DC: Eleanor’s is the epitome of the hidden gem. Secretly tucked away inside of Muss & Turner’s in Smyrna, GA, it is a restaurant within a restaurant that only those who know its secret entrance can access. I decided to take LC here, without exposing the fact that there is a hidden entryway. So, as we ventured into M & T, I felt a heightened sense of anticipation and excitement for the unknown.
LC: As I followed behind DC, he suddenly and inexplicably bypassed the hostess stand and did a SWIFT beeline across the restaurant. I was left in the dust, feeling like “hello??” Utterly flabbergasted and confused, I hastily scurried behind, trying to catch up. Finally, we came across a very cleverly-disguised doorway that appeared to lead into “employees only” territory.
DC: My heart raced as I reached for the door handle.
LC: “DC, wait! We can’t go in there!” I interjected, as I saw him open the door and vanish into a dark abyss.
DC: Ignoring her warning cries, I took a step forward and disappeared into the darkness. Once inside, I reached back out, beckoning for her to enter the secret passageway.
LC: Once I “woo-sah’ed” (and assured myself that I wasn’t marching to sudden death), I stepped into a corridor illuminated only by tea light candles, which led around a corner and into a dimly-lit bar that was packed with other venturers into the hidden secret that is Eleanor’s. I can truly say that I was in complete awe and amazement. I was totally not expecting any of this!
DC: Once we both recovered from the element of surprise, we were lucky to grab seats at the bar, as another couple left. Otherwise, there was definitely not an empty seat in the house. As we sat, we noticed the one-way mirror behind the bar, which allowed us to clandestinely spy into Muss & Turner’s (the “unhidden” part of the restaurant) from our secret hideaway. Neat-o! Our first line of business was to warm our bellies with none other than our favorite beverage of all time… vino! We decided to go with a bottle of Zolo, an Argentine Bonarda, which was a nice medium-bodied fruit-forward wine that finished with an oaky spice, and started our night off splendidly.
LC: For our appetizers, we decided to split El’s Wings and the Greek Salad. Usually, I’m not beating down the door at restaurants for chicken wings. However, El’s Wings are a different story! I was definitely very impressed with the spice rub. The spices hit all the corners of my palate just right. The Greek Salad consisted of hearts of romaine, cucumbers, roasted red peppers, kalamata olives, red onion, pepperoncinis, feta, and red wine vinaigrette. The feta cheese they use is high quality. It was a smooth, creamy, mild version versus the usual sharp, tangy crumbles that you typically find at other restaurants. I thoroughly enjoyed both appetizers!
DC: The wings came out piping hot and sizzlin’! The ras el hanout, “a unique blend of Moroccan spices,” gave these wings an interesting zip that is simply a party in your mouth. With tzatziki, a Greek yogurty accompaniment for dipping, the wings complemented our Greek salad beautifully. It had a cool, cucumber flavor with a bit of dill, and balanced wonderfully with the spice rub.
LC: I concur, exquisitely-said!
DC: For dinner, we decided to split “The Burger” — grass fed beef burger with roasted poblano pepper, melted cabot cheddar, red onion and house-made cilantro aioli on a French challah bun. Mmmm, the very description makes my mouth water, and guys and gals, I assure you that this hamburgessa did NOT disappoint! Apparently, the peeps here use the Big Green Egg grill for their burgers, which can be spotted outside of the restaurant. I’m no George Foreman, so I’m not exactly sure what this grill does, but whatever it is, it’s magical, and I approve!
LC: I definitely think that this is one of the best burgers I’ve had in ages. I couldn’t pick out one distinctive flavor of any particular ingredient, but they all fused together marvelously somehow. I really savored the juiciness and freshness of the beef. We ordered it medium, and it was cooked to the perfect temperature all throughout. This burger was EVERYTHING!
DC: I agree on all points. Let the defense rest its case.
LC: As far as ambiance, I really have nothing negative to say. One of the things I appreciated was that the crowd was a well-blended atmosphere of late-20-somethings and above. The element of surprise definitely allowed me to really bask in the space. I would definitely say that Eleanor’s is an exceptional place for a mini-surprise or a girl’s night out.
DC: Well, as fabulous as Eleanor’s is, it is somewhat on the loud side, but that is definitely to be expected, as this is a bar, after all. I agree with LC about the crowd. Eleanor’s is strictly for the “grown and sexy,” and that’s essentially how we roll! It was pretty crowded, so just be aware that you may have to hawk out a seat. Service was good, food was superb, the concept is fun. No complaints to be uttered. We’ve heard great things about the sandwiches at M & T as well (the full menu IS available at Eleanor’s by the way), and would love to return for lunch sometime!
Score: 4.5 / 5
Want to know more about the secret entrance to Eleanor’s? Hmmm, just hit us in the comments below, and we MIGHT consider filling you in!
Eleanor’s / Muss & Turner’s is located at:
1675 Cumberland Parkway Southeast
Smyrna, GA 30080