Review: Largos in Cartersville. A ‘No Cal’ spin on finer dining that will keep local foodies much closer to home.

Review: Largos in Cartersville. A ‘No Cal’ spin on finer dining that will keep local foodies much closer to home.

 

Above: The Bourbon Butter steak, a bone-in ribeye, served with charred Brussel sprouts with Pork Belly lardon, Sweet Potato Pureé and Bourbon Compound Butter ($40). Below: Zaatar roasted chicken (halved) Heirloom Tomato, Chickpea, Zucchini, Squash, Basil ($24). Hometown photos.

In February, we wrote about a new restaurant coming to Cartersville’s expanding downtown footprint. A brief exchange with one of the co-owers hinted at good things to come just down from on of the community’s recent success stories, Drowned Valley Brewery. Our subsequent trips to the area showed progress on the exterior with some hints of what was to come inside.

We expected South Florida, i.e., Key Largo themes. We were almost a continent off. Try North California wine country settings (they used to call it No Cal).

We knew it would be different and the prelude to last month’s opening guaranteed that. Following a great dinner Saturday night, amid a lot of happy people enjoying craft-made drinks and plates of incredible food, we can assure you this place matches much of the Avantine ambiance in Rome’s River District but in a smaller footprint. The menu is high-end and for good reason: both food and service are excellent.

With a unique decor and an assortment of seatings options — high-top tables, low-top tables, bar and a soon-to-be-completed porch/outdoor dining area — Largos will keep many of those foodie dining dollars heading from heading south to Acworth and beyond. And for good reason. There’s a lot to like.

You can sample the menus (lunch, dinner, brunch, charcuterie) here. We’ll walk you through our dinners.

Seating:

Prompt and courteous. We were a little early for our 5:45 p.m. reservation. Not an issue and water was quickly poured as menus arrived.

Drinks:

A Largorita ($13; made from Calfino Reposado, Black Raspberry Liquor, Fresh Raspberry Purée, Lime Juice, Agave); a Modelo Especial ($6 for 12 ounces; barley, hops, etc.) Another couple shared a bottle of German Riesling, $47 ($13 a glass).

Dinners:

  • As shown above, the Bourbon Butter ribeye. It was incredible, perhaps the best we’ve had since a Herb Ballenger/Tim Ayers/Creekside Inn steak in Cave Spring last spring. Ordered at medium, it arrived with just the right pink inside on a bed of Brussel Sprouts with pork belly bits. In fact, we doubled down on the sprouts, ordering a side to go with whatever was on the entree plate. Wise choice and wise investment even though the entree had plenty. Amid the surge in Brussel Sprouts at local restaurants in recent years (a trend we trace to Woodlands Grill at Barnsley a few years ago where it has been promoted from a side to a “starter”), the Largos’ take wins. We tried them up and down Broad Street, West Third and at Barnsley; Largos are the best.
  • The Zaatar roasted chicken (photo no. 2): The menu reads halve vs. half. Whatever, it was full quality. Warm, juicy, tender — no “dry” poultry here. Plus it was served on another great vegetable medley — squash, chickpeas and a few others.
  • What we almost ordered: Our “fantasy league dinner” was the Blue Cheese Burger. A gentleman to our right did get one, which was plated just before we ordered. Very, very tempting: An eight-ounce Angus patty with  Blue Cheese, “Tobacco Fried Onions” (almost closed the deal for us right there), House Pickle (same), Bacon Relish (!), BBQ Sauce, Fried Egg” per the menu. $17 and served with a salad or house-made chips (our stalker vision revealed he went with salad)… The other runner up: Seafood pasta with Prawns, Mussels, Crabmeat, Spinach Linguini, Gremolata, White Wine, Spiced Butter for $30. It reminded us of the aptly named Appalachian Grill entree of grilled shrimp, sea scallops, bratwurst and kielbasa with fried potato hash and fried spinach, perhaps the best meal served in North Georgia.

Extras:

For “space” reasons, we didn’t go with appetizers or dessert although all looked tempting. Also in the mix: Charcuterie boards in three sizes (small, medium or large) ranging in price from $16 to $40 with cured meats and cheeses.

What was missing:

Any type of bread. We’ve noticed a few of the higher-priced Rome restaurants also cutting out a bread offering. One has it as an appetizer. Others  — especially the Italian spots such as Provino’s, Bella Roma and Roma Mia — successfully make it part of their unique appeal.

What wasn’t missing:

Incredible service. Brighton was absolutely spot-on. She easily earned the largest tip we’ve ever left. The rest of the crew was great as well, from greeter to servers.

Safety steps:

Everyone was properly spaced, an achievement as this isn’t a big restaurant. The bar area was a little tight but overall, everyone looked comfortable. The upcoming outdoor seating will be a plus as well. As for hand washing: Perhaps a little TMI but you have to try the no-touch soap dispensers in the unisex bathrooms. They even light up.

Bottom line:

We’ll be back. We’ve been spoiled by Appalachian Grill and Ate Track in downtown Cartersville over the years. Largos adds another major contender especially after a beer at co-owned Drowned Valley Brewery at the top of the street (Tennessee and Cherokee). We recommend reservations (via open table) and  probably will try brunch soon.

What to know:

  • Address:  214 E. Cherokee Ave. off Tennessee Street on the eastern edge of Cartersville’s downtown district.
  • Hours: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 10 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday; and brunch from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday.
  • Contacts: Website / Facebook / Instagram / Phone: 470-888-4220.
  • Menus / Reservations off the website; top right corner; Open Table.
  • Parking: On the east side of the building or across the street in an open lot or the Drowned Valley/Game of Throwns parking area.
  • Dress: A cross section of men and women in shorts (it was 88 degrees that evening) to a few folks in a bit more formal attire.
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