Wellesley's The Cottage
One of the nice things about my boss is that every month or so he insists on treating his employees to lunch out of the office. It isn’t a business meeting but rather a nice leisurely getaway from the grind of the cubicle world. Where we are located does not have a ton of variety amongst restaurant selections, or so I thought. Until my co-worker introduced us to The Cottage in Wellesley’s Linden Square complex of shops and dining. Opened just a few years ago, with original roots in California and another location just opened in Newton’s Chestnut Hill, it obviously has expanded quickly. I learned that their success is well merited.
The décor is light, airy and breezy. A certain cottage feel with beachy cool color schemes and a welcoming atmosphere makes you think you are on either coast. The interior seating is quite large, with a private room and small outdoor patio seating to provide other options. There is also a bar for creative cocktails. It seemed quite trendy and bright and I loved all of the decorative details of simplicity.
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The sign for Front Page News in Midtown Atlanta, which offers New Orleans-inspired dishes with a garden courtyard setting.
OK, another week, another Tuesday and by lunchtime, Willie, Britt and I each needed to get out of the office. They were deep into some kind of accounting mess and I had just edited an 1,800-word opus on a subject that could have been neatly handled in 750. Oh, and the grammar and spelling was awful. So we decided that a little lunch excursion was—for the benefit of the company—something that needed to happen.
And, since we’re moving our offices out of Midtown Atlanta in the next month to six weeks, we decided that we had better hit some of the restaurants that will not be within lunch distance before we leave. So, with this parameter in mind, we ended up on Crescent Street and 13th at Front Page News, a New Orleans-themed restaurant with a very NOLA-y courtyard and patio, complete with a 10-foot fountain.
The proprietors of Front Page News, having tried and hated the corporate world, decided that what Atlanta really needed was a bar with the “feel of real Uptown New Orleans; the real NOLA outside of the French Quarter.” Front Page News was their creation, and it has been bringing the food, music and attitude of New Orleans to Atlanta since 1996. A second restaurant opened on Moreland Avenue in Inman Park in 2002.
Having tried the patio dining at a few other places recently, we decided to sit al fresco again. But, knowing that there was work to be done when we got back to the office, we decided to pass on the hurricanes.
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When you have spent all day in the warm sun at a PGA tournament with a bunch of hungry people, sometimes you aren’t in the mood to try something new. What you need is something nearby, predictable and varied enough to suit everyone. And it needs to be fairly fast. Which is how I ended up at Ruby Tuesday this past weekend with my family for dinner.
Because of my restaurant reviews, my family often gets tired of always having to go out to eat at a different place. Or someplace special. Plain vanilla or standard favorites usually get the short shrift. But not this afternoon. Casual “faster” food options like Applebee’s, TGI Fridays and Ruby Tuesday were more up our alley and Ruby Tuesday was closest. My brother the vegetarian was a fan of their veggie burgers, my mother a fan of their salad bar and my sister-in-law a fan of their regular beef burgers. We were all fans of eating as soon as possible.
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The heart of the Heartbeat.
I’m a girl who appreciates a good brunch. Buffet or a la carte, special occasion or lazy Sunday, there’s just something a little decadent about enjoying a late breakfast on a Sunday morning.
I’m not alone in this. Forget ladies who lunch–New Yorkers love to brunch. You’ll notice this as soon as you try to find a table at a nice restaurant before 1:00pm on a Sunday morning. Sometimes, your best bet is to just stay tucked in at your hotel and enjoy some food there. That’s what I recently did at the W New York’s Heartbeat restaurant in New York City.
I’ll admit that I was expecting something a bit more grandiose. After all, I was in a midtown hotel. I expected something on par with a chain hotel buffet. Heartbeat didn’t offer a buffet–instead, it offered a small breakfast menu filled with a few breakfast favorites. Even with only a handful of entree options, I still had difficulty eventually deciding on the pancakes.
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