TYPE OF RESTAURANT
Best Menu Items
3455 Peachtree Road Northeast
Atlanta, GA 30326
St. Cecilia is located on the bottom floor of an office building across the street from the Phipps Plaza Mall. The restaurant is glass windowpanes from floor to ceiling making for a light and open feel from the inside. The entrance brings you in on the upper level. A grand staircase brings you down to the dining area with the large bar to the left and the fresh seafood display and open kitchen to your right and dining tables stretching as far as you can see in both directions.
We dined here on a Wednesday evening around 8:45pm and the place was packed. I definitely recommend a reservation or finding a spot at the marble communal tables looking into the open kitchen. While waiting for our table we found seats at the bar and ordered some cocktails to sample. The 'Bramblin Man' was a combination of muddled peaches with blueberry preserves and fresh lemon juice shaken with Larceny Bourbon and served on the rocks. The 'Barber of Seville' was another summery cocktail, this one done with muddled strawberries, fresh mint, Purity vodka, and a splash of Villa Sandi Prosecco. My favorite was the 'Delta Queen', a blend of Riverboat Rye, St. Germaine, bitters, and Laphroaig. For wine with dinner we went with the Colonarra, and Italian Sangiovese/Montepulciano that was velvety and smelled of leather and tobacco. We also tried the Cabernet blend "Terre More" from Maremma. Both were reasonably priced and the bold, tannic reds stood up well with all of the various sauces.
For starters we selected the chilled oysters suggested by our server. I cannot recall where these were from that day but they were plump and flavorful and the cucumber mignonette with harissa on top was excellent. We also did the charred octopus, this was done on a bed of eggplant, tomato, and Italian beans. It was tender and flavorful and the presentation was excellent. We also went for the Salumi board which comes in a small or large, we went for the small. Today's board included Prosciutto di Parma, Roquefort, Valencay, Soppressata, and house made Pork Rillettes. This was served with warm piadine (I can best describe this as a crescent-like bread with a thicker crustier outer layer). And the table bread was delicious but my favorite part is that in place of butter was a small cup of ricotta drizzled with olive oil and cracked pepper.
For the main course, we shared the Squid Ink Spaghetti, Monkfish, and whole Branzino. Squid Ink pasta is one of my all time favorites and this one was especially good. The house made pasta was tossed in a very light sauce (just enough to coat the noodles) and served twisted into the center of a pasta plate. The pasta was tossed with lump crab and slivers of garlic and the sauce was slightly spicy from the Calabrian chili. The Monkfish had a wonderful golden "crust" from being broiled and was served on a bed of calamari tossed with potato, heirloom tomato, and almond pesto. The whole Branzino was wood grilled with olive oil and fresh herbs along with preserved lemon wheels and black and green olives. It was simple and delicious and the preparation let the flavor of the fish stand out. As a side we selected the arugula which was tossed in olive oil with a drizzle of lemon and thick, crumbly slices of Parmigiano Reggiano.
For dessert we did the Crème Brulee Tart which had a red wine and huckleberry reduction drizzle with lemon. But our favorite was the Coconut Milk Panna Cotta. It is very hard to describe so see the picture. Everything on the plate was chopped in pieces and scattered about which made for an interesting presentation to say the least. Upon the first bite though we were taken aback by the flavors of the creamy panna cotta paired with flavors of white peach and elderflower.