High atop the Hyatt Regency in downtown Atlanta is the much famed Blue Dome or Polaris. Though quite popular from it’s opening into the 1990s, the Polaris closed down in 2004. After being closed for about a decade the beautiful restaurant was redesigned and re-opened. There’s a reason the Polaris was so popular. Just look at the gorgeous sunset we were able to view during our visit. Atlanta was bathed in a sea of gold.
The Polaris is the perfect kickoff to an Atlanta staycation in. Make sure to make your dinner reservation to coincide with the sunset. My recommendation? Time it so that you are sipping on a perfectly prepared Manhattan as you view the sunset. DYK? The Polaris has their own Bourbon through a partnership with Elijah Craig. Their fire charred barrels results in bourbon with notes of wood and smoke. There are also house made sodas like the cherry soda featured below to make younger ones feel special or for non-drinkers.
Not only does the Polaris make their own Bourbon, but they make their own honey and grow many of their own herbs. While you are rotating 25 stories above Peachtree Street, you can glimpse the bee garden on the top of the International Tower (yes, the hotel has two towers). The 15,000 bees are “rescue” bees that were saved after a truck accident and given a new home.
Chef Rodney Ashley, the Polaris’s Executive Chef keeps the menu small and changes it quite often. Like every three or four weeks. A Yellow and Red Watermelon salad, was like summer on a plate, light and refreshing. A second appetizer was more hearty and the most tasty dish of the evening – Grouper Cheeks. These came with a Jicama Slaw and Peach chutney, plus the addition of a croissant with a slight hint of sweetness.
I love it when chefs are enthusiastic about the food they are producing, and Chef Ashley, is no exception. His unique tools, like this “record-player” looking device to produce beautiful plating are so cool! There’s also a nifty contraption for the charcuterie as well.
I mentioned the menu at the Polaris is small, right? Like only five choices for the entree small. But that’s okay. We were still pleased with the selection. Just so you know, the Steak Oscar, a filet topped with crab is so popular it never leaves the menu. While I would not be opposed to returning for that dish, I had my eye on two other offerings: Hazlenut Veal Milanese and Spicy Georgia Shrimp.
Why the shrimp? Chef Rodney shared that he had a recent addition of a sous chef that spent a great deal of time in Japan and was employing some of her cooking techniques, most notably in the shrimp. These jumbo shrimp were cooked to perfection and served with an Asian pear and cucumber salad.
It would be a crime to dine at the Polaris and not get their signature “Blue Dome” dessert. A mousse interior gives way to a chewy caramel filling inside.
Of course, there are other beautiful desserts like this strawberry sponge cake to be found at the Polaris as well. Keep in mind Downtown Restaurant Week is coming up and you can dine at the Polaris for just $35 per person. That’s a steal for the view alone.
Disclosure: My meal was complimentary but opinions expressed are my own.