Date Night hits Vinings’ newest hotspot.
We are at Paces & Vine, which used to be Garrison’s Broiler and Tap. The folks that own the legendary Murphy’s in Virginia-Highlands came in and gave the place a re-do. They have only been open about a month. When you walk in, you are greeted by a large bar.
Hello, bar. I hope you have some good beer for us.
We have a reservation for five tonight, which is a good thing because it’s about to get crowded. We are joined by our solo offspring and the grandparents, avid readers of this blog. That means we get more food pictures to share with you.
It’s a cold night, and on a cold night you want a nice, dark beer. I go for the New Holland Poet, a new beer for us that’s a coffee-rich oatmeal stout. It’s got oatmeal in it, so it must be good for you. Eve gets the perfect winter beer, the Brooklyn Winter Ale. It’s brewed for nights just like this. It’s smooth and creamy like Guinness, but has a higher alcohol level.
The menu has lots of appetizers, a few salads, and around ten entrees. Let’s start off with some grilled artichokes.
These are as delicious as they are gorgeous on the plate. The smoky goodness of the grill gets into the ‘chokes. We all enjoy this one a lot. Some entrees come with a salad.
The House Caesar comes with lots of parmesan cheese. Watch out for those pickled onions. Thinking it was a cherry tomato, I got quite the surprise when I bit into the spicy onion.
If there is trout on the menu, Eve is unable to resist.
The Georgia trout comes on top of greens and parsnip puree. They top it all with caper butter. The parsnip is so good that she doesn’t share it. She sets aside half of the fish for my lunch the next day. It’s crispy on the outside and moist on the inside. It’s quite the piece of fish.
Paces and Vine has a secret. It’s the Josper Oven in the kitchen. We are told that there are only eight of them in Atlanta. What does it do?
It makes really good filets! We are told that 80% of the meals at Paces and Vine are the filets from the Josper. It looks like a giant smoker and recirculates the air so that the smoke for the charcoal fuel gets imparted into all of the meat. My meat is tender and smoky. The Josper chef did a great job on this order.
For non-meat eaters, here are a couple of choices.
The calamari is crunchy and fresh (and yes, slightly out of focus). It comes with a spicy dipping sauce. Or you could order crab cakes.
These are mostly crab (and no filler), just the way a crab cake should be.
Before dessert, we should pause and talk about the service, some of which is comical. Remember that they have only been open a month, so we expect some hiccups. Our waiter is great. He’s a pro who has done this before and probably didn’t need a lot of training. His support staff supplies the comedy. Everything that gets delivered to us is given to the wrong person. Wrong drinks, wrong salads, wrong entrees. It’s pretty funny to see us all swapping plates once they get delivered. There is a very long wait between ordering and when our entrees are delivered. This is blamed on the Josper, which makes great food, but can be slow. And when 80% of your orders need to be cooked in it, there’s going to be a wait. Ours is about 45 minutes. Just beware if you go and order accordingly.
We have room to split a dessert five ways.
The tollhouse pie is taken straight from the Murphy’s menu. Think warm chocolate chip cookie with ice cream. Keep thinking. Is there anything better?
The bottom line on Paces & Vine: It’s where all of the cool kids are going in Vinings. It’s packed with a young demographic. The place is buzzing with hipness. As you would expect from Murphy’s, the food is excellent. They have some service kinks to work out, but we are sure these will be taken care of as the staff gets more experience.