Since Valentine’s Day is around the corner, we want to help you plan something romantic for your special someone. We know what you’re thinking: what do a couple of toddlers know about romance? Believe it or not, we know a lot. Mommy doesn’t realize it, but we are always listening – and we hear her when she talks (to her girlfriends or out loud to herself) about all the things she wishes Daddy would do or places she wishes Daddy would take her. So, as a special treat to our grown-up friends, we’ve decided to focus this week’s posts on romantic restaurants and sweet treats for your sweetie. In addition to our usual Gummy Bear Ratings, we’re going to include Hershey’s Kiss Ratings to help you decide how valentine-friendly certain places are. And we may even sprinkle in a few romance tips along the way, since we’ve learned so much from listening to Mommy’s rants.
Violette (Atlanta/Emory)(due to being a better atmosphere for adults). Can you take kids here? Yes, definitely. Do you want to take kids here? Maybe not, for your own sake. Hershey’s Kiss Rating: 4 out of 5 Hershey’s Kisses. Comfortable yet classy ambience. A great option for parents’ night out.
🙂 = Hands down some of the best service we’ve ever had. They treated us like little princes, and we (and our Mommy) really appreciated that. Live jazz. Friendly, unpretentious clientele. Authentic French food.
🙁 = Food is pricey, as you might expect at a French restaurant. Some of the food was a bit oily. We’re not sure if a true French food expert would appreciate it as much as we did. The temperature inside the restaurant was a little chilly – wear layers.
Notes: Violette is right off the Clairmont Rd. exit on I-85. Their sign is not flashy or overly conspicuous – blink and you will miss it. Valet service is complimentary, but have cash on-hand if you want to tip.
We’ve heard Mommy say to Daddy, “I wish you paid attention in your high school French class. French is sooooo romantic.” Keeping that in mind, we decided to take Mommy out for French cuisine at a cozy little spot that’s known as one of the most romantic restaurants in Atlanta and one of the top ten French restaurants in Atlanta: Violette. We chose Violette over all the other local French restaurants because the host there, whom Mommy called a couple days in advance of our visit, was so nice and helpful to her. She asked him whether it was okay to bring two toddlers to the restaurant “to let them try French food” (she did not mention that we moonlight as Toddler Foodies). He answered honestly that the restaurant does not see too many little diners, but would be happy to accommodate children’s needs. He even helped her figure out the best time to visit for dinner (5:30 PM, when the restaurant opens, because it’s not too crowded at that time) and named some menu selections he thought we would enjoy.
When we arrived at Violette, we received warm greetings from the host and the restaurant’s manager. The host immediately led us to our table. Our server, Julian, came out to meet us shortly after. He was one of the nicest servers we have ever met – he talked to us, joked with us, asked us about ourselves, and taught us about the items on the menu in terms we could understand. He treated us like little adults, even though we were probably some of the youngest customers he had ever served at Violette. He brought out crusty French bread right away, along with some yummy olive oil for dipping. He even asked us if we wanted butter, to which we replied, “Yes. But… what is a butter?”
For dinner we ordered escargots (snails cooked in white wine-garlic butter) and Canard Colvert (seared duck breast with garlic-tomato confit, sauteed spinach, chorizo-garlic au jus).
The escargots were our favorite part of dinner, much to mommy’s surprise. (In fact, we ate 5.5 out of 6 escargots, while she only got 1/2 a snail foot.) The escargots were cooked perfectly – not rubbery, very easy to cut and chew. They were served with crunchy sticks of bread that we could dip in the white wine-garlic butter once all the snails were gone.
The Canard Colvert was not our favorite dish, and Mommy ended up bringing her portion home to Daddy. The sauce was somewhat watery, and the potato served on the side was a little hard. The skin on the duck had good flavor, though; and the meat was tender enough for our little teeth to bite into without Mommy having to cut it into small pieces.
For dessert, we tried the Tarte au Myrtilles (blueberry tart with a brown sugar crust, served with vanilla ice cream and fresh berries). Wow, was that a treat! The blueberry filling inside the tart was more like a blueberry infused custard than a traditional blueberry pie filling. And the crust was divine – flaky, but not crumbly; and not overly sweet.