I recently dined at Portico Global Cuisine, which is located at the Le Meriden Hotel Perimeter Atlanta, near Perimeter Mall. Over the years, this particular hotel location has been the Westin, the W Perimeter and a few years ago it got a complete overhaul as the Le Meridien.
The Le Meridien present itself as design centric, contemporary hotel with a focus on the customer experience. Entering the lobby, you immediately get that sense with the clean lines of the design esthetic, the contemporary earthy textures, warm fabrics and of course the friendly staff. I hoped that Portico would deliver in the same vein.
As it was Valentine’s Day, there was a prix fixe menu that featured a few clichés but I can’t complain because I totally took the bait and ordered the Surf N Turf. I needed a lobster tail in my life that night. It was served with truffle cream, asparagus and mashed potatoes.
My love ordered from the regular menu which disappointingly featured a host of generic staples like a salmon dish, a pork chop, a burger and a market fish. He ordered the ribeye, which was served with asparagus and a mushroom risotto. The menu options didn’t thrill me, but again, I hoped that they would deliver in execution.
As the food goes, nothing was amiss. I have to say, for all my disappointment at the uninspiring options on the menu—my steak was nothing short of fantastic. It was cooked perfectly. The lobster tail was huge and tender. The potatoes were clearly prepared with heavy cream. And the truffle cream sauce for my steak was to die for–I nearly cried.
It’s noon somewhere… J/k these were our drinks from Valentine’s dinner. Super delish! @eddie_shoryuken loved his Manhattan. #drinks #bar #love #foodie #datenight #dinner #drink #vodka #instagood #happyhour #drinks #alcohol #drinkup #cocktails #cocktailhour #classiccocktails #atlanta #atl
“It’s noon somewhere… J/k these were our drinks from Valentine’s dinner. Super delish! @eddie_shoryuken loved his Manhattan. #drinks #bar #love #foodie…”
Let’s talk about the drinks. After flipping the wine menu over a few times I realized there were no cocktails. When I asked about that, the server presented me with a separate menu that no other table seemed to have.
The conversation of ordering cocktails brings me to the bar service. Portico has a small dining room. There is also an outdoor space which I hope to experience this summer, but it too is very small. The bar for the restaurant is technically the lobby bar called, Longitude 84. So if you ever have to wait for a table, you’ll be hanging out at the lobby bar until they call you.
For Valentine’s Day, the restaurant was prepared for the high volume with many servers and I imagine a full kitchen. So seating went quickly, food came in a timely fashion, but the drinks did not—as Longitude 84 serves not only the lobby, but the restaurant and the guest rooms. So on high volume nights, be prepared for a wait on drinks unless you order at the bar before checking in with the restaurant hostess.
My final thoughts: Having tried a few salads, a soup, a few steaks and a few cocktails at Portico– I have to give it a thumbs up. I say if you live in the area and haven’t tried it—stop in on your next date night or girls’ night. Portico doesn’t cater to a jeans and t-shirt crowd. I remember one couple coming in dressed that way and everyone in the dining room looked at them sideways. You don’t have to be in a suit, but I believe in matching the restaurant’s aesthetic.
My only critique is the menu. The food is prepared well, but the name of the restaurant is Portico GLOBAL Cuisine and I was completely underwhelmed with the options. I hope that they will revisit the menu before I return in the summer to hang out in the outdoor space.