Southern Influence recently held a couple of model calls at Sophia’s, a Marietta restaurant about a mile or so from the Square on Whitlock. I was inspired to return when I saw the Chicken Marsala plate that one of our guests had ordered and subsequently devoured.
On arrival, the first thing you will notice is the external color choice. The umbrellas and the awning are a light purple. I find it interesting that we definitely relate colors to restaurant types. Don’t let the purple fool you. This is Seafood, Steak and Chicken. I know. You expect color choices of the maroon or dark browns. Get over it.
The restaurant, like many others, is split three ways. An outdoor patio, a large dining room, and, in a completely separate room, a bona fide piano bar. There are the obligatory pair of television screens in the bar, but make no mistake, that room is made for socializing.
We started out with the Fried Calamari appetizer. This was served with a ginger/soy sauce and a cocktail sauce. The calamari, lightly battered and fried, was served with wasabi mayo, which was very good. Beth, my daughter, preferred the cocktail sauce.
The most popular lunch options are the $7 combos – soup and salad, soup and sandwich, sandwich and salad. The club sandwich was excellent. I am not a big mushroom soup guy, but this one was good. I especially liked the flaky pastry top.
We opened the dinner entrees with the Pecan Encrusted Chicken, also lightly battered. The chicken was very good, slightly sweet and not greasy. This is served with really good sweet potatoes, a very good cherry sauce and greens that are not overloaded with salt, like most places serve them. We really enjoyed this dish!
Next up was Chicken Carbonara, which was Beth’s favorite dish of the day. The sauce did not overwhelm the dish, and had a good balance, laced with english peas that popped and had a nice tomatoey zing.
Third plate to the table was the Grilled Salmon Oscar, a decent sized, moist, salmon steak, topped with crab meat and a healthy portion of bearnaise sauce. Add the asparagus spears, and this is a very good meal. I was very impressed with the texture, moistness and taste of the salmon.
Our server, Cheryl, convinced us to try Sophia’s Pasta Primevera as well, which is her favorite dish. I liked it too. I am partial to a good primavera, and this one was good. Angel hair pasta topped with a light cream sauce after being tossed with peppers, onions, mushrooms and topped with squash. Filling but not too heavy for a summer meal.
Check out Sophia’s on the web at http://sophiasbarandgrill.com/ if you like, and definitely check them out in person at 990 Whitlock Ave in Marietta.