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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The General Muir (Emory Point)

Toddler Foodie Rating:  3.5 out of 5 Gummy Bears - not because of the food (the food is fantastic), but because in the evenings this place is best enjoyed with adults. 

:) = Great location surrounded by lots of little shops and eateries.  Free parking in the Emory Point deck for the first 3 hours.  Bright, spacious dining area inside the restaurant with a modern yet homey feel.  Really warm and hospitable staff.  Generous servings of delicious, innovative food - and an extensive wine and cocktail menu for mommies and daddies.

:( = While the staff and other diners here didn't seem to mind being around little ones, we recommend doing yourself a favor and getting a babysitter if you come here in the evening - so you can savor the experience. 

"Ain't nothin' 'small' about these plates!" 
We have a "date night" with Mommy once a week, while Daddy is doing man things with his guy friends.  On this particular date night, Mommy had a rough day at the office.  She wanted to go somewhere that would make her feel like an adult with free will.  So what did she do?  She took us to The General Muir, a renowned adult foodie restaurant that Yelp claims is "Good For Kids." 

We arrived around 6:30 PM on an early weeknight, and the dining room was filled with well-dressed adults sipping glasses of wine and craft cocktails.  Mommy panicked a little but decided to stay the course because the host was so friendly to us.  He led us to a booth in the back, where we could do the least damage (once he cleared the table of the pristine wine glasses, plates, and silverware sitting regally atop it like a royal welcoming party).  Our server greeted us warmly and brought us water in to-go cups.  None of the other diners gave Mommy disapproving looks.  So far, so good.

General Muir describes itself as a "modern American restaurant inspired by the classic Jewish New York deli."  The name comes from the refugee ship that brought the restaurant owner's mother and grandparents, who are Holocaust survivors, to the U.S. in 1949.  In the spirit of the restaurant's history, for dinner we ordered a couple Jewish-inspired dishes off the Small Plates menu: Matzoh Ball Soup and Chopped Liver with pletzel bread.  We also ordered a couple dishes on the Small Plates menu that simply piqued Mommy's interest:  Swiss Chard Fritters (lightly fried patties of Swiss chard stems and parmesan, set atop whipped ricotta cheese, and sprinkled with lightly toasted shredded cheese) and Roasted Beet Salad (large slices of roasted beet and fresh arugula placed on top of a generous smear of horseradish green goddess dressing, topped with smoked salmon and roe). 

Clockwise from top:  Matzoh Ball Soup, Roasted Beet Salad, Chopped Liver with Pletzel Bread
Photo taken by 2-year-old Toddler Foodie.
The "Small Plates" turned out to be not-so-small; and WHOA is the only way we can express how we felt about the food we ordered.  First of all, we all adored the Swiss Chard Fritters.  They were lightly fried, not oily at all, and bursting with the milky, distinct flavor of high-quality cheeses.  What a yummy way to sneak veggies into our meal! 

Left:  Swiss Chard Fritters;  Right:  Chopped Liver with Pleztzel Bread
Photo taken by 3-year-old Toddler Foodie.
Mommy fell in love - as in, I think Daddy may have some serious competition - with the Roasted Beet Salad.  She was astounded at how much flavor and texture could be packed into one plate:  half-sweet/half-bitter, buttery beets; peppery, crisp arugula; salty, gelatinous roe; smoky, chewy smoked salmon; and tangy, creamy green goddess dressing.  We often hear Daddy call Mommy a "complicated woman," so we're not surprised that she was smitten with this complex dish.  As for us, we enjoyed picking out the roe and feeling them pop in our mouths; and we're big fans of smoked salmon, so that made us happy, too.  (Beets, not so much.)  The Chopped Liver was our least favorite dish, although we did have fun dipping the pletzel bread into our soup.  We liked the soup best.  It reminded us of our herb garden in spring - aromatic and fresh - and the baseball-sized matzah ball in it was firm and really tasty.  We marveled at how well it could float in the soup without falling to pieces.

"I eat my matzoh ball soup like a gentleman."
"I, on the other hand, believe in efficient soup eating."
For dessert we each had a pistachio citrus shortbread cookie.   The cookies were really tasty and the perfect size for our little hands and full tummies.  Each cookie was decorated with a pretty green swirl in celebration of St. Patrick's Day.  What fun!  We dropped one of our cookies on the floor, and our server was kind enough to bring us another one.  That made Mommy feel like maybe Yelp wasn't entirely off when it described General Muir as kid-friendly.

That being said, though, we still think parents should do themselves a favor and have dinner here without the kiddos.  The dinner menu is incredible and deserves proper attention.  We assume, based on the staff's demeanor, that daytime dining at General Muir is totally kid-friendly.  But, if the sun is down, we recommend you put this restaurant on your adults-only list.  Trust us.  We're experts. 

"Do you think they really listen to our dining advice?"
"Of course they do.  Adults know trustworthy advisors when they see them."



  1. when did you go to General Muir? I work just across the street..