corso – buckhead, ga

this past sunday had been lazy in every way a girl could want.  i slept in, caught up on personal e-mail, did laundry, watched football, and did my hair.

it had been a gorgeous january afternoon with blue skies and a slight breeze in the air.  i decided i needed to be a part of it, so to the coffee house i went.  i had every intention of heading to the local starbucks, but then i nearly swerved off the street when i passed by corso in the new buckhead atlanta complex.  “of course!  this is where i should be instead!” i exclaimed to myself.  i whipped into a spot, strolled along the sidewalk, and made my grand entrance.  oh, and by grand entrance i mean that confusion was clear on my face because there wasn’t a hostess stand, it’s not obvious where you should order, and the menus are taped flat on the countertops.  surely i’m not the only one to react in this way?

i approached the counter, not really sure what to do.  thankfully a kind employee welcomed me, making me feel a touch more comfortable.  she directed me to a menu where i busied myself in making a decision.  the menu is simple with your basic coffee selections and a small set of pastries from which you can choose.  they also have sandwiches if you’re a bit hungrier and a bar if you’re needing something a bit stronger.

i had come for the coffee, so coffee is what i ordered.  i went with the cafe au lait (which, strangely, wasn’t actually listed on the menu; i am an official coffee snob – love me for who i am!).  i also ordered a chocolate croissant – something sweet sounded like a good idea.

after swiping my card, i settled into a table.  i would have preferred the bartop so that i could watch the world pass by, but i needed a bit more space for all of the spreading out i wanted to do.  it seems i arrived at a good time, for the place got a bit of a rush after me.  if i’d waited 15 minutes more, there would not have been a table for the kessie girl!  ah, an almost rhyme, nice!

as i waited to be served, i took in the space.  this place is absolutely adorable.  the big leather banquet faces cute marble-topped tables that are bookended by comfy leather bucket chairs.  the large tiled wall is charming with the oversized logo.  the striped canopies outside are catching and inviting.  they clearly did something right to get me in the door.

it was a good mix of visitors that day.  super urban fashionistas, a mom and dad with daughter and son, a trendy couple in the corner on their macbook pro, and a couple of bros having a couple of beers.  i think i fit in that day with my slouchy overcoat, polka dot flats, and bright poppy-colored nails.  yes and yes!

my plates were soon brought over, and i shuffled my books around to make room.  the cafe au lait was steaming, a good sign.  and that pastry?  ooh, son.  it looked super flaky in all its buttery goodness.  things so far were looking good.

as i went for a sip of coffee, i noticed that it had slopped all over the sides.  i like a full cup, don’t get me wrong, but i also like good presentation.  oh well, the great news is that the coffee itself made up for it.  this cafe au lait needed not one sugar packet.  adding one would have been a crime because the coffee was complemented perfectly by the silky steamed milk.  cafe au laits are my favorite cafe drink, and i was highly pleased with the one served up here at corso.

next up was to give that chocolate croissant a try.  i promise i wasn’t trying to make a mess, but that pastry was so perfectly baked that i got crispy flakiness all over the stinkin’ place.  well, what can you do?

i wouldn’t say croissants are my top pastry (where are all my cream cheese danish fans in the crowd?), but this one was pretty dang delicious.  it was buttery and light without being too airy.  a filling snack alongside your favorite cup of joe.

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i tore into my next bike, eager for the chocolate that i knew must be closer to the center, but alas, no chocolate to be found!  i peered into it with no sign of chocolate at all!  hm.  i had ordered a chocolate croissant, hadn’t i?  yes, i had.

i went to the counter, returned the regular croissant, and was quickly brought a chocolate croissant.  the manager was apologetic and friendly, assuring i would be satisfied in spite of the mix-up.  i took a bite almost right as she left and, oh, yes, i was satisfied.  that dark chocolate was generous but not overwhelming.  if you’re a chocolate lover like me, the chocolate croissant is what you need to get when you come.

about halfway through my croissant and coffee, i was told they were closing up the place.  it was only 6:10, but it was a sunday evening.  i’ll say that they need to put their hours on the door.  i was afraid exactly this would happen:  get all settled in with my treats and boom!  calling it a night!  they weren’t rushing me out the door at all, but still, i didn’t want to be that customer.

my hope for corso is that it stays a secret and doesn’t become too popular.  corso describes itself as a spot with a “cosmopolitan vibe,” and considering i was tucked in between the bella bag store and the future dior location, i’d say i agree.  i want a place i can come that isn’t overcrowded and overrun with folks jumping on the bandwagon for the next cool place.  i guess i’m okay with you guys checking it out, though.  you’re alright.  😉

oh, and i think i take back my comment about the coffee presentation.  had it not slopped all over the sides, i wouldn’t have this cool, hipster coffee-splatter art to show you.  well played, corso.  you knew what you were doing all along.

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