Floataway Café has been floating around (no pun intended) the middle of my “restaurants to try” list for a little while now. I finally checked it out a few weeks ago with a group of friends, and I have to say I was not impressed. The restaurant is hidden away behind a couple warehouses in the Emory/Druid Hills area. The space is definitely warehouse-chic, with high ceilings and lots of natural light. Floataway’s concept was something along the lines of a modern blend of Mediterranean, Italian, and French cuisines, although I’m still a little bit unclear on what exactly they’re going for.
The menu is broken down into a few sections: cold & warm starters, pizzas, pastas, entrees, and vegetables. The pizzas all looked and smelled pretty delicious, and I wish now that we had gone that route. Per our server’s recommendation, we started with the gulf blue crab fritter and the octopus.
The crab fritter was nice and crispy on the outside, but it was way too thick. This resulted in a slightly mushy texture throughout the center of the fritter. It was served over some sautéed red onions and tomatoes in an oil-based sauce, which didn’t exactly help with the mushiness.
The octopus dish had a really nice combination of flavors. It was served over some roasted purple potatoes with a zesty cumin-spiced yogurt. However, the octopus itself was poorly cooked. Octopus has a very small window in which it goes from perfectly cooked to overcooked, and the chef definitely missed the window here. The texture was a little rubbery for my liking.
Entrée-wise, I went with the trout, which was served over a side of pureed chickpeas (aka hummus) with a nice roasted chickpea and red onion garnish. I never would have thought to pair trout with chickpeas, but the combination worked really well together. The trout was nicely cooked and crispy on the skin side, but I really would have liked a bit more sear on the other side as well.
Chad went with the grilled hanger steak. I’m never really a fan of non-steakhouse steaks, and this one was no exception. The steak was served pre-sliced with a glob of buttery garlic sauce on the side. Unfortunately, the sauce didn’t quite mask the fact that the steak itself lacked flavor. The best part of the dish was the side of pommes frites. The frites were pretty delicious, as French fries usually are.
Overall, I thought the experience at Floataway was mediocre at best. I didn’t eat one bite the entire evening where I thought, “wow, that was delicious.” The service was definitely nothing to write home about either. In fact, the drink service was painfully slow, especially given that the restaurant was not crowded at all for a Friday evening. At the end of the day, Floataway definitely floated down to the “one and done” section of my restaurant list.