On A Scale of One to 10, ELEVEN Atlanta is the Score!

Staff Writer

Georgia white shrimp with cheddar grits in an andouille cream sauce

Of all the hotels in Atlanta--old and new, Loews Hotel--a relatively new kid on the block in THE most happening neighborhood in the city, is a hot spot on the scene! Luminaries known inside and outside of Atlanta's circle of influence converge regularly upon this particular hotel to experience the glamour and the sexy of the city.

Pulling into the half moon driveway on Eleventh Street, just off the official Peachtree Street address you're instantly captivated by the glass and marble facade beyond which the excitement in the living room type lobby and the showpiece lounge takes place nearly every night. The subtle illumination that dramatically backlights the dazzling Bar eleven, gives some clues as to who's who. Be it a CEO, an elected official, or such unannounced musicical guests Najee, Will Downing and more performing live for the weekend crown gathering as early as Thursday evening--a visit to this hot spot will do the spirit some good. While you're there, it would be a sin and a shame to miss out on the majesty of the hotel's signature restaurant,  "eleven Atlanta." 

A carryover of the modern-day-luxe decor found on the Bar eleven side, "eleven" (the restaurant) is led by the excellence of executive chef, Olivier Gaupin. A Frenchman with great culinary passion, Gaupin has both cooked and led culinary and beverage teams at top hotel around the country, all of which you can read about in his bio on the hotel's website. But just as it takes a village to raise a child, it takes an amazing Chef de Cuisine, such as Shayne Vaughn, to keep it real in the kitchen.

On the cusp of the change in seasons the possibilities of a comforting southern meal with a twist remain endless. For example, kick off the celebration with a luscious bowl of Smoked Chestnut Soup. This $8 starter done up with ham hocks and crispy basil is velvety smooth, yet heartwarmingly hearty. If you're lucky, they may still be serving snow crab claws at market price. If so, place a double order in advance--with the accompanying sweetness to mellow out the horseradish sauce, they REALLY are THAT good.  

If by chance the Georgia White Shrimp and Red Mule Grits have left the menu, throw yourself on the mercy of the chef and plead until he says yes! This $26 entree will (in the words of singer, Marvin Gay) "Make you wanna holler and throw up both ya hands." Imagine succulent shrimp combined with a svory cream sauce of roasted corn and andouille sausage, served atop cheddar grits rolling over and over your palate. That with a glass of something like a reisling wine to savory the spicyness and it will be all she wrote! The folk down in the low country of Southern Carolina would be proud and pleased to know what "eleven" has done with one of their signatures. Fennel Dusted Jumbo Scallops ($24) is another top contender for a seafarer's favorite. Again, imagine the impact of the burst of flavors resulting from scallops in a puddle of cirtrus beurre blanc, with celery root and sweet potato hash and you're likely to Oprah, hollering, "DAMN."

Butcher Block selections or red colored meat range from salmon to skirt steak, strip steak and filets or the grande damne of them all--good ole rib eye.

With the coming of summer, the wiseman or wisewoman is either sharing or skipping the $8 desserts, such as the Apple Trio or the much more indulgent Chocolate Thoughts of caramel, milk chocolate crunch, white chocolate mousse and bitter chocolate marquis. Just remember, you only live once.

Eleven (inside Loews Hotel Atlanta)

1065 Peachtree Stree, NE

Atlanta, GA. 30309


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