Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Lobby at Twelve and Chef Nick Oltarsh

Chicken and waffles: maple syrup, tabasco.

I was recently invited to a media luncheon showcasing the new menu of Chef Nick Oltarsh, who has returned to Lobby at Twelve in Atlantic Station after serving as chef at various other restaurants in the Concentrics group.

We started with Gumbo, which surpassed my expectations. Spicy and flavorful, I would definitely order this again on a cold evening. The chicken and waffles were also pleasing, perhaps because I've always wanted to try this dish and never before have gone for it. The addition of tabasco to the syrup really added something to the dish. I enjoyed the seared tuna, although when I want good tuna, I head to a sushi bar. I did enjoy the flavors presented with the tuna here, however.

Gumbo: andouille sausage, steamed rice, scallions.

Seared Tuna: picked cucumbers, hearts of palm, sesame ginger vinaigrette.

Lobby Vegetable Pizza.

The pizza was pretty good also - I love all the veggies on it and after adding some red pepper flakes, it was spiced just right for me! The shrimp and grits were disappointing, lacking the flavor the many other such dishes convey. I think the grits need something - maybe cheese or cream? I tasted the salmon another person ordered and it was better, cooked properly with a nice sauce.

Overall Lobby is a good choice if you're in the Atlantic Station area and need to eat. I don't love the hotel atmosphere and parking is not ideal, although I've managed to figure out how to park just underneath the hotel after a couple visits to the area! I'm glad that Chef Nick has returned and look forward to trying additional items as the menu evolves.

Marinated Shrimp & Creamy Grits: tomato, caraway seeds, capers.

Roasted Salmon: champagne vinegar sauce, julienne spring vegetables.

Mini-Desserts: lemon meringue tarts, chocolate cake, eclairs, Opera. Always good to have a little sweet spot at the end!

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