East Andrews Cafe in Buckhead, Atlanta has been a long standing establishment that I find myself coming back to ever so often. Over the years, they have taken over the shopping center and opened two more locations, Andrews Upstairs (a bar with live music) and Cellar 56 (wine bar and casual restaurant).
My past few experiences dining at East Andrews have been less than pleasant, always leaving me with a resolution of not to return. So when I got an invitation to a media only tasting party of their new food and wine menu, I couldn’t resist the temptation to sneak a peek at what they are cooking up lately.
I reached at 6:15 pm and was surprised to find that they were still setting up the party. (The invitation was for 6 pm). The usher handed us a glass of wine and a sample menu card for what we will be having that evening. Each course was carefully paired with a wine selection from a different region of the world. I was already looking forward to it!
The plaza with the water fountain in the middle was dressed up formally with black and white table cloths. There was a station set for different courses and servers were eagerly pouring and plating for our pleasure. We started with glasses of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc served with spinach salad with bacon and egg, nicely tossed, and another strawberry and mixed greens salad drenched in vinaigrette.
Moving on, for the fish course, there was a seared tuna too dry and bland to taste, even with the fiery homemade wasabi and soy. The blackened salmon was cooked perfectly but was over seasoned. I did not try the pork egg rolls but was told they were good. My favorite was the macaroni and cheese paired with Argentinean Malbec. Shells pasta was cooked with adult-tasting cheeses, lots of parmesan and a hint of nutmeg. I wanted seconds of this one!
Lastly, there were two desserts served with champagne, actually a light white wine from the south of France. The first was a bread pudding made with Krispy Kreme doughnuts with caramel sauce. It was smooth, moist and luxurious. I have eaten this creation before somewhere, but East Andrews made it really good. The second dessert was a flourless chocolate torte. It was no comparison to the bread pudding and a second choice if you have to have chocolate.
Overall, I feel East Andrews is a great place to have wine and spirits. Their collection is amazing and the servers actually have a rich knowledge of the wines. The patio boasts a cozy place for gatherings at the bar, for happy hour or after dinner. As far as coming here for a meal, it can be a hit or a miss. They still need to smooth out a few sauces and seasonings in the kitchen.