Any recent experiences at Nava in Atlanta?
You can expect to pay a lot more that you will have theoretically saved: even a $100 gift card would barely make this meal worth the effort. I am compelled to eat in Buckhead Life restaurants (describe accurately upthread by jgschiff) with some frequency for work (never on my own dime) and find them uneven when it comes to both food and service and expensive. Buckhead Life restaurants survive on own-of-towners with expensive accounts.
I would, quite frankly, throw the "gift card" in the trash and head over to Rathbun's, where Kevin Rathbun now runs his own show. Less money, better food, better ambience, better service.
It was most likely not a contest. You somehow got on the mailing list of Buckhead Life (the group that owns Nava, Bluepointe, Buckehead Diner etc) and they are using the 30$ card as a marketing ploy. If you look carefully you will see that you cannot use it at lunch or on the weekend. You also must use it by the end of the month. The deal is that if you use that card then next month you will be sent another one. Mine this month was Veni, Vidi, Vici. Next month it is the Buckhead Diner. It is my opinion that they are sending out cards good at their lesser performing locations trying to drum up new business. The reward is that eventually I suppose you will get a card to Kyma or Chops. I typically do not use it although I do use their "Ultimate Card" as they will give you 20% of your deposit as a loyalty reward if you deposit more that 100 bucks or so.
Personally I am a huge fan of a few of their concepts and not a fan of others. Chops is a top 5 ATL steak house, Kyma does what it does exceptionally well, (the fish and Meze are always great), Bluepointe has a great bar scene and Pano's is a can't miss for dinner guests who want a 80's-90's classic. Pricci and Fish Market also have their plusses.
Nava... well... used to love it when Kevin Rathbun and his immediate successors were there but it has since gone downhill; although it will be tough to find any other true "white linen" southwestern joints in ATL. Buckhead Diner confuses me as the food just ain't that good and the service has always been less than stellar. True story, went with my wife, liked the apps except the onion rings (my neighborhood dive bar makes better), the sides were good, strong drinks etc.... but the entree salads were just not very good. After not finishing them the waitron asked if there was a problem. We told her that they were not particularly well done and she told up that WE SHOULD HAVE ORDERED SOMETHING BETTER!!!! It was like she knew they sucked but didn't want to let us in on the secret.
All in all they the Life group runs a tight ship. You know that you are mostly going to get good service and the food will be well put together. Also, if you do have difficult meal you just need to write the old man himself and he will make it right. Just be sure to inlucde all the good along with the bad.