Venues from a Birthday

This weekend, I ran out with friends to celebrate my thirtieth birthday at a couple of places where I’d like to spend more time. For whatever reason, my regular rut doesn’t include these venues, but it should. Or, more to the point, it would if I was smart.

First up was The Glenwood, in East Atlanta Village. (Don’t judge the place by its website.) This was my choice for dinner and drinks, and though I don’t exactly get out this place a lot, I go whenever I can. Partly, that’s because they always have Delerium Nocturnum on hand. But the atmosphere’s also great (a no-smoking room is in the works as I write this), service has always been friendly, and the menu’s a changing roster mixing reliable favorites like burgers and brats with tasty scallops and a Turducken burger that’s better than it has any right to be. I ate a freaking quail, a la orange.

My only regret: I didn’t eat more appetizers. (If it’s possible, Glenwood, bring back the tuna tartare sometime.)

I haven’t made it out to one of their Head-to-Tail dinners yet, but there’s one coming up on September 8th — a fixed-menu four-course made up farm-direct foodstuffs. Chef Ryan Stewart puts together a spread for something like $35 a head, and the whole thing is made up of local-grown ingredients. (Chef Stewart, it seemed to me, loves heirloom tomatoes). Those Head-to-Tail dinners require reservations, so call now if you want in.

The Glenwood folks, hearing it was my birthday, set our party up with a round of free mixed shots. Good shots. They worked well. So, much obliged, Glenwood!

After that, we dashed north to the Highland Cigar Company, for cigars and scotch. I’d bought a couple of cigars here before but never managed to stick around for an evening in. If you like cigars and leather armchairs, get thee to the Highland Cigar Company. Their humidor isn’t huge, but I found a bunch of new cigars to try out and the ambiance managed to be lively without sacrificing coziness. I’ve got to go back soon.

Our hostess that night was Lauren, who set us up with reserved seats and oversaw our good time. Thanks, also, to Michelle to handled our check-splitting shenanigans. Nice folks, nice place. Whether you like cigars or bars, and are willing to tolerate just a bit of cigar smoke (the ventilation is, uh, thorough), have a look. We were sharing the place with cheering friends and lazing TV-watchers, all comfortably sharing the space. (And if you figure out the parking situation down there, do tell.)

I’ll be honest, here: I sound like a shill. But these places came through for me this weekend, so I’m spreading the word.

What about you? Where do you go for a relaxed birthday with friends?

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