When actor Harrison Fords first stop last year in Macon was Natalias, I figured it was for one of two reasons:
Either the restaurants reputation precedes itself, or someone wanted to make sure Ford got the best first impression of Macon possible.
Either way, Natalias is certainly among the midstates finest dining establishments, if not the finest, and my recent trip there didnt disappoint.
The Natalias experience starts before you even walk through the front door, as the aroma of something wonderful hits you while still in the parking lot. You are greeted by Italian-style architecture and design, giving the restaurant the right kind of ambiance that complements its cuisine.
The staff at the restaurant also is first-rate and helpful, increasing the pleasure of the dining experience that much more.
Because I cant eat shellfish or pork, it did limit a few of the menu items for me, but there is a good variety of meat, chicken, pasta and seafood dishes available.
I chose the duck breast medallions appetizer that was about as close to perfection as my taste buds have experienced, followed by a lamb entree that was terrific. Both items were among that nights specials and not listed on the regular menu, but I hope the restaurant makes them permanent, especially the duck.
The duck came with a dried fruit sauce, while the lamb was served medium-well in an onion sauce with vegetables on the side.
For a second opinion, The Telegraphs Jonathan Heeter tagged along. Here are his thoughts on his meal:
I started with a house salad that was better and larger than most house salads youll get. The house dressing was solid. I ordered a medium-cooked filet mignon. The steak was great, as was the peppercorn sauce served with it. The steak came presented on a tasty bed of potatoes along with asparagus. Youd be hard-pressed to find another steak its equal in Macon, although it did come with a $44 price tag.
Our meals were filling enough so that neither of us ordered dessert, but I cant say I wasnt sorely tempted to try most of the offerings.
The only downside to Natalias, such as it is, is the price -- you get what you pay for, and Natalias is certainly a premium destination. If youre paid as little as a newspaper reporter, for example, youre probably only going to get to visit Natalias once or twice a year, and then on special occasions.
Still, when you go, its absolutely worth it.
Address: 201 North Macon St.
Phone: (478) 741-1380
Hours: 5-9:30 p.m. Mondays-Wednesdays, 5-10:30 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays
Payment: Cash, credit
Smoking: Outdoors only
Kids Menu: No
Noise Level: Quiet
Health Rating: 100
Price range: $8-$34