So, it was Midtown Restaurant week. Where to go? I’d already been to many of the restaurants listed and wanted to try something new. WaterHaven’s menu intrigued me. I like that Waterhaven had a solid offering of dishes – not just 2 apps and 2 entrees. Lamb sliders, crabcakes, bacon wrapped trout, oxtails all sounded yummy to me.
As it turns out, there were a group of friends that wanted to check it out as well. So we headed out on a Tuesday night to sample their menu. I don’t know what it is about that subtle change from August to September, but there was an immediate drop in humidity, perfect for sitting outside. As I was the first to arrive in my group, I checked out the patio, which is about 10 wrought iron tables and chairs that seat 4 people each. It didn’t look all that comfortable so I opted to sit inside.
Our group arrived around 730ish. Wathaven offers some specialty cocktails like a strawberry infused mojito, sweat tea vodka, sloe gin mule and the like. I’ve been burned by theses cocktails as of late. And when I say “burned” I mean that the description sounds good, but it often ends up being a high-ticket price without delivering on the alcohol.
Several of us opted for wine instead. A nice Grenache priced at $48.
Again, I loved that WaterHaven had a good representation of their menu for restaurant week. Actually, nearly everything on their regular menu was on the restaurant week menu. I was so glad there was a group so I could sample different menu options. For appetizers, we ordered a mix of the calamari, fried green tomatoes, lamb sliders, and the crabcake.
My first inclination was to go with the lamb sliders, but as no one else was going to order the crabcake, I had to order that. Although it was full of meat and not too much bread, it lacked any real taste to it. It was pretty bland. The lamb sliders on the other hand, although simply prepared, were full of flavor. I was also concerned that the bun would be too much in relation to the amount of meat as with sliders at JCT Kitchen, but it wasn’t.
The calamari was decent, nothing to complain about, but was overshadowed by the lamb sliders as well as the fried green tomatoes. Now, this is probably the last appetizer that I would have chosen to order, but it was delightful. The thin, fried tomatoes were served with a pesto sauce that adds a wonderful flavor to the tomatoes. I don’t care for goat cheese so I didn’t taste that with the tomatoes but the others seemed to like it.
As far as entrees we ran the gamut, from Bacon Wrapped Trout, Flatiron Steak, Chicken and of course the Oxtails. The trout was flaky and cooked perfectly with bacon and a side of mushroom lasagna. I’ve never seen lasagna quite like this before. It was like a round pasta sandwich. The pasta was on the top and bottom and the mushroom and asiago and ricotta cheese were mixed inside. Very yummy and unexpected. They could almost serve that dish by itself. In fact, it would make a perfect offering for vegetarians.
I did taste the Oxtails myself and was impressed. These were braised and fall off the bone tender. The only thing I didn’t care for or did my friend for that matter is the dumplings they were served with were not very dumpling-like. They were more like hard potatoes. But all in all it was a very pleasurable meal. I didn’t sample the steak or the chicken, but judging by the fact that there wasn’t a speck of food left on anyone’s plate, I’d take it everyone was satisfied.
But we weren’t done yet. We still had the dessert course. Our choices were the Chocolate icebox cake, the lemon and blueberry panacotta or the Chef’s nightly creation which was a poundcake with berries and ice cream. Again, within our group we had a sampling of all 3.
The least favorite of mine was the chocolate cake. Don’t get me wrong, I love chocolate but this was so rich, one bite was plenty. The pound cake was delicious and moist and the sweetness of the cake went well with the tart berries. But the Lemon blueberry panacotta takes the cake, so to speak. If you’ve never had panacotta, it is like a pudding or flan. Not only was the plating pretty with thoughtful details like a candied lemon zest on top, the lemon flavor came through in every bite, with the lemon and blueberry in perfect harmony.
Service was also great, with friendly, consistent service. And the chef even came by to ask us how we liked everything. I love that even though they knew we were here for restaurant week, they still wanted to make sure we had a good experience. And they had a good menu offering as well. Listen up restaurants – THAT is how you successfully execute a restaurant week, quite the opposite of my many other restaurant week experiences.
75 5th St
Atlanta, GA 30308-1019
Extras: They have valet parking if you need it but street parking can be found nearby as well.