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Installation (Wordpress Part): Steakhead's Atlanta Eats Blog: December 2007

Friday, December 14, 2007

Holiday Dinner at Eclipse di Luna

My friends and I did our annual holiday dinner at Eclipse di Luna by Perimeter Mall this week. For big gatherings, this place works very well for a number of reasons. First of all, they were easily able to accommodate our group of 16. Second, the tapas menu is great for large groups as you can try many different things. And lastly, the atmosphere is fun and loud, so we didn’t feel like our boisterous group was infringing on other diners.

The menu at Eclipse di Luna is two sided, one side is meets and the other side is veggie. Each side of our table took turns ordering, and our side, being mostly guys only ordered from the meat side. While I don’t remember the exact names, there were plates of calamari, seviche, empanadas, steak skewers, pork skewers, and the white sausage. We even splurged with an order of the paella. When it came time for the other half of the table to order (mostly female), I saw plates of tomatoes, potatoes, cheese and hummus. I have been a number of times with Lady Steakhead, and the same pattern occurs there as well, so I wasn’t too surprised. We devoured everything we ordered, and even ordered a few seconds on somethings (the white sausage and the steak skewers made encores on our end).

The holidays are a great excuse for having these kinds of dinners. Lives get busy. Some folks are married, some are single, some have kids, and it’s very difficult to get everyone together that often these days. So when we do, we want a place that will allow us to laugh out loud, provide some decent grub, and offer a festive environment. And a place that doesn’t put a major crimp in the wallet during the holidays is a big plus as well. Eclipse di Luna delivered on all fronts.

Steakhead Recommends: Yes (especially for big groups)
Price: $$

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Sunday, December 02, 2007

Lo Lo Lo Lo Lola

I had mentioned a few weeks back that I had popped into Lola in the Terminus complex in Buckhead and was anxious to check out the fare. I thought the prices looked reasonable, and it would be a place that baby Steakhead would do well in. Right on the first count…wrong on the second. More on that later.

Lola is a Tom Catherall Italian concept and I would say he is focusing on the lighter side when you look at the menu. The featured item appears to be the Antipasto Bar, where you can get a combo of three meats and cheeses for $15 or five for $22. We split a plate of the Caponata (a relish of eggplant, tomatoes and olives), the Copa (a spicy salami of pork shoulder) and the Latur cheese (a soft cheese that’s a combination of cow/sheep/goat’s milk). This was very good, especially the caponata…and usually I am not an eggplant fan.

The great thing about Lola is they have done a great job of making a night out easy on the wallet. The menu features several wood-fired pizzas, several pasta dishes which can come in a half order if you so choose, and a couple of features in the “light” category (under 600 calories). All of these dishes are under $20.

I had the linguine with clam sauce, which seemed to get better as I ate it. At first, I thought the broth didn’t have a lot of flavor. By the end, I was eating the remaining sauce with a soup spoon! For some inexplicable reason, they took our bread away when they cleared the appetizer plates, and it would have been nice to have with the pasta and mopping up the sauce. The linguine was not your typical linguine, having the width (over a ¼”) and the curved texture of an egg noodle. I was told this is “real” linguine and all the other linguines I have ever had “are really just spaghetti”. I sort of want to call BS on this, but can any Italians out there confirm what real linguine is? Lady Steakhead had the Primavera pizza and her Dad had the pappardelle with sausage Bolognese, both of which I sampled and were quite good.

This is not a romantic spot, as the scene can be quite loud. The bar area is particularly lively and takes up a good chunk of the overall restaurant space. The service at Lola was very good, and they were quite patient when it came to Little Steakhead and her occasional screams. We spent half our meals taking turns walking her outside to ensure we weren’t bothering anyone else. Obviously, we have entered a phase where we just can’t take her and expect to have a relaxing meal anymore. This is partly why the posts have been a little sparse on the blog lately, and unfortunately, I don’t see that changing anytime soon.

Steakhead Recommends: Yes
Price: $$

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