Atlanta is full of fabulous mid range to high end restaurants. The city boasts a handful of chef centric, chef inspired, or chef owned facilities, most never lack creativity from supporting great atmospheres, to funky locations to featuring local Atlanta fresh goods.
It was a cold night in Atlanta but Miller Union was packed with a usual evening rush, though getting a table for 2, without a reservation was an accommodating experience. Gratefully taking a seat in a small room with 4 other tables, we observed the cozy, yet sleek and clean ambience. The wait staff was full of energy and very helpful.
The wine selection and recommendations seemed to lack and when asked to do a chef tasting menu at what Atlantians have called one of their finest dining establishments known for their “farm to fork” concept, no one seemed thrilled.
We ordered the 5 course chef’s tasting menu that evening and yes, food allergy challenges were presented but other chef inspired restaurants have been able to accommodate this while still providing the finest quality, service and taste without missing a beat, so I expected with all the raving reviews that Miller Union would no doubt be able to perform. While I had dined here once before in the afternoon with another chef friend the previous year and had a great experience, this time of year it seemed the chef had lost his passion and flare for creativity.
Typically the chef presents and discusses, but we only saw the server that evening. Granted it was busy, but if we’re gonna drop $300 on dinner for two and let you shine and sparkle doing what you do best, shouldn’t we at least get a courtesy, “Hello.” I find it much more of an experience to know who is making the meal, plus with food allergy challenges, there is a sense of safety in meeting the chef before hand.
The first course presented as a very small, simple green salad, but was packed with great earthy flavors of arugula and light vinaigrette. The following courses did not present as well.
The flavors were all very similar, some very overly salted, on each dish. The creativity and inspiration of each plate lacked greatly. The passion for the food and the presentation of each plate was underwhelming to say the least. The wine was descent but nothing to write home about.
While the wait staff took great care to develop a charming relationship with us, the passion for the food overall was not in the heart and soul at Miller Union. This chef centric restaurant seemed more focused on the PR of a recently written book over the core of the restaurant providing a unique and blissful supreme foodie experience for everyone.
When patrons come in to a restaurant giving carte blanche to make whatever the chef can dream up- despite allergens, it should be one of the most glorious times in a chef’s moment to create something even if it’s a little off menu and present the finest of their foods.
For the same, $125 per person night, we’ve had a much better experience in Atlanta from Polaris to Rathbun’s to Noni’s to Fred’s.