restaurant review:: date night in Buckhead

Earlier this month, Craig and I had a Buckhead date night in celebration of our 5-year wedding anniversary, so I thought I’d share more about the places we visited. We started our night at Holeman + Finch Public House for cocktails. They’re located right in Buckhead, and while I think they’re usually pretty busy for dinner and brunch, it was easy to grab a drink in the bar area. They have a long list of fancy cocktail offerings with all sorts of interesting ingredients (most of which I didn’t recognize). I ended up choosing the “Pink Noise” and Craig got a whiskey drink — the name escapes me now. It was fun watching the bartenders expertly concoct our drinks, and they tasted just as good as they looked.

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Because they’re known for their bread products, we also ordered a Buttered Pretzel with yellow mustard to snack on. That mustard was SPICY, and the pretzel was hot and delicious. I’d go back just to eat that. 
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We had dinner at 1Kept, which is a newer restaurant just down the street from H+F. I’d been once before with girlfriends and everyone in our group raved about the food and service. It’s hidden behind a strip of shops on Peachtree, but it’s definitely worth the little bit of effort to look for it.
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We started off with the Pimiento Cheese Board, which consisted of crostini with pimiento cheese, bacon jam, grain mustard, and chow chow relish — all of which is homemade. It was so good, we contemplated ordering another one as a meal. And because we were celebrating, our waiter treated us to some of their Black Truffle Popcorn w/Parmesan. I don’t typically care for truffle oil, but this popcorn is really good.
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We accidentally filled up on appetizers, so we ended up both ordering flatbreads for our meals. I chose the SGT. Peppers (local peppers, caramelized onions, smoked provolone, and rustic tomato ragout), and Craig chose the Spicy Calamari (calamari stuffed with house-made spicy sausage, artichoke hearts, marinated olives, and herb goat cheese). I was too stuffed to finish mine, but they were both crispy and flavorful.  We managed to save room for the Flourless Chocolate Cake, and it was divine. Our waiter also surprised us with complimentary glasses of champagne to top off our night. Such a nice treat!

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I highly recommend both restaurants if you’re looking for a date night spot or just a fun place to go with friends. Both have excellent food, drinks, service, and a great atmosphere. Cheers!

restaurant review & ornaments, too:: 1Kept

Every year, we plan a girls’ dinner and ornament exchange before Christmas. It grew out of our Bunko get-togethers that we had years ago, so I really look forward to having that night to celebrate the season with some of my favorite girls. And who doesn’t love the game of picking your ornament from a random assortment of gift bags and boxes — and if it’s one of the most coveted ones (i.e. not a Dora the Explorer microphone…), having it “stolen” back and forth until one lucky winner ends up with the favorite.

So anyway, this year, we decided to try out a newer restaurant in the Peachtree Hills area called 1Kept. It’s an American/Southern restaurant with a really neat vibe — lots of reclaimed wood, butcher block tables, and big tufted chairs. We sort of felt like we were at a king’s table.


I didn’t manage to get shots of any of the food (other than one dessert), but every single thing we tried was so, so delicious. Everyone at the table was gushing over how good their own food was, and then handing off their plates because everyone else needed to try it as well. At one point, I left the table and came back to find my bowl of pasta being eaten by the girls sitting across from me. That tells you two things — the food was amazing, and we are really good friends. 🙂

Just a quick recap on some of our favorite dishes….

Sausage + Peppers Flatbread
Warm Kale Salad — with chorizo, quinoa, garlic (this was the best kale dish I’ve ever tried)

Tagliatelle — fresh egg pasta, green peas, bacon, grated egg yolk & parmesan creme…. so rich and so, so good.
Grilled Veal Meatloaf — smoked potato puree, haricot verts & rustic tomato ragout
Short Rib Roisotto — wild mushrooms, butternut squash, fontina cheese & crispy shallots

Red Velvet Cheesecake — I didn’t order this one, and I wish I’d gotten one all for myself. It was that good.
Eggnog Creme Brulee — I’m not an eggnog fan, or really much of a creme brulee fan, but I think some of the girls were fighting over who got the last bite. So I’m betting it was a winner.

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So on to the ornament exchange. Here’s how it works::
1) Everyone draws a number, and the person with #1 goes first, obviously.
2) Max of 3 steals per ornament, and the person whose ornament is stolen can’t steal it right back.
3) Person #1 gets last choice, since they didn’t have the opportunity to steal from anyone.

Also, please excuse the horrible quality of these iphone photos.

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I picked #1, and this was my prize. The cutest little polar bear!
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And this was the winner for most amazing ornament. 
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It was, however, accompanied by a real ornament, too. Love this cute little guy!
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Our loot::
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Cheers to another year of friendship, fantastic dinners, pretty (and silly) ornaments, and fun memories!  And if you’re in Atlanta, you should definitely check out 1Kept. I can’t wait to go back with Craig!