Bacchanalia is across from the Atlanta Water Works in the old meat packing district. (Howell Mill Road) It is located in a old factory (candy?). The decor and atmosphere was beautiful. The food was inspired and creative.
An amuse-bouche of split pea soup was offered and was divine. It had a hint of cayenne pepper and was mildly sweet and creamy. Very hearty. The only disappointment was the first course. I had a root celery soup with escargot and creme fraîche and my friend had the oysters with key lime sorbet and cavier. Both dishes were bland. My main dish of duck breast with poached pears and foie gras was superb and perfectly cooked. The cheese course of Sweet Grass Diary feta with a trio of beets - shaved, sorbet, and pickled - was the best of all the courses consumed that evening. I sampled several desserts, cookies, chocolate cake, basil panna cotta, bon-bons. The basil panna cotta was truly one of the best things I have ever placed in my mouth! Fanfuckingtastic (!) if I must be so crude - the word fits here though. We were delighted with nearly every amuse-bouche we received - and there were many. My only disappointment was with the wait staff which lacked any warmth at all. The captain (if that is what he was...not sure) appeared to have little to no interest in our satisfaction with the food or even refilling our wine. He lacked even a hint of enthusiasm and boarded on surliness. No bother! For a meal of this capacity, at under a hundred bucks apiece, the Grinch himself could have taken my order and poured my wine! Bacchanalia really is one the best spots in the southeast without a doubt! A must try!
I have gone there about half a dozen times and never left unhappy. Always a great experience. For an added bonus if you go there late in the evening they will give you left over baked goods from Star provisions that would otherwise be thrown out. A superb bite of chewy bread for the nextday. Great food imaginative and varied. A sweetbread and lobster dish I had there was about the best bite I have ever had in my 60 years of life.Never had a problem with the service.
One of these days when I feel empty in the stomach and full in the wallet I will try the place downstairs which I hear is even better.