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Dinner with a Twist

Out of all the big-name restaurant groups in Atlanta, I’ve always favored Here to Serve Restaurant Group. Not only does the group offer great deals (like $10 all you can eat tapas and discounted bottles of wine) the food is eclectic and inventive, and the menus have enough choices to please everyone.

Last weekend the B.F. and I broke our New Years diet to take some out-of-towners to Here to Serve’s Buckhead mainstay, Twist.

With a Buckhead address close to several hotels and its Phipps Plaza location, Twist is a go-to spot for Atlanta tourists, which can be a bit obnoxious. But there’s no denying the menu makes the fanny-packed crowd worth it.

Dining at Twist on the weekends can be less than enjoyable, as I quickly remembered upon arrival when I was greeted at the door with the booming bass of the DJ in the bar area. Twist turns into a bit of a nightclub-y hot-spot on the weekends, an attribute that I had forgotten when I made the reservation. Luckily, we were seated in the back room, as far away as possible from the martini-sipping sugar daddies and scantily-clad women.

While usually a wine or beer gal, I chose to try one of Twist’s signature drinks for the cocktail menu, a grape martini. Made with grape vodka, grape puckers, sprite and sour and served with a sugared rim, it was strong and sweet, though did have a hint of a cough medicine flavor. I’ll stick to the wine next time.

Twist’s menu boasts a selection of entrees, salads sushi and my favorite, tapas. Having been on a diet for the majority of January, I decided to splurge, so after noshing on the bread basket (with some kind of sweet buttery spread that was delicious!) and the Spanish Style Fried Potatoes (with a delectable, spicy sauce for dipping), I chose the Grilled Bistro Steak with Portobello, Tomatoes and Blue Cheese and the Crab Cake with Tartar, Lemon and Arugula.

The steak was delicious, smothered in a Rosemary Jus and served with melted Blue Cheese on top. The flavor was well worth the $10 price tag, and the portion was large enough to have as a meal by itself. But I was on a mission to splurge, so I wasn’t stopping there.

The Crab Cake was an equally good value at just $9, and was large enough to where even I, consistently a clean-plate club member, couldn’t finish it. It might sound silly, but I love crab cakes when they aren’t too overwhelmingly crabby and are coated in a fried batter, and these fit the bill. I also tried bites of the Mini-Burger with Pickle (beware, it has an unexpected, spicy kick to it) and the Fish Tacos with Spicy Slaw (not as spicy as expected, but a nice flavor.) Though I didn’t try the other dishes, the Fried Artichokes, Hummus and Bruschetta were all hits with our dinner companions.

Having survived on sugar-free fudge pops the majority of the month, I was determined not to skimp of dessert. We tried the dessert sampler, which consisted of three desserts of our choosing for $12. After a heated debate on what to order, we settled on the Molten Chocolate Cake, Tiramisu Parfait and the Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars. Everything was delicious and left me with a sugar high. The Tiramisu, served layered in a martini glass with crumbled macaroons on top, is a personal favorite. The Chocolate Peanut Bars are a tad on the rich side, so it takes some serious dessert dedication to have more than a few bites of these. The Red Velvet Cupcake caught my eye on the menu, but I guess I’ll have to wait until next time.

We exited Twist at around 10 p.m., and I can’t imagine how disappointing our dinner would’ve been if we hadn’t been seated in the quiet solace of the back room. The bass was pounding louder than ever, preventing any type of dinner conversation in the main dining room. This combined with an obnoxiously noisy bachelor/bachelorette party combo seated close by makes me vow to stick to weeknights when visiting Twist.

Like its fellow Here to Serve restaurants, Twist boasts some great specials, including all-you-can-eat tapas for $10 on Sundays and half-price bottles of wine on Mondays. Despite its sometimes-clubby atmosphere, Twist is well worth the hype, for tourists and locals alike.

                                                                          ~Blair Branch

Twist is located at 3500 Peachtree Road in Phipps Plaza.
Twist is open daily for lunch and dinner.

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