isn't the type of restaurant I would usually walk into due to the suspicion that the food is a little too upscale for my taste. However, after visiting almost every other establishment on the square, my curiosity got the best of me, and I'm glad to say I went in.
The restaurant is divided into two floors with rather different ambiances. The Streetside Grill, which is located on the main floor, is more casual. The pub-like restaurant has a classic, woody look. Hanging stained glass lamps and an abbey-like feel make for an impressive yet comfortable setting to dine. However, it is a little hard on the eyes given the dim lighting. There is also outdoor seating facing the square available.
Top of the Square is located upstairs and overlooks Marietta Square. This elegant, candlelit dining room provides an intimate and quiet environment to eat. This is where I had my meal.
The service was amazing. I've heard the service at Shillings can be a little on the slow side, and perhaps this is true on the weekend. I was there on a Tuesday evening, and my service was prompt and polite. My server, Roscoe, made me feel right at home. He seemed to have a knack for knowing which customers wanted to be engaged and laugh with him and which ones wanted to be left alone. With me he had no problem making jokes and talking as if we'd been friends for years.
My waiter was a genius when it came to suggesting drinks. He was able to come up with a cocktail, wine or beer for everyone at my table, and they were all good. I had a toasted almond.
While the alcohol was good, the coffee was not. Maybe I got the bottom of the pot because it tasted burnt and bitter.
Soup and Salad:
You wouldn't think you could go wrong with a Caesar salad, but somehow I did. The lettuce wasn't fresh tasting, and the salad was drenched in dressing, making the taste so poignant that I was reduced to a coughing fit. If you order a salad here, get the dressing on the side.
A wedge salad with iceberg lettuce, bacon tomatoes, bleu cheese and ranch dressing as well as a field greens salad with tender greens tossed with tomato, cucumber and red onions are also available. Salads are $5.
Johnny's potato bacon soup gets five stars. It was thick and creamy with the perfect subtle blend of cheese and bacon. New England clam chowder, chicken gumbo, house made chili, black bean andouille and french onion are available for $4 a cup or $6 a bowl.
I suggest the filet mignon, an 8 oz. barrel cut with a red wine reduction, flame grilled and pan roasted, for $27. It was perfectly cooked. The meat was tender and flavor oozed out of every bite. It ranks among the top five steaks I've had.
The stuffed breast of chicken with prosciutto, roasted bells and mozzarella, crusted with a sun dried tomato sauce for $17 is also a good choice.
Each entree comes with a sauteed vegetable medley and a choice of mashed potatoes, rice pilaf or roasted red potatoes. I had a side of sauteed green beans with almonds. They were great, buttery and just a little crispy, which is how I like them. Don't worry; they weren't too hard, as in uncooked.
The rice pilaf was bland, dry and crunchy. I would recommend the roasted red potatoes, which were flavorful without being over-seasoned and tender without being mushy. They had a firm exterior but melted in my mouth when I bit into them.
Shillings has overall good food, a friendly staff, reasonable prices (if you don't go out to eat every day of the week), a fun and relaxed atmosphere, and an awesome view. I give it four out of five stars.
Hours: Monday through Thursday 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday 10:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. (If it is a slow night the upstairs will close early. Also the upstairs may be reserved for private parties.)
Location: 19 North Park Square, Marietta 30060