Our friends invited us to Athens for dinner before a NYE party we were attending later. Picasso's Grill is owned by Matt Crawford, a recent transplant to the area via his wife. The restaurant had only been open 7 weeks when we had dinner there. We were there as part of a group of about 20 people. We ordered the Crab Cake with Tempura Fried Aparagus as an appetizer and it was excellent! The crab cake was tasty and the asparagus was delicious!
Another couple ordered the hummus and pita bread, which I did try and it was also delicious but if I were returning, the crab cake would be my first choice. We ordered cocktails, beer and wine but had a hard time with the wine selection because the wine distributor didn't get their delivery made. Our friends settled on a bottle of wine and were pleased with their selection, while my husband ordered a Dale's pale ale and I ordered a Lemon Drop Martini. Apparently the wine and pale ale were big hits but the Lemon Drop, not so much. It was so sour I could hardly drink it. The server suggested a "Midnight Kiss" as my next drink and it was MUCH better.
My salad arrived shortly after we were done with the appetizer and it was crisp, cold and came with some of the best bleu cheese dressing I've ever tasted. After the salad plate was taken away, our dinners arrived. There were two ribeyes ordered at our table, both cooked correctly and my husband ordered the Trout and my friend's husband, a steak sandwich. Our steaks had wonderful flavor and were served over a mixture of fried potatoes and mushrooms that were delicious. The trout was served with a corn cake on top that was excellent as well. The trout had wonderful flavor and was well seasoned.
The only real issues we had were not being able to order a second bottle of wine because they were out of it (Matt came out and recommended the Zin of Zen as the second bottle and my friends enjoyed it thoroughly....and he graciously comped the second bottle for the trouble of being out of most wine selections.), and the separation of the checks. Our server came back twice and we helped her divide the checks but they were still incorrect. However, these little bumps in the road are to be expected from a restaurant only open a few weeks and never having experienced such a large crowd at once like a NYE crowd. The restaurant probably holds about 50 people so its small and has a bar area in the back. Picasso's also had live entertainment for the evening that was enjoyable as well.
It was obvious how much the owner cared about this restaurant. He made it a point to come to our table and speak with us, was very apologetic over the issue of the wine shortage, and was intent on making sure that we enjoyed ourselves. With Matt being originally from the New York area, it was wonderful seeing how much our experience mattered to him.
We will definitely patronize this restaurant again. The prices were excellent (I believe the Ribeye was $20 and the Trout entree was approx $15) and the food is delicious. It's located in the same building as the Nestle Tollhouse Cookie shop just west of I65 off of exit 351 on the south side Hwy 72.
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