Photo credit: Marina K. Villatoro /Gringa TravelingMom

Photo credit: Marina K. Villatoro /Gringa TravelingMom

When I decided that my husband and I were going to Georgia for a romantic getaway, I heard a lot of commentaries along the lines of: “Why Georgia?” or, “What is there to do in Atlanta?” Most of these comments were coming from other people from the U.S. so my expectations dropped a lot, figuring they knew better than I did.

But then I learned that none of the people asking these questions had been to Georgia before. After being there myself, I know that if they had been to the state, they would be raving, not questioning.

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An Adventure in Fine Dining – Ocean Prime Atlanta 

If you do a little of research, you will be able to get a basic idea of what is there to do in Atlanta. There are attractions like Coca Cola World, Martin Luther King’s Birthplace and the Atlanta Zoo. What you won’t get is the idea of what the restaurants are like and what Atlanta is all about.

This time we weren’t traveling with kids, so I was definitely looking for a fine dining experience. I really wanted us to go to a place where we could enjoy the ambiance and savor every bite without having to rush because the boys were bored. Searching for such a thing I found Ocean Prime Atlanta.

We are fans of seafood and steak so when I saw that their website and their menu offered both, I knew I really wanted to go. But let me tell you, the website does no justice to the restaurant at all.

We got to the restaurant at 7:30 p.m. and didn’t leave until 11 p.m. even though the restaurant closed at 10. This to us was almost a Guinness World Record breaker. We had never been able to enjoy more than two hours at a restaurant with our boys.

Photo credit: Marina K. Villatoro /Gringa TravelingMom

Photo credit: Marina K. Villatoro /Gringa TravelingMom

Our Four Hour Dinner

Creative Cocktails and More – Since we had the whole night we decided to take it slow and start with drinks. I ordered the Berries and Bubbles.

For some reason our waitress told me not to touch my glass. It was weird but I was interested, so I let her continue with what she was doing. There were berries and the alcohol in the glass, on top of that she poured liquid nitrogen. This created a lot of bubbles and I had to wait about two minutes until I could take a sip, but I enjoyed the show. The bubbly glass made our table seem special.

We also ordered a drink called Black Orchid. This one was served with a large ice cube in the middle which had an edible orchid in it. Elderflower Liqueur was poured over the cube. It was delicious, but it wasn’t better than my berries one. But, then again ,I don’t think any drink will ever compete with the berries.

Appetizers Galore – We happened to arrive at a time when the executive chef, Jason Shelley, was preparing the dishes. This was great because I always like the opinion of the waiters or the chef about the food they showcase the most. Of course they are proud of all of their dishes, but in this case he brought two of his favorites out for us. They were so good that I wanted to order seconds or thirds!

The first one was the “Surf n Turf”. It is basically scallops with slowly braised short ribs. It was my favorite one. The other one was called Colossal Shrimp Saute. We also ordered the chop chop salad which could’ve been a meal on its own.

The Main Meal – At this point we also got a chance to meet the second one in charge of the kitchen. His name is Oscar. He was in charge of cooking a lot of the dishes and they were all amazing.

Photo credit: Marina K. Villatoro /Gringa TravelingMom

Photo credit: Marina K. Villatoro /Gringa TravelingMom

We came here for some meat and seafood and that’s what our dishes were. My husband went for the 8 oz filet mignon covered in black and green peppercorn. I ordered the sea scallops with parmesan risotto. I can never have enough of scallops.

Side Dishes – They had the largest list of side dishes that I had ever seen. There were 15. They all sounded absolutely delicious. I had the hardest time choosing. In the end we decided to get four. I knew that this would seem absolutely sinfully, gluttonous. But you only live once!

Our side dishes were lobster mashed potatoes, roasted Brussels sprouts (I don’t get these often so I really enjoyed them), black truffle mac and cheese and roasted carrot (were delicious, covered in a sugar glaze)

Dessert and Way Too Much Decadence – Yes, after all of that food we still had dessert, please don’t judge us!

We each ordered a piece of cake. One was Ten Layer Carrot Cake, because it is ten layers and who wouldn’t get this one? And Chocolate Cake for my husband because he can’t see chocolate on a menu and not get it.

The Real Reason We Stayed Until 11

Photo credit: Marina K. Villatoro /Gringa TravelingMom

Photo credit: Marina K. Villatoro /Gringa TravelingMom

Time passed, the restaurant started to clean up and we were still having a lot of fun. The manager, Rudy, came over to chat with us and before we knew it was an hour past their closing time.

When I realized that, I asked him about why they hadn’t kicked us out and why the restaurant didn’t look as if it was about to close.

So here’s how this all came about:

Ocean Prime is a chain that is part of the Cameron Mitchell Restaurants in the U.S. Cameron Mitchell, a chef from Ohio, started with one restaurant and it all has grown.

He was already a chef and one night he was dining out with his family when his son asked for a milk shake. The waiter told him “Sorry, we don’t do that here. It’s not on the menu.” Cameron’s kid was small and as we all know kids that young can be difficult when people deny stuff to them. So he asked the waiter again. “Don’t you have milk? And ice cream?” The waiter nodded. “Don’t you have chocolate sauce you put on ice cream?” The waiter nodded. “So why can’t you mix all these three ingredients and make a milk shake? I will gladly pay.” But the waiter kept saying no.

After that experience Cameron decided to open up a place where they could accommodate guests as much as possible. If that means staying open longer they will do it. They don’t mind creating something specific for guests. It is one of the first things that staff is told about when they apply for the job.

The restaurant wasn’t open only for us. There were a couple of other tables but they never gave us signs that it was closing time. There was no way I knew that it was way past it. Plus, we were having so much fun trying their food and chatting with Rudy that the time just flew.

Bottom Line

One thing I really like is that you can tell that the staff members really enjoy their jobs. They have creative freedom and camaraderie between them but most importantly they people can learn and grow to their full potential.

Information for Visiting Ocean Prime

Ocean Prime is a fine dining chain that is in nine different States.

If you want to come here make reservations, you might be able to get in on a slow night but it is best to have it confirmed.

Address: 3102 Piedmont Road, NE Atlanta, GA 30305
Phone: (404) 846-0505
Dinner: Monday – Saturday 5:00 PM- 10:00 PM
Sunday 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Lounge 5:00 PM – Close

West Midtown
Address: 1587 Howell Mill Road, Atlanta, GA 30318
Phone: 404.352.FLIP (3547)
Mon – Thurs: 11am -10pm
Fri – Sat: 11am – 11pm
Sun: 11am – 9pm

Poncey Highlands
Address: 664 N. Highland Avenue Atlanta, GA 30306
Phone: (404) 815-1127
Tues – Thurs: 11:30am – 10pm
Fri – Sat: 11:30am – 12am
Sun – Mon: 11:30am – 9pm