REVIEW: Legal Sea Foods, Downtown, Atlanta
We had wrapped up an enjoyable tour of the Callanwolde Fine Arts Center. We had eaten a very light lunch and we ready for a hearty early dinner. In keeping with our celebration of Atlanta Downtown Restaurant Week, we chose Legal Sea Foods. We’d been there a few years ago to celebrate New Years Eve and a table by the window is an elegant way to watch fireworks, Legal Sea Foods is right near the Georgia Aquarium and the World of Coca-Cola so its very convenient if you are visiting either of those attractions. There is valet parking and if you validate your ticket with the hostess on the way out, parking is only $5 (otherwise its $10), but please tip your valet of course. You may also self-park, but bring your ticket so that you can pay using the machine at the entrance and YES, credit cards are accepted.
Once you step inside, you go through the Oyster Bar and up the elevator with Legal Sea Foods written on it to be taken to the next level to the main restaurant. When seated, you’ll be guided past the bar and into the dining room. The restaurant has a contemporary, upscale feel yet is still comfortable for casual dining. The dining room is spacious with a wonderful view of downtown Atlanta from its panoramic windows. I would recommend reservations for weekend meals. At this time though, we were able to be seated without a wait.
We met our server and soon had refreshments and were discussing the menu and its options. I was pleased that he mentioned that it was Atlanta Downtown Restaurant Week and showed us their special prix-fixe special menu for the occasion. I really appreciated the special attention that Legal Sea Foods had shown to support this important event and that fact that they took the time, trouble and expense to print a special menu for the week.
We decided to begin the meal with Warm Spinach and Feta Dip and decided to add the crabmeat and crab chips. So what are crab chips, right? Think of a potato chip that’s been bred with a rice cake and then merged with a Funyun or maybe a pork rind. You non-Southerners (sorry, I mean you damn yankees :-)) who don’t know about pork rinds if you think you can’t eat but one Lays Potato Chip, don’t go near a bag of pork rinds. My point is this, do not be afraid, get the crab chips.
When this appetizer arrived, it was still bubbling like a cauldron it was so hot. Now, I love that, but Melanie had to wait a minute to let it cool down. I warned her that if she waited too long, she wasn’t going to be very happy because this was awesome.
I made a selection from the Classic menu titled The Grilled Assortment. This dish features shrimp, scallops, tuna, swordfish and salmon. The three fish may vary depending on season and availability so on the menu, it’s simply titled “3 fish”. Melanie opted for the Shrimp from the Crispy Fried selections. We both selected salads as one of our sides, with Melanie choosing the Ranch dressing and I tried the Tomato Vinaigrette. For vegetables, I chose the Grilled Asparagus and Melanie went with the Broccoli & Cheese.
Once we had finished our appetizer, we had ample time to relax and talk before our salads arrived. We also had an appropriate amount of time after we had finished our salads and the meal arrived. I cannot stress how important it is to have the right amount of time in between courses and not feel rushed. It makes the meal so much more pleasant. Dining out should be an experience to be enjoyed and savored!
When my entreè arrived, I was underwhelmed by the portion size, but the taste and flavor soon compensated for any misunderstandings I had. Everything was prepared and seasoned perfectly. Once I started eating, I also realized that the portions were right-sized for the meal. The Grilled Asparagus had a wonderful flavor and were larger stalks that you normally don’t see with asparagus.
Melanie enjoyed her shrimp because of its light batter and well-sized shrimp. But, by the time she had enjoyed the appetizer and the salad, she was well on her way towards full and didn’t come close to finishing her meal. I pitched in to help by eating three shrimp but there were still four left over to go into a box for later along with some broccoli, asparagus and a few crab chips.
Dining at Legal Sea Foods was one of the most enjoyable meals I’ve had in a very long time. The service was second to none. The quality, flavor and portions of the food as near perfect as anyone could expect. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND Legal Sea Foods whether you’re in town sightseeing, having a special celebration or just want to kick it with your friends. Guten appetit!