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Cellar 56, a tapas bar located off East Andrews in Buckhead has been open nearly two years. The name Cellar 56, comes from the fact that they have 56 wines, some by the glass, but most by the bottle. Even on the Thursday evening they have forced valet, but by the time I was walking through the pretty courtyard to the entrance of Cellar 56, I had forgotten about this nuisance. Glen and I sat against the wall, next to each other for a perfect view of the restaurant. The small, cozy atmosphere lends itself to a date spot, but halfway into our meal a large group of about 10 celebrating a birthday sat down.
Cellar 56, while a tapas bar, isn’t like Eclipse Di Luna in that there isn’t a huge menu. Instead it is a carefully planned, well-selected menu off delicious goods, served alongside an excellent wine menu. I was starving by the time I sat down. All I had eaten all day was a pop-tart and some green beans, so I was certainly ready to chow down. And I was so thankful when our server informed us that the tapas come out really fast. He said that 3 tapas per person is a fair gauge.
Glen and I started with the heirloom tomato salad, duck confit flatbread, and crab avocado salad. The heirloom salad was a good start, fresh and all, but it was the flatbread and crab avocado salad that really put a dent in my hunger pangs. The duck confit was plentiful on top of the two flatbread pieces. Not only was the duck tasty, but the fig jam that is served with it made that a magnificent start to our meal. The crab avocado salad had some grapefruit mixed in to it that gave it a tasty citrus zing.
We then followed up with the crock of mussels, flat iron with chimichurri, mac and cheese, scallop over creamed corn, and fried oysters with cayenne sweet potatoes. I know, I know, it seems like a lot but remember I was famished AND these are tapas. I found it odd that we weren’t asked how we wanted the flat iron prepared. The four pieces came out medium with one piece being pretty red. We didn’t mind it, especially with the arugala and chimichurri sauce, it was fantastic. But if you like your steak a little more done, it is worth mentioning to your server when you order.
As for the fried oysters with cayenne sweet potatoes, I admit it was the cayenne sweet potatoes I was more interested in than the oysters, although the combo of the mashed, spicy sweet potatoes with the fried oysters was highly enjoyable. Out of the everything we ordered, we both agreed the mussels were our least favorite. There wasn’t a thing wrong with them, mind you. It was the fact that 1.) everything else was so yummy and 2.) they were just there. You know what I mean? They were garlicky, plentiful, and served up with lots of bread for the sauce, but didn’t blow my mind…er…my taste buds.
Now, the mac n cheese – is, hands down, the best mac n cheese I’ve had in my life! Unfortunately, the picture I took ended up being pretty blurry. So, I’ll do my best to describe it; The shell pasta is served up with green chilies and prosciutto. OMG – I was in heaven! I would go back to Cellar 56 for that mac n cheese all by itself. It’s the perfect comfort food! I’m so glad Glen doesn’t like cheesy foods – more for me. I was not glad that I had only saved about five bites for myself for lunch the next day. That was such a tease for my stomach.
As we were leaving we noticed two guys trying to dial the secret number to get in to Prohibition, the underground bar situated near Cellar 56. Had it been a weekend night, that would have been a neat idea, moving on to Prohibition and sipping on a cocktail or after-dinner drink in secret. But instead we made our way to the valet and headed home, having had a fantastically exceptional date night.
56 E Andrews Dr
Atlanta, GA 30305
678 244 3600