I’ll be honest; prior to this date, I wouldn’t have considered Park Tavern for a sushi outing (yes, I’m a bit of a snob when it comes to raw fish). But, the Salt Block Experience has changed my mind completely, and I want to shout from the rooftops: “Park Tavern has amazing sushi! Trust me!”
Let me begin.
On our fourth or fifth date (but who’s counting?), George and I decided to go to Park Tavern for sushi. We went on a Monday night and I loved the quiet, laid-back vibe in the dining room – much different than a Friday or Saturday at one of Atlanta’s favorite party spots and event venues. We chose Park Tavern’s Salt Block Experience in order to find out what the sushi at this joint is all about. Plus, a red hot Himalayan salt block is intriguing.
The experience started with edamame and green salad (both up to par), and then we were presented with our salt block, a sizzling hot stone for cooking our fish and meats. With this impressive block comes everything you need to make delicious little sushi rolls: tender wagyu beef, sashimi grade premium fish, seaweed wraps, rice, avocado, cucumber, cilantro, sauces, wasabi, garlic and more. You sear the meat lightly on each side on the block, then go to town piling your seaweed wraps high with whatever your sushi-loving heart desires. I like to think of it as making your own petite Asian tacos, and let’s face it: they’re much healthier than the meat, cheese and flour tortilla Mexican variety.
Park Tavern’s uber-talented sushi chef, Chapin Vilasineekul, came out to chat with us during dinner and gave us the lowdown on the high-quality fresh food. The wagyu beef (that means “best of the best” in the meat world) comes from an exclusive supplier and Park Tavern is the only restaurant on the East Coast that has it. The fish is flown in every single day from Hawaii. I’m just going to say it: Park Tavern may have the most A-list sushi in town. Seriously.
On this particular night, we got lucky, Chef Chapin needed to get rid of some rare, pricey fish. We were happy to help. After the first to-die-for taste, I thought George was going to hoard it for the rest of the night. He even tried to knock my chopsticks out of my hand when I went in for a piece. (Just for the record, playing with chopsticks is not considered bad table manners if it’s in the name of flirting). Definitely ask Chef Chapin if he has any specialties when you visit. As long as your date knows how to share.
The Salt Block Experience is perfect for any date, be it a 1st, 2nd or 50th. It provides you and your date with something to do and talk about, and sharing an experience always brings two people closer together. Plus, it’s a “fine dining” type meal, yet you can wear jeans and sneakers in Park Tavern’s casual atmosphere. The Experience is $29 a person, so if money isn’t an issue, then I say go for it with a brand new guy or gal. It’s not like you have to feed each other with your fingers. Aside from the Salt Block, all of Park Tavern’s sushi is fantastic, so you could go with the intention of just ordering a roll or two, and then make the spontaneous decision to salt block it up and show your date just how wild you can be.
Experiencing something as sizzling hot as a Himalayan salt block over dinner can only lead to getting hot and heavy after dinner, right? Ok, so maybe that was just me. But, it can’t hurt, right?