Mr. G’s Ristorante

By on 22 July, 2013 in Food, Restaurant Reviews with 6 Comments

We were trying to go to D’Road Cafe, which basically everyone we know has raved about for the last few months. Although it was prime lunchtime hours on a weekday, when we finally got all the way out to where the Atlanta Highway meets Bell Road, it was mysteriously closed. We hope (and assume) that this is not a permanent condition. That place gets fabulous reviews from everyone we know.

We decided to eat next door at a restaurant called Mr. G’s. We knew that the owner (County Commissioner Dimitri Polizos) was running to represent Midtown Montgomery at the state Legislature, so we thought we’d see what his place was like. We’d eaten there once before ages ago, but we don’t get over to that part of town very often. Polizos used to run the Capital Grille on Mt. Meigs road, so he’s not new to the Montgomery restaurant scene.

If you’ve never been to Mr. G’s, the place is warm and bustling, with servers in bow ties and a staggering number of items (we counted 11) on the dessert menu. The cuisine is Greek and Italian, so you can order spinach pies or lasagne (or both) depending on your mood.

We decided to start with some dolmas, which are grape leaves wrapped around lemony rice. These were pretty good, the creamy rice accented by a bit too much olive oil. They are much better than the ones you can get at Fresh Market, and an appetizers gives you a nice serving size.

The pre-meal yeast rolls were excellent, warm and a nice change of pace from the garlic “spread” you get at some Italian restaurants. One of us got the eggplant parmesan. It was ample and not greasy at all, very fresh-tasting and served over pasta as it should be. It’s a nice-sized serving and extremely well-priced (under nine dollars). The breading mixture is often the most difficult part of an eggplant parm, and Mr. G’s got it just right. The other entree we ordered was a Caesar salad, just to see what it might be like. It was a big bowl of Romaine, with not too much cheese. The croutons could be better – they taste like maybe they came out of a box – but the dressing is great. It’s among the better Caesar dressings in town (and maybe even the best overall). We wondered if they made it themselves.

We wanted to make it to dessert but couldn’t quite do it, so we got some baklava to go. It was an excellent choice. It was a large piece that perfectly balanced the essential elements of baklava: nuts, honey, phyllo. It wasn’t too gooey nor too stiff, and a perfect size for sharing. Next time we might think about going traditional (Cannoli, yum) or trying one of the cheesecakes they make on-premises (we were tempted by the idea of freshly-prepared blueberry cheesecake when we were there).

Even though it’s not technically in Midtown, Mr. G’s seems to be a Montgomery institution – lots of the tables around us were filled with power players, but just as many seemed to house deeply satisfied regulars.

We knew (but had forgotten until being reminded) that the chef behind the delicious food at Mr. G’s was Ted Nobles, the chef behind the Olive Room and Nobles, two now-closed (and greatly missed) downtown institutions.

It’s the kind of place where you can take a Starlight mint from a giant basket on your way out – homey but not down-scale by any means. It’s a nice reminder of Montgomery’s large and influential Greek community, and if you can’t wait until the food festival in the fall, you can get some good Greek food out on Atlanta Highway.

Kate and Stephen are Midtown residents with two cats, a dog, four fish, a garden, an old house and a sense of adventure. They write about life in Midtown here and about life in Montgomery at their blog Lost in Montgomery.

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There Are 6 Brilliant Comments

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  1. Guest says:

    D’road was closed because Janet was out of country. They will be open tomorrow, Tuesday. And it is the best!

  2. Alan Todd says:

    Maybe it was the day I went and maybe it was the food we ordered but I wasn’t thrilled with Mr. G’s. We ordered the spanikopita and you could tell it was made with frozen spinach and it dripped grease. The gyro I got was ok but nothing special and the meat tasted like it was slightly burnt. My wife got the greek pasta with banana peppers, olive oil, and feta but all we could taste was the banana peppers and the pickling juice. Haven’t been back since. The service was good and our waitress was nice from what I remember.

  3. OC says:

    Alan Todd,

    Was your visit before Ted Nobles started?

  4. Outsider lookin' in says:

    I have to say that my wife and I were also disappointed in our recent (and last) visit. I’ve had better Italian food from the grocery freezer section…

  5. Erica says:

    My husband and I also were extremely disappointed at the quality of food at Mr. G’s when we ate there. Our salads consisted of shredded iceberg lettuce with a few sad, pale tomatoes and stale, boxed croutons. Our main courses seemed like frozen meals. I have read rave reviews several times but I just don’t get it. The people were nice but th food we were served was obviously made with cheap ingredients.

    • Stephen says:

      Erica, I’ve got to agree about the salad — at least the side salad depicted above with the rolls. Chopping iceberg lettuce into fine particles doesn’t make it any more of a salad. The tomato wedge seemed like a piece of a Nerf football. But from the sounds of the comments here, many of the entrees are uneven. Still, as noted, we were pleased with our entrees during this most recent trip.

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