Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Cashing in my Christmas coupon: TopFlr

My equally food obsessed brother Ben gave me the best Christmas present: a dinner out at a place of my choosing — on him. And that's on a college student's budget (Ben's getting his doctorate in mechanical engineering)!

I cashed in my coupon last Monday to coincide with my first day at a new job. My choice was TopFlr (674 Myrtle Street; Atlanta).

Ben picked me up at 7:30 (what a gentleman) and we headed over to midtown. Parking lot spot - score! The space is quaint and modern, though not as high-end looking as I pictured in my head.

We wondered if TopFlr was still running its $15 four-course prix fix menu — and they were. We listed with all ears. First-course: spring salad. Second course: choice of pork belly and pork loin over cheddar grits with porcini mushrooms or four jumbo shrimp on a skewer over a spring salad. Third course: choice of dessert.

We opted to share three things off the menu (an appetizer - tuna tartare, an entree - hanger steak, and a side - creamed brussels sprouts) plus one of the prix fix menus (the pork/grits one, as a salad appetizer followed by a salad entree wasn't enticing). See the regular menu here. I would have been happy with about anything from this menu. I had a tasty malbec who's name I forgot to note.

The spring salad and tartare came out first. The spring salad was straightforward, tossed in a simple vinaigrette. The tartare was served atop crispy flat bread and featured just enough acidity, oil and spices (their own blend of thai pesto). Ben and I were both impressed by the size (and quality of the tuna) in this $13 appetizer.

If the $13 hanger steak and pork belly/pork loin/grits entrees were competing, it would be difficult to name a clear winner. The hanger steak, served sliced and medium rare, tasted more like filet — and the ginger sauce was a benefit, not a distraction. One word to describe the pork entree: yummmm. The mushrooms were just tender enough, the grits creamy and thick without being too thick. And cheese. Mmm. My one complaint is that after a bite of salty and tender pork belly, the bites of pork tenderloin felt dry in comparison.

Oddly enough, Ben and I agreed that the $4 brussels sprouts were likely the best part of the meal. Damn good. "They taste like candy," Ben said at some point. Made with heavy cream, fennel, shallots and bacon, they were possibly less healthy than candy. What the hell — nothing to feel guilty about during this special occasion meal.

Dessert was a no brainer: tiramisu. Ben pointed out that he was relieved to find more coffee flavor compared to tiramisu he's had recently. Then he added, "I better not tell [my girlfriend] that I ate tiramisu because she'll be so jealous!" I found the tiramisu to be moist and not overly sweet (a problem I often have with tiramisu).

I didn't see (or try and calculate in my head) the final bill — but Ben told me it was reasonable considering the amount of food (plus a drink each) we enjoyed. I'd recommend you kick the tires on TopFlr on a Monday night when you can get special pricing on some (or all) of your meal. If not, you may lay down some coin on the a la carte entrees and sides.

Overall experience: A
Service: A
Interesting menu: B
Average price entree and side: $18

Thanks for the awesome meal and the brother/sister time, Benjamin!

1 comment:

ronel said...

great photos..:)