Last night I had a work dinner at Coast Seafood and Raw Bar in Buckhead at 111 W. Paces Ferry RD NW, right at the corner of W. Paces and E. Andrews. I'd been there before a few years ago when the place was Home and I loved it. I don't get out in Buckhead too often so the past 2 years that Coast has been open, I didn't even know it existed.
While it's been open for 2 years, it has only been in the past week that I've heard people talk about it. Not just one or two, but quite a few people. When I was asked where we should go for dinner, Coast it was.
Coast is a Here To Serve Restaurant (Strip, Shout, Twist, Aja, Goldfish, Prime...) so I expected it to be on par with the other restaurants. The atmosphere is very casual, more than I thought it would be, especially on a Thursday evening in early March. The wait staff and bar tenders were in shorts, t-shirts and tank tops. Once inside it expected to walk out the back door and find the ocean or a lake. It's very beach-y casual with hard wood floors, wooden stools, fish hanging from the wall and bright, light colors. Nothing stuffy about this place. The outdoor patio was huge and perfect for a large group or a couple of friends.
The wait staff as a little slow and that's going to be my only complaint of the evening. The bartender inside was great, but as the night went on, the drinks came out slower and slower as the place filled up. We ordered an appetizer at the same time we ordered our entrees and one of the gentlemen in our party ordered a side salad to start. His salad came out way in advance of our appetizer, and it was the wrong salad the first time.
The appetizer was great, we had Mussels... have you met me?, but we didn't have napkins or silverware on the table yet. Our food came out after we had finished the appetizer and it was cleared, perfect timing, but they didn't all come out at once. Not a big deal, but it's always awkward waiting for one person to get their food before you can start eating. My plate was extremely hot, which always makes me a little nervous that my food was sitting under a warmer somewhere.
Once we had our food, we didn't see our server very often and my water went empty more than once.
I'm not one to discount a restaurant based on the service (see my post on LaGrotta...), I believe that bad servers will be worked out of the system on their own. A good restaurant can over come bad service with great food. And the food was fantastic.
The Mussels were delicious and the broth was one of the best I've had in Atlanta. I wanted more bread to soak it up! For an entree I ordered the Boston Lemon Sole which came over a bed of mashed potatoes and sauteed spinach in a lemon caper butter sauce. I would have liked more capers, but the dish was perfect. I ate every last bit of it. I almost ordered the Shrimp and Grits so I'll have to go back to try those, too.
The rest of the food around the table looked great and all dishes received good reviews.
I have a feeling Coast will be a hot spot once it's really spring and summer hits. The patio will be packed all the time. Prices aren't too bad for a Buckhead restaurant and the atmosphere was different than what you'll find in the area.
I highly recommend Coast Seafood and Raw Bar to anyone looking for a nice, reasonably priced, casual dinner. I'll definitely be giving them a second try with the service.