Atlanta restaurant reviews, culinary news, and gluttonous gossip by admitted foodaholic Serina Patrick

Vista Grill…Fine Dining at Delta Downs

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Unfortunately, I have been subjected to countless hours at off-track betting parlors. LC’s sweet offer to help me drive to Texas to pick up two kittens turned out to be a thinly veiled excuse to spend a day at Delta Downs, a track in Vinton, Louisiana that has live horse races as well as the off-track variety.

After having lunch with his friend RT, the three of us headed to the track. Unlike the other places we’ve visited that were furnished with bingo tables and folding chairs, Delta Downs is like a casino in Vegas, with crazy carpet, plush furnishings, and crowds of blue-haired old ladies trying their luck at the slots. Even better, there was a hotel. With rain on the way and lots of money to lose, we decided to stay.

Another pleasant surprise was the food. Chicken wings and greasy burgers are de rigeur at most betting parlors, but at Delta Downs there is a food court as well as several upscale restaurants. LC took a brief break during a torrential downpour to join me for dinner at Vista Grill.

Choosing a table by the window overlooking the sloppy track, we savored the hot buttered buns with olive oil and parmesan for dipping delivered by our server. Since his heart attack, LC has switched from dirty martinis to red wine. Great! I’d gotten away from drinking wine since we met, so I was excited to order a bottle to drink with dinner and finish later in the room.

The menu read like those in elegant hotels; oysters Rockefeller, filet mignon, lobster bisque. Sounded good, but could they deliver? Intent on keeping his fat intake low, we decided to split a relatively healthy salad, then splurged on a decadent entree. Sun dried tomatoes, feta cheese, raspberries, granny Smith apples, strawberries, and toasted pecans topped fresh field greens for their sweet apple berry salad with poppy seed vinaigrette. We were both impressed.

For our entree, we shared the chairman’s chop, a bone-in center cut pork chop served with cinnamon apple chutney. I chose our sides…sweet potato casserole baked in an individual dish and French style green beans sauteed with diced bacon. The dish was quite rich so I ended up eating more than half, to benefit LC’s arteries, of course.

I had my heart set on the Southern style bread pudding for dessert but my stomach said no. Meanwhile, LC’s heart was still ticking, eager to bet the final races of the day.

2717 Delta Downs Drive 800-589-7441

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