Anatomy of a Dinner Party: a day in the life of a hospitalityaholic

Cafe Circa – Eric, Me and Johnny P

Written by Patti on November 2nd, 2010

Good Morning Darlings!

My life has given me such amazing friendships and as you know, people come and go, but when one comes back, it is one of the greatest gifts. I received such a gift last week.

Johnny P and I go way back. Way, way back. I won’t even tell you how far. But it’s far, I tell you. He and I have lived in Atlanta for many years and although we don’t live far apart, we never get together. Life gets in the way.

But we changed all that last week. My swanky friend, Caren West, of Caren West PR arranged a very special tasting for the three of us at Cafe Circa, in the Old Fourth Ward neighborhood of Atlanta.

How could this have been here for 3 years, without me noticing?

Eric and John had never met, but I knew they would get along great. And they did. And John and I? Well, it was like not one second had passed since we had last seen each other. It was so much fun.

But before dinner? Drinks, natch. Our lovely hostess, Zanandi, told us to make ourselves at home as we waited. Yasmine served up a perfect Bubbly for me and a Manhattan for Eric as we waited for our buddy to arrive.

It's Happy Hour!

The decor is fresh and modern, with glamorous touches like chandeliers – you know I am a sucker for anything sparkly! Oh, Shiny!

Oh, Shiny! Um, were you saying something?

And then Johnny P arrived! Yay! Hugs and handshakes all around.

Eric and John

We gabbed and gabbed and we ate and ate. Ashley, our server, was fabulous and so knowledgeable about every item on the menu. That is a delight in itself. We started with the lamb meatballs, glazed with a grape chutney. Delicious.

Mmmm, meatballs!

We followed that up by sharing the calamari, with a cilantro aioli; the spiced curried poached mussels (my favorite) and the incredibly tasty ackee and salt fish – something you do not see on most menus. Eric and I love traveling to Jamaica, but we had never tried it on the island. Now we know how yummy it can be.

Crunchy calamari.

The mussels - must I share? Next time, one all for me.

Ackee and Salt Cod - you must try this when you visit.

General Manager, Mike, swung by the table to visit with us and we learned that he and John had met just the weekend before and was considering buying a condo in John’s building. Isn’t that crazy? I love Atlanta. That kind of thing happens all the time, but it never ceases to amaze me.

Next up – the entrees. The shrimp and grits for me, the jerk pork chop for John and the swordfish for Eric. But first, more hugs!

Big squeeze for my old buddy. Not that he's old or know what I mean.

My shrimp and grits. Very good. The grits were fab.

Johnny P's pork chop, served with sweet corn & green beans.

My darling Eric's pan roasted swordfish, served with sauteed carrots, zucchini, ginger, onion, coconut cream and a mango coulis.

Mike, Chef Hopeton and the crew then treated us to the most luscious desserts, which we shared.

Who can resist a red velvet cupcake?

Loved the Triple Chocolate Love - ginger chocolate cake, floating in Grand Marnier chocolate mousse, with cocoa whipped cream. OMG.

Meeting Chef Hopeton was wonderful. He is so kind and open and generous. We will be back to see him.

Chef Hopeton takes a moment for a photo.

The three of us finished up the evening with a bottle of bubbly on the rooftop deck. It is very cozy up there – the perfect end to a perfect time with old friends. Even if they’re not really old.

A million thanks to Caren West, GM Mike and Chef Hopeton for an exceptional evening. Go visit Cafe Circa!

xoxo, Patti

Today blogging to Chuck Berry – Johnny B Goode


8 Comments so far ↓

  1. Kathleen says:

    How I wish I could have been there to join in on all the fun and laughs! I miss hanging w/my two best buds!!!! Dare I even think of the trouble we used to get ourselves into?!

  2. Patti says:


    Didn’t we just have the best fun back in the day? Miss you!


  3. JehanP says:

    I visited Cafe circa a few weeks ago and love it!! Nice ambiance, great bartender and great food. I didn’t get to try the ackee and saltfish because it’s something I make at home, but it looks delish. If you’re interested in making it you can find all the ackee and BONELESS codfish at the Dekalb Farmers market and try my recipe :-).

  4. Clint says:

    That place looks awesome! And when did our little Johnny grow a beard!? He looks like such an adult! Ha!

    Glad you guys had a great time…

  5. Patti says:

    Clint! I know! Our Johnny P is such a big boy now! We all need to get together.
    xoxox, P

  6. Patti says:


    Thanks for the link! I loved the ackee and salt cod – it was divine.

    Now, if you would like to host us all at your place…..


  7. Michael Faye says:


    Thanks for the awesome write-up! It truly was our pleasure to have you as our guests and I look forward to offering you more tasty treats next time! It was a true pleasure meeting you and Eric (and John, for the second time in less than a week). I look forward to seeing you again!


  8. Patti says:

    Thanks, Mike!

    We had a wonderful time. Thanks for everything. We cannot wait to come back.