TIERRA ~ upscale casual ****
1425 Piedmont Avenue
Atlanta GA 30309
(404) 874-5951

Offering cuisine from South and Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean, Tierra is holding its own in this popular midtown neighborhood. This midtown restaurant is a neighborhood standard.

MENU: ****
The menu features a variety of choices. Dishes are true to regional flavors. The beef, chicken and seafood are typical of fine dining, though some of the flavors are a bit bland. While there are tempting descriptions on the menu, some deliver and some do not. Some items on the menu change weekly, so you may find your favorites come and go.

The quality of food is outstanding. Tierra uses the freshest seafood, beef and produce.

The presentation rivals any of the fine dining restaurants you will find in Atlanta. Tierra combines authentic food of the Americas with a modern presentation style. Using sauces to decorate each plate and herbs to add panache are just a few of the ways Tierra entices diners.

The burnt-orange color on the walls and ceiling create a rich, cozy ambience. Large, silver industrial 3-D art hangs on the ceiling. The dining area is quite small yet very open.

When you have a small space to work with, storage is everything. The restaurant is spotless. All of the glassware, dishes and restrooms are clean and well-maintained.

SERVICE: *****
Service s fantastic. The wait staff is knowledgeable and recommends both wine selections and dinner entrees.

For appetizers, try the plonono, which is plantoanos filled with beef picadillo. The flavor is spicy and the taste unique. Though the Caesar salad has fresh lettuce and shaved cheese, the dressing is a bit tart and watered down. All entrees are wonderfully prepared, and the presentation is delightful. The grilled pork medallions with tropical fruit relish and chipotle mashed potatoes boast unique flavors. Also try the wonderful, trout relleno with corn, poblano peppers, onion and cheese topped with a roasted tomato sauce. Steamed lobster served with linguini in a Caribbean curry cream and grilled salmon with purple potatoes are also delicious. Sides are fantastic and offered a la carte.

OVERALL : ****
Tierra is a neighborhood hot spot offering a nice atmosphere and quality entrees. Perhaps they should focus more attention on the appetizers and salads. There are hits and misses on the menu, but the overall experience is very good.