Red Martini, an upscale late night lounge, located in Buckhead, is 6,000 square feet and the venue is dimly lit with beautiful chandeliers.
The red curtains and red velvet chairs are offset by the sleek black tables and stools. Red Martini caters to the late night crowd, opening at 9 and serving food until about half and hour before closing at 3 am on weekends.
Red Martini has a large bar spanning much of the restaurant. There are signature cocktails and martinis, most pretty reasonably priced around $10. I tried one of their signature cocktails, the Red Rose, made with St. Germain, Gin, rosewater and muddled cucumber. It was a terrific balance sweet, tart and boozy. My date enjoyed his Lychee martini quite well too. However we swapped to Kirin once our sushi came to the table. Beer just goes so well with sushi, I find it hard to drink anything else with it.
The cuisine at Red Martini is a mixture of sushi and small plates. You’ve probably had Chef Gabriel Panama’s food before if you’ve ever eaten at Nava (RIP), Chops Lobster Bar or Carbernet. He sat with me and explained his concept of putting a twist on sushi with items like the Salmon Habanero Roll (above left), made with asparagus, salmon and goat cheese and an orange habanero aioli. Or the Georgia Peach Roll (above right) with lump crab, peach chutney and avocado. Both were unique with delicious ingredients, but the Salmon Roll was the winner.
If you crave more traditional sushi, don’t fret. Order the signature Red Martini Roll. With Ahi Tuna, Snapper, Crab, Halibut, this roll has it all. Like it spicy? Get the Firecracker Roll, with Grouper, Avocado, habanero and jalapeno. Though if you are on a date, it may be difficult to remain demure and sexy while stuffing either one of these huge rolls in your mouth.
Although both of these rolls come lightly fried, I think they’d be much better in un-fried versions. The ingredients are quality (you can sit at the back bar and watch the chef prepare your sushi with beautiful fresh seafood), so I wouldn’t let anything detract from that. I bet if you ask the staff at Red Martini would be happy to make it to your liking.
Chef Gabriel was so happy for us to take a picture of him with his lovely display of fresh seafood. Yeah, that’s lobster in the bottom right. I’m not usually a fan of lobster in sushi but Red Martini’s nailed it with their version. There were several glorious bites of perfectly prepared (not rubbery) lobster mixed with a fantastic wasabi butter.
If you aren’t into super late night dining, Red Martini makes a great spot to chill for a post dinner cocktail. And they’ve got a cute little patio, perfect for the warm spring days ahead.
Extras: The upscale lounge is offering $6 signature maki rolls (chef’s choice) and Roca Patron martinis from 8:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. every Thursday night.
Red Martini website
3179 Peachtree Road
Atlanta, GA 30305