Atmosphere. It’s as important to us at Date Night as the food we order. Tonight, we visit a restaurant that’s so dark we can’t see what we are eating.
Vin 25 is located right off of busy Canton Street in Roswell. We have eaten up and down Canton and it’s a great area for foodies. Like many restaurants in the area, Vin 25 is in a converted old house. They are one of the few places in Roswell that has a parking lot without a valet, which to us is a big plus.
It’s not big, and we can imagine it gets crowded at times. We are here fairly early on a cold night and it’s pretty empty. Because of the chill, we don’t want to sit near the door because we don’t want to feel the blast of cold air every time the door opens. We take a couple of seats at the bar.
It’s a beautiful bar and the people behind it know their wine. The restaurant takes its name from the fact that they have 25 bottles of wine available by the glass at all times. The bartender, who is also our server, asks us what kind of wine we like. When we tell him we love Italians, he immediately picks two for us to try. After tasting, we order one of each.
You are looking at $27 worth of wine in those glasses. Although the grape is good and the pour generous, Date Night doesn’t see a lot of value in wine, especially for “cheap dates” like us. But when you are in a wine bar, you have to drink like you are in a wine bar, even though there is an extensive menu of other drinks.
The menu is divided into four sections: snacks, small plates, entrees, and desserts. We decide to try a dish from each.
Our first “snack” is the best thing that we eat tonight. The lamb meatballs come atop pea puree. Add a little mint and lemon and you have an excellent dish.
As you can see, the meatballs are gorgeous, but it’s impossible for us to see the food. One server keeps turning the lights up from dark to barely light, while another makes it so dark we can’t really see each other. It’s an interesting game of lighting “chicken” that nobody is winning. At these prices, you have to cater to the older demographic, who I can assure you wants to be able to see their meals. You can see more of the lighting problems in our exclusive Tastemade video, which you can see here.
Luckily for us, the Date Night camera has a good flash or we wouldn’t have a lot of pictures to show. Our next course is a small plate, the honey poached pear salad.
This is a wonderful salad. The pears are perfectly poached and they are soft and sweet. The flavor goes well with the watercress and blue cheese that’s on top.
Here’s our entree, the pan seared duck breast.
There’s not a lot to share here, but they make up in flavor what they lack in quantity. The moist duck sits on a bed of butternut squash puree. There are some Brussels sprouts in the other corner of the plate.
We do have room for dessert, and what sounds so good when described comes out so poorly executed.
The bread pudding is burned on the top. If only we could have seen it, we would have sent it back. It’s black, hard, and crunchy on top and very hard to cut. It is not until we get home and see our picture that we realize why we did not love it. We should have sent it back. Date Night promises to be better about that in the future.
Score Factor: For 2015, Date Night introduces a new feature, the Score Factor. It’s our attempt to do something that no other food blog in the ATL is doing. The Score Factor is just that: how likely you are to “score” after taking a date here. We’re going to give Vin 25 a 3.5 out of five. It’s romantic, but it was so dark that you couldn’t look into your date’s eyes.
The Bottom Line on Vin 25: Date Night doesn’t mind spending money on our dates, but two glasses of wine and our shared food cost a whopping $88 before the tip. The food was good, but the price tag was too high to warrant a return visit. The portions are not big and we just don’t see a lot of value here when compared to some of the restaurants around the block on Canton Street. Others seem to like it here, though, as it’s the number one restaurant in Roswell on Trip Advisor as of this writing.