C and S Seafood and Oyster Bar – Vinings, GA

My hubby and I went to C and S Seafood for an early Valentine’s Day dinner last Saturday evening. I have to say that we used to go to C and S all the time when they first opened and we actually had not been there in a while.

We were so excited when C and S first opened (about 3 years ago). It was close to home, had a nice atmosphere and felt and looked more like a seafood restaurant in Boston that we know and love rather than some place located in Vinings, GA! We thought the food was awesome and we thoroughly enjoyed sitting at the bar and chatting it up with the bartenders.

Well, here we were once again at the bar (we could not get a reservation for a table) and we were chatting with the same bartenders that have been there since day one. I know that it a good sign that business must be okay. Obviously, these guys are happy. They were part of the original group that opened C and S.

When we arrived at 6:45 pm we were still able to grab 2 seats at the bar, however, by 7 pm, the bar and the restaurant were packed. Granted, it was the day before Valentine’s Day , but C and S must be doing well to have that kind of crowd. The food is definitely at a higher price point and I had been wondering how they were doing with the current economic situation.

We, quite frankly, stopped going because our little nibbles at the bar were becoming quite extravagant. There are definitely restaurants that are close by that offer a similar bar dining experience (South City Kitchen), that are far less pricey. However, it was Valentine’s Day, so we splurged a bit.

I did notice that there have been some additions to the menu since we were in last. They now offer a bar menu with small plates, appetizers and sides that range from $7 to $16. They also have added a few entrees that are between $18 to $21. Other than those options, you can count on mid to upper $20’s for seafood entrees and between $28 and $48 for steaks. There are also pretty hefty prices for salads, soups and appetizers ($8 to $18).

I ordered a shrimp cocktail that had 4 colossal shrimp. It seemed a bit overpriced at $16, but considering the quality of the shrimp, it was appropriate. My husband ordered 9 Blue Point Oysters ($3 each). He said they were excellent and very fresh. We both had salads. I chose the chopped salad. I do have to say that they really should step up the salad at $10. It was a very small portion and almost seemed like an afterthought. It barely had any of the “chopped” ingredients. It was primarily field greens. It was better and more generous in the past. I really was disappointed. My husband had the same situation with the house salad at $8. I used to make a dinner of the salad and an appetizer. I could not do that now.

We both ordered the Chilean sea bass ($28). It was a generous piece and cooked perfectly. The tomato basil vinaigrette sauce was recommended to us to accompany the fish. It was nice with the sea bass, however, I wish I had asked to put the sauce on the side. I thought the kitchen put too much of the sauce on an already rich and buttery fish. The accompanying vegetables were parsley new potatoes and squash.

Overall, we had a very enjoyable dinner. The food is good, but not outstanding. We have had some mixed experiences over the years, but we do continue to return partly because it is convenient and partly because of the atmosphere. The overall value to us is that we do enjoy sitting and the bar and having a glass of wine and a bite to eat. We enjoy chatting with the bartenders and appreciate the short drive home.

I do have to say that there are many dining options in Atlanta when you are willing to spend this much for dinner. Unfortunately, I would have to say that the food is better at many of those other restaurants. I think C and S really needs to focus on keeping their prices down and perhaps be a bit more creative and generous with some of the other items (such as their salads).

I look forward to trying some of the lower priced options. It is nice to offer something lighter and less expensive so that customers like us will be more inclined to go more often and enjoy the atmosphere and conversation at the bar. We hope that C and S continues to thrive. It is great to have so many nice restaurants close to home. We do try to support the local spots whenever possible. Hopefully, the new menu will also bring in new patrons that might not have gone in the past.

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