April 23, 2010. Palate-Decatur, GA. Palate is a delightful cafe and bar in the Oakhurst neighborhood of Decatur. Their outdoor patio looks out over the street and is very relaxing.
FOOD (24 OUT OF 25)
We started our meal with bruschetta. It was served with fresh garden tomatoes, cilantro, garlic, and mozzarella cheese. Oftentimes, the tomato juice can make the bread squishy, but this bread was delightfully toasty and crunchy!
For our main course, we had one entree each. One was maple-grilled salmon with lima bean and black-eyed pea garnish and garlic smashed potatoes. The second was meatloaf, served with herb buttered green beans and garlic smashed potatoes with an added side of macaroni and cheese. The meals were both excellent! The salmon was cooked just right and the maple grill seasoning was not too overpowering, but it was noticeable. The mashed potatoes were delicious! As someone who is not usually a fan of lima beans, we both very much enjoyed the garnish! The meatloaf was also very well-prepared, but it was covered in a ketchup-based red sauce that was a bit overpowering. The macaroni and cheese was among the best we've had!
We also ordered two glasses of wine. With the salmon, we had the California Cellars 2004 chardonnay and with the meatloaf, we had a Duck Pond Merlot from Washington state. They were both very good matches!
AMBIANCE (23 OUT OF 25)
The restaurant is very nice, but the patio could have been a bit better-kept. There were lovely trees that overhung the patio, but that meant that the patio was in need of a good sweep! When the server arrived at the table, he brought two glasses and an old wine bottle full of water. The effect was very appealing! The interior dining conditions also looked very nice.
SERVICE (21 OUT OF 25)
The biggest problem with the service was getting a table. The restaurant was very near empty when we arrived, yet nobody was at the door or at the bar to greet us. Finally, a cook walked out of the kitchen and handed us some menus and told us to have a seat anywhere we liked. It appeared that two servers and two cooks were working that evening. This was simply not adequate for a Friday night!
COST (25 OUT OF 25)
For an appetizer, two entrees, and two very good glasses of wine, we spent about $50. The most expensive dish on the menu was under $15 and there is something there for everyone. The wine, which is the signature offering of Palate, is organized into four tiers. Tier one is the cheapest and tier four is the most expensive. Most of the wine is imported.
FINAL SCORE 93/A Exceptional
Palate has immediately left an impression on us and it will surely become a regular hot spot for us as we settle into Decatur. We were in disbelief at the cost versus the quality! We will certainly be back often!
Visit Palate on the web at www.palatewinebar.com