This weekend, David and I enjoyed the most amazing meal at Bacchanalia, with two of our friends, who are a big part of the reason we fell in love with Atlanta. It was a perfect way to celebrate their friendship, and the fact that we are in ATL for good, as well as an excuse to spend an evening together.
I didn’t take any pictures of the meal because well, it just didn’t seem like the right place to be snapping photos, but I really wish I had. Every dish was so beautiful you don’t want to eat it, yet so delicious that you savor every last bite.
For those of you that don’t know, Bacchanalia is owned by Anne Quatrano, who also owns Floataway Café, Abbattoir, and Star Provisions. This restaurant is a special occasion splurge, a very special treat. For $75, you get a beautiful 4-course dinner, with multiple special treats between courses. While $75 is a lot of money, for us DC folks, it’s a steal!
Many people have written about Bacchanalia, and we all agree that the food is divine. I could talk your ear off about my grilled octopus with green curry appetizer or my lamb with spring pesto, followed by a cheese course with plum preserves, or the peanut butter ice cream with caramelized bananas, but I would just make you jealous…really jealous
I will tell you about how Bacchanalia created an especially wonderful for me. When I made the reservations, they carefully noted that I have celiac and can’t eat gluten. Normally, even when you tell a restaurant, you still need to remind them when you arrive. At Bacchanalia, I literally didn’t have to ask a single question the entire meal. I think every person employed by Bacchanalia knew about my dietary restrictions. Upon being seated, they removed my bread plate and took care of me every step of the three hour meal. Since I couldn’t enjoy the cheese biscuits with my dinner companions, the chef gave me a beet salad with micro greens amuse bouche, which was a perfectly refreshing way to start the meal. (Who needs cheese biscuits anyway?)
One of my favorite treats of the evening was the pre-dessert Panna cotta. Everyone else’s came with granola on top, but for mine they garnished it with puffed rice. Pretty awesome. I had no idea I was a fan of panna cotta but it was delicious, creamy and sweet.
At the end of this amazing meal, even though I’d been eating for the last three hours, I felt completely refreshed, free of bloating, stomach pain or any signs of contamination. With a 4-course meal and added surprises along the way, there are many variables and chances for a mess up, but not a single mistake was made at Bacchanalia. I confidently slurped every soup, ate every bite, and devoured each course, without any concern. (When the server put the peanut butter ice cream and caramelized bananas in front of me, I momentarily panicked at the graham cracker looking, crumbly bits on the plate. He quickly, and very pleasantly, assured me that it was just crumbled peanuts.)
If you’re looking for a restaurant to celebrate a special occasion, Bacchanalia is the place. Particularly for those of us with special dietary needs, the chefs and servers will make sure that you have just as wonderful of a dining experience as your gluten-eating, dairy-loving, date. When you make your reservations, let them know your needs, and they will be happy to serve you.
Have you ever dined at Bacchanalia? What was your favorite part of the meal? Highlights?