Driving through the parking lot of the old Sam's Club on Eisenhower, you will probably think to yourself, "Just how fancy can a restaurant inside a former wholesale club be?" Once you walk in the doors of Edgar's Bistro, you'll answer yourself, "Very fancy indeed." In fact, you will quickly forget that the same cozy, well-decorated nook you're in is probably the same spot where the hot dog rotisserie and Slushie machine once stood.
Located on the far right end of the Goodwill Career and Conference Center, Edgar's seems to be the antithesis of thrift shopping. A glimpse beyond the earth-toned and blue-curtained booths will provide you with the connection between your elegant surroundings and the nonprofit organization: a cooking school and hospitality training program.
Executive chef Jim Palmeri, who has previous experience at restaurants in Hyatt and Four Seasons Resorts, heads this new player in Macon's fine dining. When we visited Edgar's just three months into their new venture, a few kinks seemed to be getting ironed out; some items were quite good but some did not match the space's promise.
We began with cippolini onion soup, which was much like French onion soup, but Italian. Considering that a soup can often be the first impression a restaurant makes on a diner, the soup was very bland and barely oniony. To save room for the really good stuff, I sent the nearly full bowl back to the kitchen.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Telegraph
Fortunately, the meal went uphill from there. The king crab salad with avocado and shoestring potatoes was light and beautifully plated. Our best entr?e, glazed scallops with snow pea shoots and capers, came served with a fantastically creamy risotto that was at least as good as any other in town. Each of these dishes cost around $14 at lunch time, so make sure you have time to really savor them.
As is often the case, our dessert was absolutely the best part of the meal. A warm apple turnover topped with melting HÎagan Dazs vanilla bean gelato was definitely a dessert to remember. Others include chocolate pot du cr?me (sort of a cross between a rich chocolate mousse and a cr?me brulee, if you're wondering) and bananas foster, each for $5.
Things to look forward to at Edgar's include a new menu that includes tapas dishes. These Spanish style appetizers will include oysters, steak tartare, and vegetable samosas. You can also take cooking lessons on Tuesday nights for $39 per person, which includes eating what you make.
All proceeds benefit Goodwill's mission to help people go to work, so you can eat a fine meal and be doing something for your community, too. And if you can get your hands on a Goodwill newsletter, you can get a free dessert with the purchase of an entr?e. (The coupon is only good until March 15, so hurry!)
5171 Eisenhower Parkway
Phone: (478) 471-4250
Hours: Lunch: 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Dinner: 5:30-9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, and 5:30-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday
Payment: Cash, major credit cards
Price: Lunch $5-$15, dinner $15-$28
Dress: Casual lunch, upscale dinner
Children's menu: Yes
Vegetarian selections: Yes
Wheelchair accessible: No
Noise level: Low
Latest health code rating: 100