Dinner at Eno

Last night my sexy thang of a wife and I ventured into the city to enjoy a dinner at Eno. As thirty-something suburbanites we save trips into Atlanta for those special occasions like going to the theater, taking in a nice dinner or seeing what’s on the sale rack at Ikea. With a license plate that identifies our SUV as hailing from north of Spaghetti Junction, we stick to the main arteries in town and avoid stumbling into the parts my mother would refer to as “lock your doors.” We try to put on our hipster faces and prepare for the disdainful looks we receive from the uber-urbanites wearing their designer clothes and walking their designer dogs. Ah, the pretense of it all.

Getting off on the Peachtree exit from 85 South to get to the Fox side of Peachtree is a mistake. Doing so at rush hour will dump you right in the middle, nay right at the tail end, of the infamous downtown race that cruises along at the breakneck speed of four blocks per hour. When you factor in the road construction delay at the 800 block and the road destruction delay at the 900 block, you regret not packing a picnic lunch and some sleeping bags for the trip. The only thing more humiliating than being passed in traffic by a blue-haired octogenarian is being passed in traffic by a blue-haired octogenarian on a HoverRound. I dropped Elaine off at the restaurant to secure our table and paid a whopping $15 to park.

Eno (pronounced “Eno”) fancies itself all of a sidewalk cafe, wine bar and an intimate fine dining restaurant. Too many notes? Maybe, but this turned out to be a nice place to get our eat on. The restaurant’s on the corner of 5th and Peachtree, so every seat offers a view of pedestrians, homeless and theater-going SUV drivers from outside the perimeter. My wife alerted our waiter to the fact that we had tickets, so when I joined her at the table he promptly suggested we order as soon as possible. Elaine ordered salmon while I got the North African inspired lamb shank with fregula. We also each had a glass of Château Redortier Côtes du Rhône. She snuck a sip from my glass and it reminded us both of our trips to the South of France. Good good stuff, that provençal libation.

Twenty minutes after we ordered, we still had no food. Meanwhile another couple sat at the table behind us. When our waiter approached them and learned they too had tickets, our waiter pinched the bridge of his nose in frustration and sighed. His suggestion to them was that they only order appetizers. They one-upped him and only ordered drinks. Too bad too, because if they had been shoving food in their mouths we wouldn’t have had to listen to this man’s diatribes on how much he makes and how good he looks.

For those interested, and by the level of his volume he must have thought that included everyone in the restaurant, his commissions this month alone would amount to over $4000. He also claimed he looks good enough to have dated pretty much everybody he’s ever wanted to date. When he said this to his dinner companion, Elaine and I both laughed audibly. I felt a little bad for the guy because this was obviously a first date and the romantic in me always roots for the guy on those occasions, but this guy was doing more than nervously rattling off at the mouth. He was nervously rattling off at the mouth about how wonderful he was. Gross. I hope for his sake his date was more impressed with him than we were. Elaine thought he over-estimated his looks.

Our food did finally arrive. My dish looked like something Wilma would serve Fred Flintstone. It was a huge hunk of meat with the bone sticking out served on a bed of the aforementioned pasta and diced carrots. The whole dish was swimming in some sort of reduction sauce, but I didn’t pay enough attention to know what it was. I’ll tell you this though: It was tasty. The meat practically fell off the bone and melted in my mouth. As big as the mutton shank was, the chef was kinda frugal with the fregula though. I downed this like a famished trogladyte and ordered a second glass of wine. Elaine and I both ate in a matter of minutes, not because we were worried about making it to the show on time but because the food was just that tasty. Too good for talking, we like to say. The bill came to $70 which for two entrees and two glasses of wine ain’t too bad. We’ll go back.

Being parents to a two-month old, nights like this are few and far between. Theater, dinner and fine wine are nice, but I have to admit the best part about heading out for a date is crashing and snuggling when you get back home. At least for me it is, As for the guy who had dined next to us, whether he can say the same thing I’ll never know. At least if he can’t get a girl to go to bed with him, he’s still got his commissions and overinflated ego.

4 Comments so far

  1. Sandy (unregistered) on June 29th, 2006 @ 12:34 pm

    How many more have to suffer for their overinflated ego? Maybe somebody from their management will read this and something will be changed. But until then…Bon Appetit!

  2. karsh (unregistered) on June 29th, 2006 @ 1:48 pm

    I’ve always made the Freudian slip of calling Eno “Ego”. Yet, it fits it so well.

  3. OTP (unregistered) on June 29th, 2006 @ 2:46 pm

    Stay in Lawrenceville!

  4. brad (unregistered) on June 30th, 2006 @ 12:29 pm

    I suppose my wife & I would be considered one of those urban hipsters, we even lived directly upstairs from Eno when they opened.

    Yet we never went there. You suburbanites can have your TGIF’s, my wife & I will stick with our bbq & bar food ;)

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