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

Alma Cocina

Written by Patti on December 6th, 2011

Good Morning Darlings!

There are so many things to do in our fair city. Especially during the holidays. You might take in the decorated windows at 200 Peachtree or stop in at The Ritz-Carlton’s lobby bar, Lumen for a swanky cocktail.

But, if you are seeking somewhere to have a scrumptious meal in a chic setting, head over to Alma Cocina. Eric and I were thrilled to be invited to the preview on Saturday night and I can’t wait for you to try it, either!

Our dear friend, Jeffrey Gardner, is the sous chef and he is whipping up some amazing dishes under the direction of Executive Chef Chad Clevenger, who has worked alongside famed chef Rick Bayless, among others.

This rough hewn sign welcomes you.

Cozy leather booths mix with Mexican tile.

The space is beautiful, with a glassed-in atrium and an indoor/outdoor bar. My friend Tony (who is also a zombie on The Walking Dead) is mixing up some great cocktails. My favorite – the Lay of the Land. It has tequila (Alma’s Herradura is the only one to have access to this special blend in town), jalapeno juice, cucumbers and a rosy ring of hibiscus salt around the rim. Dangerous, I tell you! I could have had more than the one I enjoyed.

Tony and me.

Lay of the Land.

Dinner was wonderful. We started with Guacamole and butternut squash: chipotle, queso fresco. Delicious. I loved this take on the traditional guacamole.

A twist on traditional guac.

Our second starter was Calamari: chorizo, acorn squash and fried garlic, braised in a spicy red wine broth. Terrific, spicy, with the lush acorn squash playing against the briny squid.

Scrumptious calamari.

For our mains, we asked that Jeffrey send out what he chose. Jamar, our wonderful server, brought the Cachaca Braised Short Rib: Brazilian feijoada beans, chicharrones, cilantro chimichurri and the Mushroom & Butternut Squash Huaraches: charred red onions, crema, huitlacoche sauce, queso fresco, epazote. Both winners.

Those fab short ribs!

Huaraches! And that incredible rice.

At this point I had enjoyed another tequila cocktail and can’t quite remember what’s in that rice. But I’m pretty sure it has magical qualities.

Dessert? Oh, I just couldn’t. Who am I kidding? Of course I can! Especially when it is churros (with three freshly made dipping sauces, including Meyer Lemon) and Coconut Tres Leche Cake. I dang near ate them both myself. Best part of dessert? Getting a moment to visit with my sweet friend Chef Jeffrey, who took the time to sit with us at the end of the night.

I'm still dreaming of these desserts.

Alma opens today. Go. You will love it.

And please tell Chef Jeffrey I sent you.

xoxo, Patti

Today blogging to Morrissey – Alma Matters


2 Comments so far ↓

  1. That is a gorgeous picture of you! And, I love that you always have dessert – so do I!

  2. Patti says:


    You gotta have dessert!