Muss & Turner’s (Date Night #50): 11/23/12

It’s Date Night #50 and before we get to the food, let’s look back at our first 49 dates. We have been to an incredible variety of restaurants all over Atlanta and have not repeated a single one. All but two of our selections (Botekim Brazillian and Baroni Italian) are still in business. We’ve gone cheap (CNN Center Food Court) and we’ve gone expensive (Five and Ten). We have done “pub crawls” in the squares in Roswell, Decatur and Marietta. We’ve been to boring, predictable chains (On the Border), but the rest of the time we have visited the hottest spots in the city as determined by our fellow food bloggers and the local papers.

Tonight, we visit Muss & Turner’s, in Smyrna (or is it Vinings, we never can tell) for a menage a trois in a dark, secret room. Want to see the pictures?

The understated sign out front.

M & T is located next to South City Kitchen, which we visited on Date Night #12 at the end of 2011. It’s is the sister restaurant of Local Three, which we really enjoyed a few weeks ago. We have been here before, but not on Date Night. Unknown to us on our previous visits, M & T has a secret room in the back that you have to know about to get into. We know about it because we recently read an article in our local paper. Now we will share the dark secret about Eleanor. Cue the spooky music…

It looks like an industrial cooler door. Go ahead, open it.

In the back of M & T, near the bathrooms is a door that looks like the entrance to their cooler. For those “in the know”, it’s the entrance to Eleanor’s, a special hidden bar behind M & T. Walk down two candlelit hallways and you are there.

What dark secrets lurk in Eleanor’s?

Eleanor’s has the M & T food menu, but the drink menu is exclusive to the bar. They have some wild concoctions on it as well as some exotic beers on tap, which of course piques our interest.

Beers you probably won’t find anywhere else in Atlanta.

It’s dark in here, and at this time of the year, we drink the darker, stronger beers. Eve goes for the Moylan’s Kilt Lifter (8%, on the left) and I go radical with a rare Sierra Nevada Narwahl Imperial Stout. It’s over 10% alcohol, so you want to take small sips. It’s very hoppy, which you don’t usually find with an imperial stout. I did notice that as it warmed up, it lost some of the hops flavor and tasted more like chocolate. Anyway, Eve’s was the better beer tonight, a rich glass of malty goodness, best served during cold weather.

On to the appetizer, which tonight, is cheese.

Two cheeses, one with a sexy name.

We’re having a menage a trios from Wisconsin (lower left), which is a combo of sheep, goat, and cow milk. The other cheese is a gouda from Georgia. Both cheeses are very good-a. The apple chunks and jelly that come with the cheese are especially tasty on the flatbread that is supplied, but not pictured.

It’s time to order the main course. Just before you walk into M & T, you pass by a Big Green Egg, where they cook a lot of the food.

What’s big and green and cooks?

Because of the egg, I order the burger.

The burger, shown “topless”.

It’s crusty on the outside, and moist and juicy on the inside. The egg has cooked it just the way I want it. Although I want fries with the burger, I can’t resist the mac and cheese side dish because it has truffle honey in it.

Healthier than fries? Probably not!

Eve, goes for something cooked inside, the chicken and dumplings. We split both dishes and share.

Chicken and big dumplings.

The dumplings are huge and taste more like matzo balls. They are light and fluffy, unlike most dumplings which have the consistency of rocks. The chicken is nice and moist, and I would have liked more of it, but my date confesses to eating more than half of the chicken. She does point out, however, that I got most of the macaroni and cheese.

Back in the main dining room, we walk by a glass display case full of desserts. There are huge cookies as well as other delicacies that we consider. We resist the temptation, saving the calories for those holiday parties that will soon be on our December calendar.

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