Movin’ on up… to the WestSide.
Centered around Howell Mill Road between 10th and 17th street, the WestSide is becoming one of the next best kitschy-cool neighborhoods in Atlanta, which rivals (or happily reminds you of) other well-known industrial haunts a la the Meatpacking District in NYC or Soho in London. A great mix of restaurants, shops and bars make this neighborhood a top contender for where the Atlanta elite are now starting to prefer to “see and be seen” and can only mean that the addition of a Starbucks location is inevitable. From the gorgeous Anthropologie and Star Provisions family to the coveted Sid & Ann Mashburn stores, there is something for everyone in this understated part of town. Read on for an inside scoop on some of the best food spots in the area for whatever mood you’re in.
As an alternative to the brunch hotspots on the east side of midtown, West Egg delivers a southern homestyle theme to its dishes, with out of this world biscuits and turkey gravy, a ham & brie panini which reminds you why that’s one of the best cheeses around, and a brunswick stew worth licking the bowl for. Giant cups of hot chocolate keep the waiting patrons happy, as does a bevy of standard egg dishes to choose from.
Classic design and masters of all things meat, Abattior has something for every palette whether you are in the mood for a snack (chicharrones), something salty & cured (steak tartare) or the more daring Offal selections (glazed veal sweetbreads). A great place to dine by sharing plates, this spot from the Star Provisions team makes a great date choice or group outing. Bonus points: An attentive and friendly staff rounds out the experience in style.
One of my favorite finds, Miller Union is the combined genius of Chef Steven Satterfield (of Watershed fame) and Neil McCarthy (former Englishman du jour of Sotto Sotto). Hidden away at the end of 10th street, this ode to farmhouse chic offers an ever changing menu supplied by locally sourced farms, and goes the extra mile for a unique dining experience that will have you coming back over and over again. For dessert lovers, keep an eye out for the trio of seasonal herb ice creams and the subtle coconut cake which has some of the best whip cream around, made to order with shavings straight off the coconut. Insider tip: Stop by on Tuesdays (reservation required) for their Harvest Dinner, where $30 gets you a pre fixe three course meal, a communal dining experience and the freshest local and seasonal offerings, none of which are on the regular menu.
The always lovable Alton Brown once said “Finally, someone who knows how to cook fried chicken!” about this classic bistro with southern flare. But the finger-licking fried chicken is far from what this restaurant can actually do. Check out the freshest farmstand salad around, oysters that make your mouth water, and pan roasted sea scallops which make me yearn for New England (and boy do I yearn). JCT also boasts a hip rooftop bar, which offers live music, a delectable small plates menu and libations that will keep the party going all night long. Insider tip: Check out their “Sunday Supper” which offers a $24 pre fixe dinner, including appetizer, salad, your choice of “fancy meat & three” and dessert – best come prepared (read: hungry).
JCT Kitchen & Bar ι 1198 Howell Mill Rd NW ι Atlanta, GA 30318 ι 404.355.2252 ι Twitter ι Facebook
This so nouveau spot located in the White Provisions building is hidden away under the staircase and lacks any signage, so you wouldn’t even know it was there (except you do because everyone can’t stop talking about it). With dark wood, copper topped bars (best way to keep your drinks cool on the bar) and dim lighting all around, Ormsby’s houses a restaurant upstairs with satisfying upscale bar food, and a killer bar scene downstairs unlike most found in Atlanta. The bar boasts a full size bocce ball court, pool table, darts, shuffle board, video games and even a photo booth so you can remember your evening before the drinks start flowing. And they will, as they offer an impressively good list to choose from – can you say Brooklyn Chocolate Stout? Yes, please!
*Editor’s Note: I purposely left Bacchanalia and Quionones at Bacchanalia off the list because I am planning special write ups for them – my ode to their fabulousness, if you will…