Coming home to Atlanta, I was probably most excited by the fact that I would get to see my sister and brother in law. After some back and forth about which hotel to stay in for a night out in the city, we ultimately decided on the Westin Peachtree Plaza (side note, even with the heavenly bedding, the amount of noise this hotel generates is a bit much, and I don’t think I would stay again).
One of the bonuses of the Westin is the inclusion of one of the most iconic restaurants and lounges in the city, The Sun Dial. This venue is a rotating restaurant that delivers fantastic views of the city. To start our evening, we decided to go here for cocktails (no reservations are required in the lounge, but you would need to book if dining at the restaurant). Side bar: Not that everyone has to dress up for all occasions, but I thought it was a bit sad people didn’t make more of an effort. After all, if you’re going to have a drink 70+ floors up, why not do a little better than jorts and flip flops?
The cocktail list was not particularly inventive, but had good spirits (and ‘cherished’ souvenir glasses) which were provided quickly and with friendly service. As my sister and brother in law had been traveling (without much of an opportunity to eat), we opted to order two small plates, Blue Cheese Chips and Gnocchi ‘tots.’ While not particularly healthy, both dishes provided requisite salt, carbs and cheese that were perfect for sharing (although I thought the Gnocchi could’ve been even crispier).
Having spun around the city more than twice (at a rate of 2.2 miles per hour, spotting a helicopter or two), we went back down to ground level and a short walk to the White Oak Kitchen and Cocktails. Although it was a bit warm out, defrosting from the Westin seemed a good idea, and we selected one of the tables outside.
Best. Decision. Ever.
The people watching was literally out of this world (drivers on a wrong way street, a mystical liquor store, a wedding party…not to mention some of the guests on the patio) and pushed a great night to a truly memorable one. To match the great time we were having, the next round of cocktails certainly did not disappoint. My Marshallville Mule (Pecan Vodka and Peach Bitters, yes!) was gingery and refreshing. One of our party asked for a cocktail not on the menu and there was no trouble having it made up at the bar. Given I will also take up any occasion to eat pork whilst traveling, we ordered a charcuterie spread for the table. While the protein selection was good, I thought the price point (USD24) was a bit high and my note to the management would be to bring it a few dollars under $20.
Although we were terribly sad to do so, our people watching time was encroaching on our dinner time (calories from alcohol can only take you so far) and so we walked back up Peachtree to Alma Cocina, where, after our last round of tequila-based drinks (the cocktail selection here is also quite creative), we decided to share a taco platter (10 for USD40), a bowl of guacamole and a plate of plantains. While I liked the range in the filling of the tacos, the shells were a bit of a let down for me — I found them to be too soft and didn’t provide the right kind of texture to match to the proteins. The guacamole was very creamy, and the plantains provided a good balance of sweetness to end the night.
What made me happy about this entire evening (besides spending time with family) was that it didn’t need to be planned. We didn’t need reservations and could choose where we wanted to go quite easily. I think this section of Peachtree is a great stepping off point for a fun night out (at a few different price points, should you be inclined). I also really enjoyed being able to try out a number of local restaurants without the need of an Uber.