After commencement last Tuesday, I wanted to go to Aria for dinner. But the ceremony let out so early, my parents and I just headed back home. And I'm actually glad it worked out that way.
It was still relatively early when we got up here, so I was thinking of somewhere decent to go around North Gwinnett. There are more non-chain choices than there used to be up here, but there's still not a ton of options. Wanting to try somewhere new, I wasn't coming up with much until I remembered a review of Antebellum
in the AJC a couple of months ago. After looking up the restaurant's website, I decided it was worth checking out.
They're on OpenTable, so I made a reservation mainly for the points. We chatted with our waitress throughout the meal, and she said that usually reservations aren't needed except on the weekends. Friday and Saturday nights are evidently really busy. She explained a little about the restaurant, and was very good with answering our first-timer questions.
For all the tables, they bring out cornbread (that isn't sweet) with a side of green tomato jam. The corn bread was really good with a fine crumb, almost like a pound cake. My Dad had one of the salads. I forget which one, but my little taste of it was good. I had the salmon chowder, which was very good. Chunks of potatoes and a broth that wasn't too thick or thin. The pieces of salmon were really good - soft and cooked just enough so that the meat almost melted. Not sure how they managed that - if it's cooked seperate from the chowder or what.
My Mom had the sweet potato soup, which was amazing. As much as I liked my chowder, I thought my Mom's soup was twice as good. It had a little bit of sweetness, but just to balance the spice in the soup. It was probably the best version of a sweet potato soup that I've ever had.
My Mom also had the flat iron steak. She will not eat meat that is even the tiniest bit pink, usually ordering items "extra well done". Her steak was cooked excellently - no pink, but still not dry. My Dad had the scallops. I didn't get a bite of a scallop. But I would order that dish just based on the small bite of the mushroom/grits/jus that I had. That one little bite was delicious.
My entree was the pork chop with 'beer cheese soup'. I debated about ordering this dish. First, I've never had a version of beer cheese soup that I've really cared for. But I did end up enjoying the dish overall. Also, I couldn't quite picture how it was supposed to work, until I realized the beer cheese soup is like the sauce for the dish. The pork chop is crusted in rye and mustard. Rye, mustard, cheese. Eating it all together, I totally got why the chef matched up all of it.
Although there were a couple of desserts that sounded very tempting, we were all too full to even share a dessert. But we will definitely be back. Although this is based on just one visit, I would rate this restaurant drive-worthy if you're up for trying a new place. And if you live close by, it's almost a given for a nice dinner.
As best as I remember, appetizers are $10-$15 and entrees are in the $20s. They open for dinner at 5:00 pm Monday through Saturday and for Sunday brunch at 10:00 am.
5510 Church Street
Flowery Branch, GA 30542