New Year’s Eve might be highly overrated – but that doesn’t stop me from getting decked out in sparkles & party favors to celebrate it every year. I’m definitely more of a celebration-partaker than I am a planner, especially when it comes to organizing a large group. Consequently, I was entirely on board when someone else took the initiative to make a dinner reservation at Ormsby’s (which happens to be one of my favorite spots in Atlanta). Ormsby’s is all about atmosphere – like the “Discovery Zone for adults” as one of my dining companions cleverly pointed out. It’s also a great option when dining with a larger group:
- The downstairs area is huge, so seating a party of 15+ is no sweat – I’d recommend a reservation though
- The servers are friendly, attentive, and will prevent a splitting headache by splitting your checks
- The extensive and ever-changing craft beer list is very conducive to trying out a new brew
- There’s something on the menu for everyone – even the pickiest of eaters
- Once everyone gets bored making conversation with one another, there’s bocce, pool, shuffleboard, and darts to provide entertainment…
As an added bonus, the food at Ormsby’s is very tasty, which is not always the case at many beer and atmosphere-centric gastropubs. We rang in the New Year with a round of beers, guac, and guiness-dipped pretzels, to start. The guacamole app was on the smaller side – best for sharing with one companion unless you only want a bite or two (trust me, you probably want more).
The pretzels were (and remain) my personal favorite – gigantic, doughy, and salty. They’re served warm with a grainy and spicy stout mustard for dipping. Pretzels are also the perfect accompaniment for an ice cold beer – ever wondered why you see all those people sporting pretzel necklaces at beer festivals…?
We also ordered the blackened salmon sandwich and the fish tacos. The blackened salmon was mouthwateringly juicy. The nicely seasoned fish, applewood-smoked bacon, and fresh tomatoes were smeared with a lemon aioli and sandwiched between two slices of grilled sourdough. I appreciated the thickness of the bread because it prevented any form of sogginess without completely overwhelming the flavor sandwich.
On the contrary, the fish tacos were pretty average – they weren’t bad, but I probably wouldn’t order them again either. I really enjoyed the soft corn tortillas, but everything in between was a tad bland. Both the tilapia and the slaw could have used a healthy dose of seasoning. As for the avocado slices on top, why settle for avocados when you can have guac instead?
The snacks, sandwiches, and beers are definitely the way to go at Ormsby’s – and make sure you get a side of fries with all that. On the bocce front – sign up early if you don’t want to wait, because the courts fill up fast. Despite my lack of hand-eye coordination, my personal secret to winning is choosing a good partner…works every time!