Sunday, January 13, 2019

HAL'S "The Steakhouse"

After talking with fellow food lover friends (Jeff and Cristina), I decided it was time to try Hal's.  My husband has been several times, but somehow I have not made it there.  Here are my thoughts:

30 Old Ivy Road
Atlanta, GA 30342

(404) 261-0025

I made a reservation easily via Open Table for a Saturday night.  It was a very cold and misty/rainy evening, but we pulled up to a valet and were quickly walking in the front door.

My first thought was that the place looked smaller than I expected - compared to some large steakhouses in Atlanta.  It's MUCH more intimate than those.  You walk in and the hostess stand is to your right, and a long bar is in front of you.  In the corner by the front door is a musician area (although no one was there this night - at least when we were there).

We were seated very quickly at a nice table for two away from several large groups, which was nice.  The sound level is high - I had been warned that the place was loud.  But even though the restaurant was PACKED, it was not so loud (to me) to be uncomfortable.

Their kitchen is open, so if you snag a seat at the bar you can see the food being prepared.  And you definitely smell the aromas of the kitchen immediately upon entering the spot.  You see people in jeans and sweaters (this was in January), and others are very dressed up, so anything goes dress wise.

Another thing to note: it is very very dark in the restaurant, so some of my photos are darker than I would have preferred.  I had to use my cell phone flashlight to see the menu at times (along with numerous other diners I witnessed).

Here's the menu we were presented (along with a rather large wine menu):

 Even though they are known for their steaks, they have a pretty impressive menu of other items - especially seafood items.  And I was tempted to get their sea bass special, as it sounded incredible.  The menu/food are New Orleans inspired.  And the feel of the place is that way as well - hustling busy restaurant with people laughing and enjoying drinks and food.

 We wanted to take our time, so we ordered drinks and enjoyed those before deciding on dinner.

Dirty Martini for me!

They also brought garlic bread to nosh on with our drinks.

The drinks were out of this world - exactly what you'd expect from a great steakhouse---ice cold and with fresh hand-stuffed blue cheese olives.  One of my all time favorite drinks (if served properly!)...

We started our meal with Canadian oysters on the half shell.  They were fresh and delicious and nicely presented.

We decided on our next course, and began by sharing a chopped salad.  It was outstanding!  They brought us two, so we didn't have to share one plate, and there wasn't a bit of either salad left.  LOVED the blue cheese!

For our main course we both went with steak.  I chose their classic 12 ounce filet mignon and my husband went with a special bone-in filet.  Both were very very good.  I couldn't even come close to finishing mine, but - steak salad for lunch the next day was devine!

My filet:

My husband's bone-in filet (not a great picture coming from my side of the table, but the steak was delicious and perfectly cooked):

We went with their brussels sprouts, charred with bacon, as a side and were very glad we did.  I could've eaten the entire plate as my entree!  They were THAT good!  My photo doesn't do them justice...

And we had a bottle of wine with dinner (and they re-corked what we couldn't drink, so we could bring it home).  I was so excited that they had one of my favorite Malbec's on their list.  It didn't disappoint!  I first had this Malbec on a flight home from Italy on Delta Airlines with my daughter.  We were so enthralled with it! Better (maybe) than all the wine we tasted in Italy!

Susana Balbo Malbec, 2015

And, ahem, for blogging purposes ONLY, we sampled their toffee bread pudding.  OMG!  It was to die for!

So, all in all we had a wonderful date night at Hal's.

I'm so glad that I finally went there.  Our server, Scott, was one of the best there is, and the food was just outstanding.  It does get very very crowded and rather loud (I can only imagine when they have a musician there as well), but we had a great time.  It's not dressy or stuffy and the food is the star.  Note however: It IS pricey (see below for the bill), but top to bottom we were treated royally and served expertly prepared and delicious food.


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