One could safely say that the two most upscale restaurants in Marietta are owned and operated by immigrants to the area. The first, of course, being Austyn’s and the second being the Buckley House Restaurant. With a small amount of time sandwiched in between a film festival and the World Series game (Baseball Boy is Baseball Boy for a reason), we stopped into the latter for late-afternoon appetizers.
Buckley House is located in an historic house on Front Street about half a block north of the main area of downtown Marietta. The building, built in 1879, is across the street from the park that houses a sculpture by Gutzon Borglum of Mount Rushmore fame.
Hailing from Kuwait, the chef, Emad Al-Masri, converted the space from a bed and breakfast to a Middle-Eastern restaurant in the past couple years. Even though our sample size was small (we literally only had room for a few bites), I think that The Buckley House had the best food in Marietta.
Before we ordered, we were presented with pita and a spread made up of kalamata olives, feta cheese and salt. We snacked on this as we decided upon two appetizers: seafood phyllo baskets and grilled beef- and lamb-stuffed pitas. The seafood baskets were essentially high end crab rangoon with curry cream cheese and lobster, shrimp and scallop meat. They were served in a shallow bowl of lobster bisque, which made for a nice presentation, but over-complicated the flavors; the baskets were perfect as-is, without the soup.
The lamb and beef arrayas were served with some grilled vegetables and a tzatziki sauce made up of yogurt, mint, garlic and cucumber. I savored every bite I could of these dense and savory appetizers, which were as equally incredible as our other choice.
Living in a city that has plenty of casual Middle-Eastern fare, it was pleasant to taste what happens to my some of my favorite flavor combinations when served up a notch or two higher on the dining ladder. I was definitely disappointed that we couldn’t try more of the menu, and mentally vowed to return to Marietta someday just to experience a full meal there.