(photo courtesy of Joy Cerevoir)
On few occasions you’ll find me sitting in a restaurant on a Wednesday night. Being *hump day*, I figure the masses are out celebrating the near coming weekend, and running up their bar tab to senseless amounts. I don’t like masses, so I’m usually twittering away, trying to get my followers to miraculously jump to 1000 in one nights sitting.
Then I had the idea that I need to get out more. Show off my sexy stilettos. Enjoy this southern city I live in. I hear there is so much to do and definitely an abundance of good eats. In three years here, I think I’ve only eaten at 25 restaurants. 25 really good ones, but that’s not a lot in a foodie’s world. I’m starting to change this hermit lifestyle I live when I am in town!
It couldn’t have been better timing to get a flier in email on Tuesday from a local restaurant celebrating 20 years; a huge rarity in these days of recession and bailouts. So now I’m curious! All I see are $20 specials on good stuff: prime rib, crab cakes, jumbo sea scallops and city fave martini’s. I call my partner in crime, whom has a borderline beer problem, and he’s down for trying a new place outside our stomping ground.
Virgina Highlands reminds me so much of Georgetown, so I was giddy to go hang there. It’s funky, eclectic, lots of shopping (picked up a super fab crystal ring on the way to the restaurant) and off the cuff eating. I’ve been to about 6 resto’s in the area, but Highland Tap Bar, the one celebrating 20 years was new to me. I walked passed it a few times and realized why on the 3rd try; signage is obscure.
I was pleasantly surprised when we walked down the long staircase and entered a dungeon of sorts. The dark, loggish-esque and quiet dining room gave me the impression of a Bonnie & Clyde covert meeting place.
I had made reservations, so we were quickly whisked away to our booth. Our server was efficient in rehearsing the specials. Again, a pleasant surprise at the listing. I was waiting to hear standard burger options. Instead, I opted for the sesame crusted salmon special which was accompanied by a vegetable medley in soy-brandy sauce and a half lobster tail. Is this bar food? You know I passed on the tail, and requested a petite filet instead. A ordered a grilled chicken over-top jalapeno polenta and smoked sun-dried tomatoes.
While our food was being prepared, A indulged in a chilled bottle of Sam Adams Emperial White. I’m not a beer drinker but his reaction to the the booster, crack like beer said it all. He asked for another one. And another one.
As picky as I am when it comes to steak, I was quite content with the sirloin I swapped out for. It was juicy and lucky me, the vegetables were perfectly seasoned, too. It’s almost as if the chef knew I’d be criticizing his skills. From my experience, this was exceptional neighborhood bar food. Even the presentation was nice. For $22, the portion was more than reasonable and A’s food was delectable. I ate just as much off his plate as I did my own. That simple.
So after a 90 minute, pretty quiet, but engaging dinner experience, I understood why Highland Tap is still around. They’ve luckily missed the flyswatter! They’ve got a good thing going on with chef Bert, an Atlanta culinary authority, at the burners. A completely unassuming place for great food! In due fashion, they are partying all this week! $20 meal options every night, $20 beer and vodka shakers are their meal ticket to your presence. No dessert specials but I did taste their signature Bailey’s cheesecake–since I don’t have a picture to share, I won’t even tell you how devlish orgasmic it was. And for you spirit and beer drinkers, they invite you to try their seasonal ales, all of which are on special for $2 with a take-home glass.
Yes, $2! There are some good things to come out of this recession.
For you Atliens, break your pattern, drive over to Va. Highland and let them serve you. You know, they are known in Atlanta circles for dishing out the best martinis and burgers, none of which I had, but I trust the creditors of the accolade.
**To the 20th person in Atlanta to comment, enjoy 2 FREE martini’s at Highland Tap!! For real. Go tell your friends!** (comment must be entered by noon on Sunday. I’ll notify you via email!)
Let this “Sweet ‘Tini” do the talking if you aren’t in Atlanta:
- 3oz Sweet Tea Vodka
- 1oz lemonade in shaker glass with ice
- Strain into martini glass
- Garnish with lemon
Party ends on Sunday.
Eat well, love unapologetically, pray with true intention, and take care of yourself.