach, I ate every last bite of my share of this dessert. Even if you just come to sample their impressive cocktail list, I wouldn't want to miss this dessert!

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by both spots. I'd like to return for more small plates and some actual booze filled cocktails after Baby V arrives, and I'll definitely save room for some souffle!

10th & Piedmont

991 Piedmont Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30309
(404) 602-5510


219 10th St NE, Atlanta, GA 30309
(404) 872-8012

10th and Piedmont on Urbanspoon

*Full disclosure: Although my food was comped, I always endeavor to offer my unbiased opinion of the experience!



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