I arrived a little late for dinner thanks to the hideous traffic on 75/85 headed north. I’d visited the Bottle Bar before, but was turned away because a friend was “dressed inappropriately”. That night we managed to steal our own vehicle from the valet due to crowd confusion, which turned me off completely. So this time I opted to self-park for $5 across the street.
They were running “fifteen minutes behind on reservations” which gave me the opportunity to watch the Hawks beat the Celtics from the bar. I also had the opportunity to take in the décor and details. I found it lovely. The patrons were well-dressed and clearly “sauced”. After waiting 40 minutes for our 10pm reservation to be honored, we were seated along the back wall between a large party of rambunctious hipster-fashionistas and an aging couple enjoying their date night (aka full-on making out at the table).
We started with a “good” bottle of wine. To be clear: the menu highlights wine specials at decided price points, like “good” ($15), “better” ($24) and “best” ($30). A tasty new world Sauvignon Blanc from Napa Valley did the trick to loosen us up.
After examining the menu and asking a few questions we realized that the appetizers were tiny and not enough to even whet the palate. Not to mention the small plates were not available. So we went for entrees. I ordered the lamb burger and BFF had the salmon.
At that point, the music seemed to get louder and louder while the lights got dimmer and dimmer—making it more like club than a restaurant. The TVs that had showed the game before, were now showing music videos that corresponded with the DJ’s mix of house and hip-hop. More and more people gathered in the middle to dance, providing lots of entertainment while we waited for our food.
I ordered the lamb burger with tomatoes and goat cheese. But it was more like the goat cheese came with a side of lamb. I ended up scraping some of the creamy cheese off and eating the patty open-faced. The grilled salmon w/ garganelli pasta and clam sauce was more like a bland clam broth over pasta with bite of bland salmon. It just didn’t really work for us. I was pleased with the lamb burger after trying the pasta.
After eating, the two parties around us left and were replaced by celebrity entourages. Big Poppa (best known as the elusive married lover of a “Real Housewives of Atlanta”) and Zaza Pachulia (BBB owner and Atlanta Hawks Center) were gawked at by fans and groupies. That was our cue to leave.
All in all, I enjoyed the bar scene before the 11pm switch to club mode. And the lively crowd makes it a great place to gather with friends. But I’m not sure about the food. I’d be curious to try the small plate menu one day.