February 2, 2011
During my Atlanta trip in the middle of 2010, I spent approximately:
– 24 hours by myself
– 72 hours with coworkers
I love my coworkers to death but I’m not going to lie – I’m a little leery of their dining choices. Some of them are like me, and are willing to explore the city to find that one good restaurant. Others are much more culinarily conservative – ask them where they want to go for dinner in Atlanta and there’s a 99% chance they’ll suggest “Waffle House”. That’s why, whenever I go on a work-related trip, I always make a list of my “must-go”s and hit those up before anyone else shows up…Who knows where I’d end up otherwise!
Now, 24 hours isn’t a lot of time to check out restaurants and there were a lot of places that I really wanted to go to but just couldn’t squeeze in, as much as I tried. Top Flr was originally one of these places. However, thanks to a little bit of luck (and because my foodie coworkers are better group organizers than my non-foodie coworkers), I was still able to try Top Flr that week.
Before I get to the food, just gotta say that service at Top Flr was great considering the circumstances. Our group of 25 descended upon that restaurant with no reservations, just a phone call saying “We’ll be there in an hour. Be prepared.” They had a space ready for us when we got there and took care of our needs as best they could (given there were, from what I could see, only 3 of them working the entire restaurant). They were troopers! I gotta give them credit for that.
Anyway, onto the food! Although most of our group ordered for themselves, my little table quartet ordered family style so we were able to try a larger range of dishes. (I’d highly recommend doing this if you end up going yourself – the portion sizes are perfect for sharing.)
We started with the beet salad: Sweet beets, goat cheese – it’s a classic combination. I appreciated the orange vinaigrette, which added that tinge of citrus to the salad.
The tuna tartare was next, piled high on a crispy flat bread and layered with avocado. The dish was good but the flavors were standard – nothing out of the ordinary.
The last of our starters was the Top Flr mac and cheese. I already adore mac and cheese made with orecchiette because the indentations in the pasta capture more flavor than normal macaroni. Top Flr’s version has an additional twist – jalapenos are strewn about the dish, giving it a kick of spice but not so much to ruin of the taste of everything else to come.
As for the entrees, we tried to mix it up with a beef dish, a duck dish and a fish dish. (The salmon – not pictured – was beyond boring compared to these other two plates on the table so I’m not going to touch upon that.)
For a duck confit pizza, they definitely aren’t skimping on the duck. Atop dough smeared with pesto were piles of duck, applewood bacon and grilled portobello mushrooms. Totally savory and completely satisfying.
The oxtail gnocchi was just as satisfying as the pizza. Although the gnocchi themselves were a bit chewy, the flavors were good and I remember trying to steal the last bite from the plate. (I obviously didn’t mind the texture too much!)
We ended our meal with the pineapple panna cotta – a light ending to an enjoyable meal.
What I loved most about Top Flr was that the food wasn’t the only thing that was good – the drinks here are AMAZING. I even told the bartender afterwards that he made some of the best cocktails I’ve ever had. My favorite was a drink composed of pistachio milk, a house-infused rosemary vodka, agave nectar and egg-white froth. Originally skeptical of the combination, once I tried a taste of their lavender infused vodka – floral, aromatic and not at all overbearing, perfectly incorporated into the rest of the drink – I knew they knew what they were doing and ordered it.
I still rant about this drink now. Creamy, hints of cinnamon (although I later discovered that “cinnamon” taste was actually from the bitters in the drink), with just the right amount of sweetness – absolutely delicious.
So, in the end, I still got to dine at Top Flr while in Atlanta. (So happy I didn’t miss out!) Not only that, I had a great night with my coworkers/friends…and what’s better than good food and good company?
674 Myrtle St NE
Atlanta, GA 30308