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I’m not a fan of forced valet, but I’m also not surprised to find it at a swanky Buckhead restaurant, especially one like St. Cecilia. I guess the new trend is to charge for valet. I shouldn’t complain, since it is only two bucks, not like the $12 which is the average cost of valeting in Chicago. Is it me or isn’t the point of valet for them to be right in front of the restaurant? At St. Cecilia you have to drive into the parking garage to the valet. Then you’ll have to walk through the lobby of the office building to get to the restaurant. Seems like a huge inconvenience for the customer if you ask me when I could just park my car myself.
On a Tuesday, St. Cecilia was packed. After checking in at the hostess stand, I heard two women who walked in behind me ask for a table with no reservation. Although the hostesses were extremely polite, I know they were thinking “are these women kidding?” I can’t imagine what a hot mess this place is on weekends.
The strangest, most unnerving part of our evening was the multiple servers we had. You would think this would be a good thing, and it would have, had they communicated at all with each other. But constantly being interrupted from our conversation so we could repeat information to them (Server 1:Would you like another glass of wine? Me: Yes. Server 2: Can I get you another glass of wine? Me: I just ordered it from the other server. Rinse and repeat multiple times during dinner) was just annoying. I get the rationale – better to have more service than not enough with customers waiting to order, but it was just executed poorly.
The menu is divided into four sections: Crudo, Appetizers, Pastas and Mains. Wanting a taste of each, we ordered one from each section and shared everything. We started with a Himachi crudo with pomegranate, pistachio and sunchokes. The description sounds so big for such a small plate. Prepared well, I found it to be fair for the $13. The salted cod beignets appetizer was decent with a generous portion of cod and not much filler. But at nearly $2 for these hush-puppy sized balls, it seems way overpriced.
My favorite course was the Lobster ravioli, pictured above ($12). Unlike traditional lobster ravioli, the lobster was on the outside of the pasta with the mascarpone stuffed inside. Honestly, I don’t know where the apple came in as I don’t remember tasting it at all but do remember seeing it on the description.
For the main course we shared the Stripped bass with pumpkin ($25). The Sangiovese was pretty inexpensive at $9 and went well with everything we had. And I did appreciate them taking the time to split our entrees for us and plate them before bringing out to us. All in all I enjoyed the meal, but at the same time, I’m not in a rush to get back there. I did, however, have a much needed girly evening with Christina (we dined for nearly 3 hours) and thank goodness she helped me stick to my diet – no dessert!
St. Cecilia Website
3455 Peachtree Rd
Atlanta, GA 30326