Monday, May 15, 2006


I got back to Chez Elisson yesterday about 5:30 after a long weekend away in northern Virginia. There was still time to take She Who Must Be Obeyed out for a Mother’s Day feed, and so we repaired to one of the local joints, SWMBO not being in the mood for a lengthy drive.

We ended up at Ritter’s, an unprepossessing little place on Lower Roswell Road. It’s casual, as so many places here are, but I was perfectly comfortable in a jacket.

Mother’s Day is one of those days when most restaurants do a land-office business, but here we got lucky and scored some seats at the bar with no waiting. As we sat down, I noticed that the woman seated to my right had a martini glass filled with a dark ruby concoction. I asked the bartender to give me “whatever the lady next to me is having,” and was rewarded with a killer Pomegranate Martini. On further probing I found that the drink was made with a combination of Pom pomegranate juice, vodka, triple sec, and Pama pomegranate liqueur. I was unfamiliar with this last item, so the bartender poured us a mini-shot of it so we could taste it neat. With the characteristic Grenadine-syrup flavor of pomegranate but layered with a tart undertone, the stuff was excellent...and that deep red martini rocked.

Our bartender friend confided that he was rushing around more than usual - not just owing to the extra Mother’s Day traffic, but because one of his co-workers called in sick at the last minute. And yet he was calm, pleasant, and never seemed to get in the weeds. Our orders came out on time, prepared just right. And the Pomegranate Martinis were perfect.

The Missus had a chicken cutlet served over sautéed spinach and sun-dried tomatoes, while I glommed onto a perfectly grilled salmon fillet served over a saffron risotto with asparagus. Superb.

Afterward, the bartender poured us a knock of Bailey’s Irish Cream - the new caramel flavor - just so we could try it. Damn stuff should be illegal, it’s that good.

As we were exiting the restaurant, I made sure to speak to the owner, Ritter Jones, who just happens to be the chef. He’s the kind of owner-operator who walks among the tables of the restaurant, making sure everything is just right, and so I had to tell him how much the Missus and I enjoyed our meal...and the services of Jeremy, the Über-Bartender.

This post may read like an minor exercise in Bloggy Pimpage, but so what? We had a very pleasant evening, and blogging is all about the sharing, innit? So if any of my Esteemed Readers happen to be in our neck of the woods in East Cobb County, Georgia, and you’re looking for some good American grub, Ritter’s is worth a visit.

Sit at the bar and ask for Jeremy. You won’t regret it.

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