Rolling the Dice and Clinking the Ice

Monday, February 20, 2012

Forlines, Party of Two

Happy Monday, dear readers!  I hope you had a wonderful weekend.  Please excuse my tardiness in getting {what should have been} Friday's post up.  However... I do have a good reason.  I was enjoying a weekend away in beautiful Athens, Georgia.  As some of you may know, this past fall I was elected to one of four spots on my city's Board of Mayor and Commissioners.  I was sworn in in January, and I needed to complete a "Newly-Elected Official" conference to get up to speed on my new position.  Lucky for my hubs and me, one location where the conference is offered is The University of Georgia.  As we are both Double Dawgs (i.e., we each have two degrees from UGA), we jump on any chance to go spend time in what truly is our home away from home.

Wes and I also treated this past weekend as our Valentine's getaway, which is always extra special to us because we were engaged on February 14 and in Athens no less.  So, when I wasn't in training, we spent most of our time eating outstanding meals at some of Athens' finest restaurants.  I don't know about y'all, but sometimes my favorite "party" is "Forlines, party of two."  If any of you happen to head to Athens anytime, be sure to check out our favorite haunts.  I know you'll love the food, ambiance, and experience!


269 East Broad Street | 706.546.5556 | reservations accepted

This intimate tapas restaurant been a favorite of mine since my undergrad days.  Speakeasy sits upstairs on historic East Broad Street, overlooking the beautiful North Campus of the University of Georgia. Speakeasy is known for its "delicious southern inspired tapas and specialty cocktails, providing an intimate evening of sharing among friends."

Started in 2002, Speakeasy's interior is a fusion of "deco and southern decor, built by local artists using geometric metal sculpture in combination with vintage elements from regional historic homes."   It really has a neat feel to it, like you're in a private lounge.  If you go, you simply must try the cheese plate, the spinach dip served in a warm bread bowl, the tenderloin kabobs, the sesame tuna, and the coconut shrimp.  And the tapas menu is only beat by their own dessert menu... the white chocolate fondue, the fallen chocolate cake, and the sugar cookies are to die for.  And oh, my favorite cocktail is the Chocolate Martini or the Ruby Red Lips Martini.  :o)

Last Resort Grill

174-184 West Clayton Street | 706.549.0810 | call-aheads accepted

Last Resort is a favorite of many Athenians of many ages.  It originally opened in 1966 as a nightclub, and was a hotspot for numerous local artists for a number of years before regrettably closing for a decade.  Fortunately for Athens, current owners Melissa Clegg and Jaamy Zarnegar re-opened this piece of Athens history as a wonderful restaurant with an out-of-this-world wine list and delicious desserts (you must try the cakes - provided by the inimitable Cecilia's Cakes) to boot.  Last Resort has been written up in many publications, both locally and nationally.  I like this quote from Savannah publication Contents best: "...the feeling of New South, cosmopolitan, comfortable, lush and invigorating is embodied in this establishment."

If you get the chance to dine here, please be sure to try the fried green tomatoes or carolina crab cake (or both!) to start, a salad with the housemade gorgonzola or bacon vidalia dressings, and any one of the amazing entrees.... seriously!  My husband and I have had almost every one and they are all mouth-watering.  If we had to pick favorites, I guess we'd have to say the salmon and grits, the pecan-crusted blue trout, or the firecracker filet.  YUM!

Five and Ten

1653 South Lumpkin Street | 706.546.7300 | reservations accepted

Located in the charming Five Points section of Athens, Five and Ten is a not-to-be-missed gem, specializing in dishes highlighting seasonal and local ingredients.  Even the Atlanta Journal-Constitution hailed this restaurant as "worth the drive from Atlanta."  Chef Hugh Acheson is one of those cooks who creates beautiful, creative and delicious dishes - check out his blog (and I really hope to soon be the owner of his new book, A New Turn in the South).  In fact, Chef Acheson is also the creative force behind another great Athens restaurant, The National, and also the fabulous Atlanta spot Empire State South

The menu here changes frequently in order to keep up with Chef Acheson's talent and new creations.  This past Saturday night, we enjoyed a delicious dinner of candied dates with sliced celery garnish (one of the best things I've ever put in my mouth, seriously), a Maytag Blue Cheese plate, a smoked salmon salad, Atlantic Trout with carrots and mashed potatoes, and the Braised Short Rib and Ribeye Special.  Every bite was fantastic.  I had a delicious Winter Cocktail (it had cayenne pepper on the rim, how cool is that?) and Wes enjoyed several local Terrapin beers.  Afterward, we sipped on the housemade Limoncello and Black-Sesame-and Honey-cello.  Divine.

I hate to end the blog only talking about these three, as there are so many great places to go in Athens.  Be sure to try out these restaurants too!

Etienne Brasserie (a sweet little French restaurant where Hedges used to be)

NONA (serving delicious New Orleans cuisine - we had lunch there Saturday and enjoyed hurricanes and beignets in honor of the upcoming Mardi Gras)

DePalma's (yummy Italian)

Porterhouse (good steaks and a great seafood bisque)

The Grit (amazing vegetarian fare - no meat will even be missed, promise)!

And for quicker, more casual bites, don't miss:

and so many more!  Athens is a foodie's dream!

Happy eatin'. y'all!



callie burnette said...

you hit all of my faves!! sounds like y'all had a great getaway!

Dixie Delights said...


Catherine & Lindsay said...

Thanks ladies!