A fondue restaurant and a jazz lounge set inside of a pirate ship – That is Dante’s Down the Hatch. A famous Atlanta spot since the 70’s, Dante’s is not your ordinary restaurant, it is an experience.
My husband took me here for my 23rd birthday/our anniversary after hearing that you could have dinner on the ship.
We started out with the imported cheese fondue, which is a combination of Swiss, gruyere, Kirsch, Emmenthal, and Swiss wines, and is served with apples and honey nut and French bread croutons. The cheese was delightful, full of rich flavors, very thick and creamy, and seemed to have a slight tanginess. Being the cheese lover that I am I ate this up! The juicy apples are a perfect match for the combination of cheeses. The bread croutons are quite huge and quite yummy! This could be a meal in itself, so be careful not to over fill before your main course (very easy to do!).
This place is really all about the atmosphere, you get your classic jazz lounge; old, dim, kind of run down but in the most charming and lovely way…like it has seen many sweet years, and then you get a twist with the huge pirate ship right in the middle of the restaurant …eclectic is the only word to describe it! The booth was very intimate, set in a little corner, it was very private, and allowed for cuddling while eating and listing to music. The restaurant has a very romantic atmosphere with low lighting that will make anyone feel almost tipsy with love.
For our dinner we had both the vegetable fondue and the beef and chicken, and shared as it was plenty and we are not huge eaters. Being a fondue newbie I didn’t know that you actually cook the meat yourself with a fondue pot and a candle they bring to your table; little more time consuming, but fun and relaxing if you let it be. Now, this is where I will say the meat didn’t quite “wow” me; it wasn’t bad at all but it wasn’t amazingly great either. This could have something to do with all the oil that you use to cook your meat in, but the quality of meat just didn’t seem to be the best. Again, still very good, just not great.
The veggies were my favorite; huge mushrooms, carrots, broccoli and cauliflower as well as a few other veggies come in this meal, all waiting for you to cook them just as you like and devour their yummy goodness and not feel guilty that they are dipped in oil…because after all they are veggies…and veggies are healthy 🙂 Once you get them cooked (your waiter will let you know the cooking times for each food), they are pretty tasty. You really do get a good amount of food here, combined with the bread and the appetizers, you will get full fast, so just keep that in mind when ordering or even going; I would suggest not really eating a big lunch on the night you go. And if you can get past raw meat cuts being brought to your table you will enjoy it (I’m going to be honest and say that freaked me out a bit, but then again I have issues with meat).
Live jazz is a nightly thing at Dante’s, this night we were treated to a jazz quartet featuring drums, piano, sax, and bass. The most beautiful sounds I could have asked for! I couldn’t help but groove and sway along as I ate. I felt as if I was transported back to the days of the 30’s and 40’s….I just needed a pretty flowy dress and a great clutch and I’d be set!
We didn’t end up getting dessert (Cheesecake Factory was a callin’!), but we do plan on going back and trying their chocolate fondue; the restaurant only serves one a night, and you have to have a minimum party of six. It is said to be a feast in itself and you should be ready to gorge for 2 hours! Hello, chocolate coma! That is right down my ally, baby! 😉 If your party is less than six and you still want something sweet and yummy, Dante’s has Pecan pie, chocolate fudge cake, and cheesecake for dessert.
The restaurant also offers many yummy non-alcoholic drink options for those who want something to sip on but do not wish to consume alcohol, making it a place for everybody to enjoy a night of fun, good food, and sweet sounds.
If you find yourself in the Atlanta area and are looking for a great dining experience as well as some romance, try Dante’s Down the Hatch; a little fun, a little sexy, and a lot yummy! 🙂
For more information on Dante’s Down the Hatch visit http://www.dantesdownthehatch.com/