We got married last week. Having just moved to Atlanta from the UK, we decided that having a small wedding (very small - just the two of us) would be more romantic and a lot less stressful and expensive than planning a big wedding back at home. So with it being a special occasion, we were looking for a very special restaurant, and Eugene came highly recommended. I have to say that the whole experience, from the service, to the food, to the atmosphere was absolutely perfect.
When we made our reservation online at their website (which is really convenient by the way) we added a short note to let them know that it was a special occasion, and that we were getting married that afternoon. Well, I'm so glad we did because they certainly pulled out all the stops to make the evening special for us. They reserved what I would say was the best table in the house. When we first arrived, we were warmly congratulated and were each given a complimentary glass of champagne and personalised menus with our names and the date printed on the front - such a nice touch!
We ordered the 5 course tasting menu, and opted for the accompanying wine pairings. The food was excellent. The courses were the perfect size so that you felt like you had a big enough portion to enable you to appreciate each course, but small enough so that you could finish each course and still make it to the end of the meal. In addition to the 5 courses there were also canapés at the beginning of the meal, palate cleansers between courses, and specially selected breads to accompany the meal. I won't write too much about the menu itself because it's available on their website and I would say that it speaks for itself, but what I will say is that the food was absolutely fantastic. Each course was successfully creative without being pretentious, and everything tasted beautiful. The wine pairings were also great and very well selected. It was really nice to try different wines to compliment each course, rather than having to choose just one bottle, and this added to the fun of the 'I can't wait to see what's next' tasting menu experience. The only course that we weren't absolutely blown away with was the dessert. It was a sweet potato eclair, which sounded really interesting but it didn't really work for us unfortunately. I think this was more down to a personal preference though, as we always opt for something light and tart at the end of a large meal and would have preferred some sort of sour fruit based dessert. The sweet potato eclair was more a sweet/salty combination which I know is very popular here in the states. Though it wouldn't have been our first choice, we still enjoyed it, and after we had finished with the eclair we were brought another plate of sweets, which had the light, sweet/sour flavour that we were looking for.
The service was absolutely brilliant. The waiting staff do an excellent job of finding the right balance so that they are helpful and there when you need them, but also give you privacy to enjoy your evening. All of the drinks and courses were timed perfectly, we never felt rushed (even though it was a busy Friday evening) and we were never left wondering where our next course was. I think, all in all, it took us about 3 hours to make our way through all of the courses and extra gifts from the chef. Whenever something new was brought to the table, the waiters did a really great job of describing the components of the dish, and the accompanying wine, even giving recommendations from the chef on how best to enjoy it (do you eat it all at once, or work from one side to the other). We had mentioned to one of the waiters that we had just moved to the area and had been a bit disappointed by the other restaurants we had tried (I have found that here in Atlanta, mid range restaurants are often just fast food with table service)
and at the end of the meal, he gave us a list of mid range restaurants in the local area that we might enjoy. Can't wait to try them out!
The atmosphere was great and I would say that it is perfect for a special occasion. If you are making a reservation for a birthday/anniversary/wedding etc, be sure to let the restaurant know because they will go out of their way to make the service personal. As well as special occasions, I would also recommend the restaurant as a great place to impress on a date, or for an important business meal. The dress code is smart/casual - smart. You wouldn't be out of place in either smart jeans and a shirt/blouse, or in a suit/cocktail dress.
The tasting menu was $85 per person, with an extra $55 if you would like the wine parings with each course. Though this is far more than we would usually spend at a restaurant, I would say that it was very good value for money. You definitely get what you pay for and more. We've already decided that we will go back for our anniversary next year (then again...my husbands Birthday is in a few weeks time :D)
Finally, I would just like to say a big thankyou to the staff at Restaurant Eugene for making our evening so special