|Honey curry grilled Georgia chicken|
My excursions as The Restaurant Dieter are sandwiched in around my day job and other responsibilities. That's how I found myself in Atlanta's West Intown neighborhood with a half hour or so for dinner before an event. It was close. I figured what the heck.
The lobby was full of partial quotes from various publications touting the food. Selective editing is wonderful, isn't it? Perhaps this review will be summarized as: "wonderful, isn't it?"
The menu was certainly ambitious and referenced several cuisines and cultures. Starters and small plates that included spelt grain bread; alligator egg rolls, sea scallops with lardons, strawberries, orange glaze and watercress; and crab and cream cheese dumplings and ponzu sauce. Mains ranging from grilled Maine lobster to Georgia rabbit enchiladas and Coca-Cola seared duck breast. Plus it offers grilled pizzas, sandwiches and salads and impressive list of sides. No continent was ignored.
|Cold, cold, cold|
On the menu, I somehow missed that this dish was served cold. Although topped with a generous dusting of a smoked sea salt, nothing could compensate for the unappetizing temperature. It was as if I'd gone to my local Trader Joe's, bought them frozen, dumped them on the plate and sprinkled the salt. A little steamer -- heck even a microwave -- would have helped.
To choose a main, I asked the server's advice: What was light, lowfat and healthy? He recommended an organic salmon in a red Thai curry with vegetables and sticky rice. Given that a Thai red curry typically includes fattening coconut milk, I asked about sandwiches. For this, he recommended a honey curry grilled chicken sandwich served on focacci, and I agreed.
The sandwich came with fries. But, of course, my hosts were happy to substitute that for a soup or side salad for another $1.50. To a dieter, this is a glaring Vegas-size sign that says: "Hey chub, you are not welcome here." We should reward such restaurants by never going. Period.
The chicken sandwich may have come from Georgia, but it had no accent at all. It was so bland it might have been...Midwestern. This was despite a few strips of roasted red pepper and the yellowish sheen that said it had been marinated in some kind of fat with curry powder. The marinade might well have been the curry sauce that was served on the side, which I tasted but left untouched. Visually and in taste, it brought to mind a cheap honey mustard bottled dressing blended with curry powder.
I'd asked for the focaccia to be served without being slathered with butter and grilled, but the server apparently didn't hear. It happens. He immediately apologized and offered to redo it, but I was pressed for time and let it go. It was a lot of so-so bread anyway and therefore calories I didn't need.
5 Seasons certainly is a restaurant with ambitions. Maybe they're best focused on the beer.