Friday, April 17, 2009

The Mansion on Peachtree & Lunch at NEO

My colleague, Chuck and I had the pleasure of touring The Mansion on Peachtree and dining at NEO today. But even more rewarding was meeting one of the kindest, most genuine people I can recall encountering in recent memory, Kimberly. Having met this wonderful woman, Chuck and I both stated that we left feeling that we'd gained a dear friend.

As restaurant and hotel snobs, we were eagerly anticipating our visit to The Mansion. We had been drooling over this property for several months and today was our turn to take a tour of the property and enjoy lunch. All I can say is WOW!! From the initial greeting by the doorman to our goodbye hug, top-notch-southern-hospitality-filled-make-you-wanna-stay-forever SERVICE. I'm not easily impressed, but, I must say, this one got me. The Mansion ranks among my top three hotels of all time and that says alot. I could live there.

Now on to lunch. NEO, quietly tucked in the rear of The Mansion, is a beautifully appointed dining room overlooking the garden. Since black is my signature wardrobe color, I have a love/hate relationship with white napkins. I detest having to request a black napkin as I feel the waitstaff should be observant enough to anticipate my need. Brownie points for NEO as my black attire was noted and the black napkin magically appeared. As I step off my soapbox, I'll tell you about lunch.

We started with the calamari and artichokes--lightly battered and fried and oh so delicious. The batter was so flavorful, we ignored the dipping sauce. We also noshed on breadsticks, crispy flatbread and warm bread with olive tapenade. Our next course was the arugula salad with pears and shaved parmesan, tossed in an extremely delicate dressing---delicious!! Our entrees: I had the trout with capers and pasta, Kimberly had the penne tossed with roasted tomatoes, goat cheese and pine nuts, and Chuck had the lobster ravioli. We looked like hungry college kids as we eagerly shared our entrees and as different as they were, each dish was divine. I did make a mental note to try the Angus burger--a guest nearby ordered one and it looked awesome! I'll manage somehow to eat it with a fork and knife, but I'd much rather be able to pick the sucker up.

Now the highlight of the meal.....DESSERT--The Dessert Flight:

Apple Crumb Tart with Caramel Sauce, Flourless Chocolate Cake, Lemon Cheesecake and last, the most delicious of the four...Tiramisu!!! Mind you, I am not a fan of Tiramisu, so if I say it's FABULOUSLY DELISH, take my word for it. Next time I'm requesting a flight of Tiramisu only. I could simply order the regular sized Tiramisu, but it can't be as adorable as the baby version.

Oh and don't think I wasn't swooning over the white dishes from the beginning to the end of the meal. I NEED those little Tiramisu cups in my life PRONTO!!

I also learned about NEO Unplugged. This event is held the last Wednesday of each month and allows you to enjoy a quiet, candlelit dinner without the intrusion of technology--no phones allowed. I'm looking forward to NEO Unplugged.

I plan to return many times to The Mansion to enjoy NEO, The Mansion Bar, 29 Spa, Craft Restaurant and to experience being a guest. If pampering is what you're craving, your wish will be granted at The Mansion.

Sheila Denise

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