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tharrison

Iris

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If you haven't already, please check out Iris :wub:

I've been twice in the past week and I can't give it enough praise. Carpaccio, tuna tartare, lobster bisque, lamb, oh my! Not to mention a super friendly staff.

Try it, if you don't love it well then I don't know what to say :biggrin:


"I like butter and the people who like butter." -TA

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Last evening a group of 18 of us, at the last minute, decided to get together at Iris, 1314 Glenwood Ave SE in East Atlanta for dinner. Chef Nicholas was very accommodating.

We first gathered in the bar to await the arrival of all in our party. While drinking whatever we chose, we shared bread and tappenade and cheese, olives, pickles, ceviche and oysters. After deciding that we would all go with the prix fixe menu, we adjourned to our dining room.

Remembering all that we were served is beyond reason, but at least the following courses are recalled: beef carpaccio, lobster ceviche, lobster bisque, foi gras, wolf fish with white asparagus, lamb with mashed potatoes, carrots and fried sweet potato chips, and finally individual cheese assortments and coffee. Chef Nicholas prepared salads for those who did not care for foi gras, and served crab cakes to those who did not eat red meat. Such accommodation and flexibility is not often found. Chef Nicholas and our server, James, treated us as wonderfully, as professionally as I could imagine. Our water and wine glasses were constantly being refilled, our tableware was constantly being replaced. We always had the appropriate clean dinnerware for the next course.

The most amazing thing to me is that every single item served was excellent. Zola, in north Alpharetta, is the only other place I have eaten in the Atlanta area in recent years where I can honestly say that happened.

A natural question for many of you is cost. Our share (we asked for, and received individual checks) at the bar and in the dining room, including tips, came to $104 for the two of us.

It is amazing to see what can be done with a neighborhood service station.

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Milt, I'll point out that the version of the prix fixe served to the big group last night was a super deluxe one: the usual Sunday night prix fixe is $29 for a starter (these vary markedly in size, so ask the server), soup, and main dish. Nicolas and his staff did a great job of handling a huge crowd while sending out exceptionally well-prepared food. We've eaten there a half dozen times or so since they opened, and it's always been great.

Oh, and to clarify the "service station" reference, Nicolas is housed in a rehabbed gas station. A fairly common scenario for small Atlanta restaurants actually---dish, Watershed, and Universal Joint all come to mind.


Can you pee in the ocean?

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Isn't this located in a fairly rough, bring-your-own-gun type neighborhood?


Be polite with dragons, for thou art crunchy and goeth down well with ketchup....

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Actually, the Iris website says this:

the eclectic East Atlanta Village neighborhood, in which IRIS is located and metro Atlanta.

The result is a modern Bistro concept, nestled in a familiar village setting.

That sounds more reassuring now ...

My friends, who patronize the place weekly, have seen no problem with the neighborhood which causes them concern either.


Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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It's located in East Atlanta, one of the many in-town neighborhoods that was pretty much ruined by the decision to slam interstates right through them without regard to pre-existing boundaries, topography, whatever. Very convenient to I-20, of course, so if you can bear to venture in-town for dinner you won't have to drive too far or look at too many suspicious sorts on the way. And once you're there it's valet parking, so you don't even have to set foot on the actual sidewalk of the actual scary neighborhood.

Anyway, the area is recovering, with a central area of shops and restaurants attracted by the existing cute storefronts and low rents, and the adjacent crack houses being rehabbed as the cute bungalows they always were. The upside to the past decades of poverty has been that nobody bothered to rip down all the houses and replace them with brick and stucco rat traps.

Not so very long ago Virginia Highland, Inman Park, Candler Park, and Lake Claire would have been described as "bring your own gun" neighborhoods. All of them are now pleasant places with happy denizens. If I had extra money right now I'd buy a house to rehab in East Atlanta.


Can you pee in the ocean?

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Isn't this located in a fairly rough, bring-your-own-gun type neighborhood?

I must admit I was more apprehensive about the neighborhood before eating Iris than afterward. It is very convenient to I-20 and valet parking also helps greatly, although I parked at the curb on the side street immediately across from the Iris valet parking sign.

When I mentioned the service station, it was with utmost respect and awe. I love the concept of rehabbing structures rather than razing them only to replace them with something no more impressive. My wife didn't recognize the restaurant building's past life until I pointed it out to her. I suspect she was paying more attention to the art on the walls. That always turns her head.

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