Stop. Collaborate and listen…
Question. What does a Russian Vodka Bar and a Japanese Sushi Restaurant have in common with each other? Absolutely nothing! And we’re ok with that. EDR contributor Gregg Jarahian takes you through an evening of masterfully created sushi offerings and brief sampling of the 300+ vodkas on hand at the Buckhead restaurant and bar, Czar Ice Bar.
The frosty, blue glow is from the 4 inch thick, 27 foot long solid ICE bar top. A beautiful way to keep cocktails and sushi tempered when dining at the Czar Ice Bar. A Russian parlor setting with beautiful European sofas offer a living room feel to gather with friends or make new ones. There are traditional tables, a Sushi Bar and the Ice Bar featuring 300 vodkas from 23 countries. Many are drawn to the hand painted tiles that illuminate the ceiling in shades of blue. Some are drawn to the Russian art work or the main attraction – a bar top made of ice. The setting is stunning and does set the venue apart, however the best still awaits.
First impressions. Bright eyes, a warm smile in a sparkling blue outfit greets myself and Chris Watkins of EDR. Heather Chastain, our mixologist for the evening is delightful. I enjoyed our discussion of clean and smooth vodkas versus oily and mineral along with the order in which we would conduct our tasting. Served in blocks of ice, select a flight or create your own from the 330,791,175 possibilities. So you don’t like vodka? Not a problem. The vodka infusions along with an experienced bar staff will suggest or devise whatever you like. A stand out for me is the infused Cucumber Martini which paired exceptionally well with the Peppercorn Tuna Sushi made by Master Sushi Chef Saito Saito.
Chef Saito impresses with artful and delicious presentations. Saito indulged us with dish after dish from dumplings to dessert. Saito is passionate about his creations and he loves answering questions. Chef could not hide his smile as we sampled and our eyes lit up while complimenting each dish. I love the fact the he instructs you not to add soy sauce. With sushi this good, make certain to accept Chef’s recommendation. Chef Saito , the only Master Sushi Chef in Georgia is no stranger to Atlanta. His exceptional “Oh My God” roll still graces the menu OTP where he previously shook up sushi in Atlanta. Our town is fortunate that he has come out of retirement specifically for Czar Ice Bar! Chef Saito’s own version of ceviche has been added to my list of personal favorites. Dessert, a rangoon filled with a blend of cream cheese, sour cream and avocado that is light, airy and a must have.
Hospitality and courtesy was rampant on our visit. Heather checked on bar patrons, Chef Saito checked on everyone, Manager Steven Trager offered his assistance and this theme was repeated as Chris and I observed the staff interacting with patrons.
Thumbs up to Czar Ice Bar – a ‘cool’ place in a hot destination.
Czar Ice Bar | 56 East Andrews Drive, Atlanta, GA 30305 | Twitter | Facebook