Unless you’ve been living under a rock in Atlanta, then you’ve heard of the newest iconic restaurant to come on line: The Garden Room.
It’s located in Buckhead, inside of the St. Regis hotel in Atlanta. That alone should tell you what kind of experience you can expect. From the moment you walk through the gorgeous hotel lobby, up the grand staircase, and into The Garden Room, all of your senses focus on one thing: luxury.
I had been wanting to try out The Garden Room since they opened, but my schedule was so hectic, I didn’t get a chance to make it. One of my good friends, Carissa, came in to town and I knew it would be the perfect opportunity for us to try the restaurant. Carissa, my best friend, Jasmine, and I are ultimate foodies and we love a good cocktail. The three of us will take any opportunity to get all dolled up and go overspend on a fancy meal and drinks over girl talk. And that’s just what we did.
The Garden Room was a restaurant dream come true. It checked off all of the boxes, minus one minor (actually major) hiccup that I’ll tell you about later. The main reason everyone is raving about the restaurant is the aesthetic- it is absolutely breathtaking. It is quite possibly, one of the most beautiful restaurants I’ve experienced, thus far. Imagine walking into a mesmerizing garden bar with all the blooms you can imagine, and beautiful greenery all around you. It’s almost a like a botanical garden turned into a restaurant, with gorgeous decor and accent pieces sprinkled throughout. If nothing else, this is hands down the most picturesque Instagramable restaurant in Atlanta right now. Unfortunately, it was dark when we were there, so most of the pictures you see sprinkled throughout this post are not mine, but ones I snagged online.
The first thing you must know before you go is that there is a 99.9% chance that you will not get a reservation unless you’re booking three months out. I’m usually able to get reservations at just about anywhere because of my job, but even that wasn’t enough to get us a reservation at The Garden Room. Full transparency: I’m kind of a restaurant snob, so I wasn’t happy about not having a reservation. Anyway, we decided to just try our luck and show up without one.
We got there about 8:30pm on a Thursday night and it was packed from wall to wall. We found a corner near the bar and ordered drinks, while we waited for a table. Note #2: the drinks are pricey! Our cocktails were $18 and I even saw one on the menu for $22, so be prepared for that. Standing at the bar was like being in a scene of the Hunger Games- everyone was practically fighting with their eyes, scouting for a seat to open up. One never did. Despite how busy the bar was, the bartenders were hospitable, accommodating, and made excellent drinks. Thankfully we were seated at a nice table about 25 minutes later and started to order our food.
Here’s where the hiccup comes: our sever. She was awful. I watched her go from being poised and professional with white patrons, only to come to our table and turn into “Kesha from the block”. She gave extremely slow service and almost purposely took forever to attend to our table. She was inattentive, nonchalant, inefficient, not knowledgeable, and was intent on giving us “homegirl” service. That’s my biggest pet peeve, and I see it all the time because I work in the industry. Don’t treat me like your homegirl from the hood because I’m Black and then treat white patrons like their sitting on a throne. I will not tolerate that under any circumstance. Whether I’m Black or white, my money is green, and I should be treated as such. I won’t harp on her because she was the only bad part of the experience.
Let’s talk about the food. I’ll go ahead and say, it was absolutely delicious! The menu is tapas style, so it’s best to just order family style. We tried the lobster rolls, the oysters, the Waygu beef sliders, the black truffle pillows, the Brussels sprouts, and the Caesar salad. The Caesar salad was the only thing that was pretty mediocre, everything else was phenomenal. Brett, their sommelier, came by our table and recommended some of their best wines. The good news is, unlike the drinks, the food is actually moderately priced. In fact, the cocktails we ordered were more expensive than all of our menu items, except the Waygu beef. So, on the bright side, there’s some balance in the pricing.
All in all, our experience was great. I would be remiss not to let the manager know about our experience, the good and the bad. After hearing about our experience with the server, the manager immediately removed the bill from our table, no questions asked. He didn’t even look at the almost $400 tab first, which was very impressive. By no means was I looking for a free meal, in fact, we had our cards out and were ready to pay, but that gesture alone lets me know that they take customer satisfaction very seriously at The Garden Room. All in all, I’d give a 9 out of 10. I would absolutely recommend and I will absolutely return.
Long story long, believe the hype. If you’re in Atlanta, make sure you check it out… just don’t forget your wallet.
Xo, Courtney ♥