Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Luigi's Bistro

This Sunday evening, for a treat before heading to the Grand Opera House to watch Sweeney Todd, we stopped for dinner at Luigi's Bistro, 401 Cherry Street, Macon. Luigi's is definitely another one of Macon's dining gems - a modern Italian restaurant serving high quality authentic Italian food in a relaxed atmosphere with friendly, attentive service.

The menu boasted quality and variety, while not overwhelming the reader with a plethora of choices. Even so, I had great difficulty narrowing it down to just one entree! We started our meal with an appetizer of Pita Chips, dusted in parmigiano and Italian herbs and served with a Marinara dipping sauce. If I were a piece of pita bread and faced imminent death by being eaten, given the choice this is the way I would depart! The pita chips were slightly crispy with a little softness in the centers. They did not last long despite being a generous portion!

For entrees, we chose the Frutti di Mare Ravioli with Salmon and an 8oz New York Strip with Portobellos and Marsala Sauce. The ravioli was exceptional with beautiful fresh-tasting meats and a creamy sauce with just the right balance of lemon and seasoning which brought a lightness to the dish. The New York Strip was cooked just as I requested and tasted wonderful. The Marsala dressing was no stranger to the inside of a Marsala bottle and, paired with the portobellos, accompanied the steak with gusto. The mashed potatoes and broccoli with accompanying salad were fresh and tasty.

Luigi's boasts a sizable wine cellar. We chose a French Chardonnay and a Chianti. They did not disappoint. The dessert menu was concise. We tried the special - a cheesecake creme brulee and a piece of chocolate cake. Both were outstanding and the slice of chocolate cake was huge!

Complimenting the food was efficient and personable service and a relaxed ambiance. This made for a very enjoyable experience. Luigi's is one of the more expensive restaurants that I've tried recently, but definitely appropriately priced for the experience. In other words, "Totally worth it!" This is a place to which I'll return for a special occasion rather than a mid-week pit stop, but I do look forward to going back there sometime soon.

Saturday, October 11, 2008


Adriana's Italian Cafe, located at 359 3rd Street, is undoubtedly my favorite weekday lunchtime eatery. It's a favorite of many others too. Yesterday I wondered if we'd even find a seat at 1:15pm, but we did!

Yesterday's eye-catcher for me was the Manicotti; broad pasta tubes filled with Ricotta cheese and dressed in an authentic Italian tomato sauce. As is my habit, I accompanied this with a Greek Salad. I declare that the Greek Salad at Adriana's is the best I've ever had outside of Greece. I'll bet it knocks the socks off many Greek Salads inside of Greece too! The Manicotti were very tasty and the naturally complimentary flavors of cheese and tomato were enhanced by popular Italian herbs.

Repeat visits are testimony to the quality of a restaurant. You'll see that there are already several postings on this blog about Adriana's. It's not complicated: Go, eat, enjoy, ...repeat! That's what I always do! Don't forget to look at the dessert bar by the entrance. There are some exceedingly good-looking desserts in there and they taste the part too. This is quality, authentic Italian food served in a casual cafe atmosphere. Don't settle for less when you're thinking Italian.

Brind Avan Indian Garden

I was very happy to have the opportunity to visit Brind Avan Indian Garden, one of Macon's fine Indian restaurants, this week. It had been a while since I'd been there - back before I started this blog - so I'm glad to have the chance to share it with you now.

Brind Avan, located at 5033 Brookhaven Road, Macon, is a pleasantly formal yet modest restaurant with smart, attentive service. We were welcomed and seated promptly and our Mango Lassis, Mango yogurt-style drinks, were brought immediately. They are delicious and surprisingly refreshing. Brind Avan's wait staff don't keep you waiting. They demonstrate attentive hospitality and are more than happy to explain items on the menu.

Between us, we ordered Lamb Biryani, Chicken Tikka Masala, and curried vegetables. The Biryani features Basmati rice and tender lamb which is delightfully seasoned. This dish doesn't have a lot of sauce, unlike the Tikka Masala which comes with lashings of creamy tomato curry sauce. The vegetable dish was spicier, but good even for those wary of spicy food. The menu offers plenty of variety and includes a few specialized regional dishes.

Pleasing to Hobbits, the portions were generous and nobody left hungry. In fact, even this Hobbit had to use a to-go box. Brind Avan is definitely a place to try and if you've never sampled Indian food before, you'll receive a well-guided introduction to this delicious cuisine of the World's master spice-blenders. Brind Avan gets busier on the weekend and later in the evening. You won't be disappointed.