When I started making plans for my husband’s and mine getaway to Georgia I got a lot of, “Why Georgia?” or, “What is there to do in Atlanta? Why are you spending most of your trip there?” And the best one was, “Wow, Georgia, I hear that’s a gorgeous country,” and my response was, “No we’re going to Georgia, USA.” Which the response was immediately, “What are you going to be doing there?”
And this was coming from fellow US folk. So as you can see, my expectations weren’t exactly high, yet something was pulling me to this State.
What I learned from these brilliant questions – none of these people have been to Georgia, especially Atlanta. Because if they had, they would be raving not questioning.
Ready for an Adventure – Ocean Prime Atlanta is the Best Starting Point
You can get a good idea of what you will see when doing research for Atlanta, like Coca Cola World, Martin Luther King’s Birthplace, Atlanta Zoo. But no one can really tell you the experience you will have when visiting the restaurants. And this, was what Atlanta is truly about.
Since we are traveling without our kids, a fine dining experience was definitely in order. Nothing beats going to a restaurant where you can enjoy the ambiance and savor every bite of the food – slowly.
That’s how I found Ocean Prime Atlanta.
The reason I chose this restaurant was because we are fans of seafood and steak, and when looking at their website, which does no justice to them at all, it mentioned they have a fun cocktail menu and wine selection, too. Pretty much everything a couple sans kids is looking to enjoy.
Our reservation was for 7:30 pm and we left at 11 pm (they close at 10 pm. This is a story in itself – read it below). This doesn’t ever happen to my husband and I. Our idea of enjoying our meals at most lasts two hours, so staying somewhere for four hours is almost a Guinness World Record breaker (at least for us).
Virtual Tour of Our Four Hour Dinner
Creative Cocktails and More
Instead of rushing into the meal, we started with cocktails. Without knowing I ordered the Berries and Bubbles.
Our waitress brought it out and told me not to touch my glass. Odd, but OK, I’m interested. What she did next was something we’ve never seen before.
The martini glass had berries inside with the alcohol, but on top of that she poured liquid nitrogen. That’s where the bubbles come from.
It took over two minutes of the coolest bubble show before I can try it. And I have to say, I have never tasted a drink like this in my life.
The other drink we got was Black Orchid. This time the glass came with a huge ice cube that held an edible orchid inside and over it was poured Elderflower Liqueur. Sooooo sooo good. Didn’t beat the flavor of my Berries and Bubbles cocktail, at this point I don’t think anything I will ever drink again will compete with this drink. But I have to say this was a super close second.
Drinks in Action – Video Fun
We were really lucky to arrive while Jason Shelley, the executive chef, was preparing the dishes. Normally, what I like to do is take the recommendations either of the waitstaff or, even better, of the chef for what they want to showcase most. Obviously, they are proud of all their food, but the two dishes he brought out for us – well – the way to put it is that I wish they were three times bigger because you simply couldn’t get enough of the flavor.
“Surf n Turf” – Scallops with slowly braised short ribs (This was my absolute favorite dish – period)
Colossal Shrimp Saute – The picture tells it all
Chop Chop Salad – I’m focusing on adding salads to every meal lately and this one could’ve been a meal of its own.
The Main Meal
At this point we also got a chance to meet the second in command at the kitchen, Oscar, and have a taste of his cooking as well. Even though the menu is fully Jason’s, Oscar was cooking up a lot of these dishes and they were amazing.
We came here for some meat and seafood and that’s what our dishes were:
8 oz Filet Mignon covered in black and green peppercorn – this was for my husband
Sea Scallops with Parmesan Risotto – all for me. I can not even tell you how much I love scallops. These babies I can never have enough of.
Side Dishes – this is my weakness. First of all, Ocean Prime has more side dishes than I ever saw anywhere – 15 in total. All of them were so delicious that it was difficult for me to chose from.
We ended up having four. I know absolutely sinfully, gluttonous. But you only live once!
Lobster Mashed Potatoes – how could you not have this?
Roasted Brussels Sprouts – I am a huge fan of these little guys. We never get them in Guatemala, so I was loving these.
Black Truffle Mac & Cheese – you simply can’t go wrong with Mac & Cheese
Roasted Carrots – this was my hubby’s choice. I’m not a big fan of carrots, but they were delicious cause they were covered in a sugar glaze.
Dessert and Way Too Much Decadence
It’s better not to question our judgment on this call, but we did indulge in dessert.
Ten Layer Carrot Cake – because it is ten layers
Chocolate Cake – my husband can’t go a day without chocolate, so this pretty much covered his daily serving and enough for the next month.
Story of the Restaurant – The Real Reason We Stayed Until 11
As the restaurant slowly started to clear out and we were having so much fun, the manager, Rudy, came over and we started chatting and chatting and next thing we know it’s way past closing time for them.
And I asked him, why he’s not kicking us out, or why the restaurant doesn’t even look like they are ready to shut down. I’ve worked as a waitress in one of my past lives and, let me tell you, thirty minutes before closing we were cleaning everything up and putting chairs on top of tables and staff were practically out the door before the clock struck closing time.
So here’s the lowdown about how this all came about. These are the stories I love to hear.
Ocean Prime is a chain that is part of the Cameron Mitchell Restaurants in the US. Cameron Mitchell, a chef from Ohio, who started with one restaurant has grown and grown.
His main story was, obviously he was a chef already, but one day him and his family were dining out and his son wanted a chocolate milk shake. When he asked the waiter for one, the waiter said, “Sorry, we don’t do that here. It’s not on the menu.” Cameron pleaded, his son was small and when a little kids want something, parents rarely deny (trust me, this is the story of our lives). He said, “Don’t you have milk?” The waiter nodded. “Don’t you have chocolate sauce you put on ice cream?” The waiter nodded. “So why can’t you mix all these three ingredients and make a milk shake? I will gladly pay.” The waiter wouldn’t budge.
That’s what really motivated Cameron to open up a place where, whenever possible, they will accommodate the guests. If this means staying open longer so the guests have a memorable night, great. If they need to create something specific for a guest, great. When the staff is hired, this is part of the job description.
The restaurant didn’t stay open only for us, there were a couple of other tables. But, until I found out what the closing time was when leaving, I would never have known that it was way past it.
And we had so much fun chatting with Rudy. He’s a Brazilian expat living here with kids our kids age, we simply had a ton to talk about.
What really impressed me the most was the creative freedom and camaraderie of the staff. You can tell they truly enjoy themselves. They have absolute freedom to be as creative as they want. And most importantly, there are no glass ceilings here. The people can grow and grow to their full potential.
This is rarely visibly seen in restaurants and I am positive this adds to the creative menus, presentation and social aspect.
Information for Visiting Ocean Prime
I definitely recommend making reservations. Maybe on a slow night you can get right in, but just in case, have it confirmed.
Address: 3102 Piedmont Road, NE Atlanta, GA 30305
Phone: (404) 846-0505
Dinner: Monday – Saturday 5:00 PM- 10:00 PM
Sunday 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Lounge 5:00 PM – Close