Restaurant Review: The City Cellar and Loft

A dimly lit restaurant with food that shines.

is a dining and music venue in Cartersville and if you haven’t been there yet, it’s time to check it out! Expect a dark, moody atmosphere that feels equal parts casual and classy. The centerpiece of the restaurant is a unique copper bar that reflects shimmers of light around the room. The bartenders and wait staff are decidedly hip but not intimidating; they’ll greet you with a smile, engage you in small talk and offer you the best seat in the house.

My husband and I went for dinner on a week night. It was 100 degrees outside and the cool temperature of the restaurant, which is below street level, was welcome and refreshing. We were seated at a comfortable, private booth and immediately placed our drink orders.

We ordered Buffalo wings ($8) for an appetizer and they came out fast. Other wing flavor options include Lemon Pepper, Bourbon, Jerk and Thai. The heat level of the wings was excellent. There wasn’t a lot a meat on the bones, but the meat that was there was tender. The celery served alongside was a little mushy, but celery isn’t exactly a deal breaker and the rest of the meal was so scrumptious, it seems silly even mentioning it.

The menu is small but creative. A couple of appetizers that stood out are the Beans & Greens: a bowl of white beans, rice, collards and fried corn bread ($7), and the Spinach & Artichoke Stuffed Portabella ($8). The salads also looked interesting. The one that appealed to me the most is called the “Cellar” and it contains a spring mix with fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, chickpeas and feta cheese with balsamic vinaigrette ($6). This salad was followed closely behind by the “Harry’s” which is grilled romaine lettuce with marinated tomatoes, fried onions and creamy feta dressing ($8).

The menu also contains soups, sandwiches, Black Angus burgers, steaks and various entrees. I ordered the “Mojo Chicken” and my husband ordered a chicken sandwich. I’ll describe our meals in detail in a moment, but first I’ll highlight a few other menu items that also sounded delicious.

The “Fried Green Tomato BLT” is described as a quarter pound of smoked bacon, fried green tomatoes and lettuce with basil mayo on thick cut toast ($9). I don’t think you can go wrong with that combination! Anyone with a hearty appetite would probably like the “Big Cowboy Burger,” a half-pound Black Angus burger smothered with pickles, smoked bacon, Colby cheese and barbecue sauce ($10.50). For entrees, the “Vegetarian Pasta” sounded warm and comforting. It’s angel hair pasta on a grilled portabella mushroom with roasted red peppers, zucchini, roasted garlic, red onions, feta cheese and extra virgin olive oil ($14). You can make it less vegetarian with the addition of shrimp, salmon, steak or chicken, if you are so inclined. I also read that the Candied Pecan Bread Pudding is out of this world; but honestly, I got full just reading the menu!

My dish, the Mojo Chicken, is a cilantro and lime marinated chicken breast with black beans, rice, pico de gallo and avocado crema ($14).  It’s presented beautifully and plentifully. Perfectly spiced and moist, the chicken is thickly sliced and piled on top of tender rice. The rice is surrounded by black beans and pico de gallo and its all topped with the avocado crema. Each part of my meal was delicious on its own, but combined; the dish was out of this world. I honestly loved every bite. I left feeling satisfied but not stuffed.

My husband also loved his meal. He ordered a chicken sandwich containing a grilled chicken breast with provolone cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion and pickles ($8.50). The chicken was served on a dusted French bun, which was just a tad too big for the breast. The meal includes house French fries (or sweet potato fries for an extra dollar). Heads up: these fries could very well be the best we’ve tasted in Cartersville. They are crisp and savory and highly addicting!

The City Cellar and Loft is open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and until midnight on Saturday and Sunday. It offers a variety of musical acts and entertainment such as live jazz, acoustic acts and comedy improv nights. Check out the events calendar here!

Kara Howe Duke July 30, 2011 at 09:18 PM
fish and chips are my favorite...ask for a side of tarter and horse-radish along with "bob's beer". as for the lunch crowd - order "david's daily feature" and savor the delicious blend of unique flavors! he is an AMAZING cook! :)


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