Atlanta dining goes way beyond fried chicken or the classic meat and three sides. Local farm-to-table fare prevails in many restaurants. Eateries serve ethnic dishes reflecting Atlanta’s multicultural population. And chef-tweaked standards take cooking to new levels. The result: A food-lover’s town with myriad options and a lively fusion cuisine that’s part Southern, part ethnic and entirely its own tasty indulgence.
INNOVATIVE MENUS WITH MULTICULTURAL ELEMENTS
Spice to Table: Those looking for a new take on fried chicken should taste chef Asha Gomez’s Kerala fried chicken. The Atlanta resident of more than 20 years incorporates the spices of Southern India where she was born and raised. Among the ingredients she’ll reveal that inspired Bon Appetit magazine and other foodie outlets to label her fried chicken among the U.S.’s best, are coconut oil, mango sauce and roasted curry leaves. Spice to Table, open for lunch only, dishes out her chicken just on Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. “until it runs out.” People also come from miles away for the chef’s carrot cake, which, she says, brings together baking traditions of the Indian South and the American South.
Miller Union: At Miller Union, chef Steven Satterfield aims for “Simple, sustainable, Southern fare with an authentic but modern approach to farmstead-inspired cooking.” Anything but boring, Satterfield’s fare has been called “perfect southern food.” He frequently adds creative touches borrowed from other cuisines. His duck breast comes with sweet potato, savoy cabbage, farro spaetzli and maple gastrique.
Gunshow: Chef Kevin Gillespie’s Gunshow takes its inspiration from a combination of Brazilian churrascaria-style dining and Chinese dim sum. Diners choose their dishes from rolling carts. Although the menus change frequently, past items have included Thai style crispy fired whole fish, bison tartare, and chilled Maine lobster with walnut pesto.
Ponce City Market
Ponce City Market, located in the historic, former Sears, Roebuck & Company building, features the Central Food Hall. Foodies come here to browse the stalls serving southern cuisine, seafood, burgers, ethnic fare and plates created by some of Atlanta’s noted chefs. Savor plates from two James Beard award-winners at three sites. Chef Anne Quatrano ‘s W.H. Stile’s Fish Camp, a.k.a. Dub’s, features seafood plus chowder and chef Linton Hopkins’ Hop’s Chicken delivers what he calls “honest, clean” fried chicken, and at H&F Burger bite into Hopkins’ famous burger. Try Indian street food at Botiwalla, all-natural beef jerky at Biltong Bar and Cuban sandwiches and smoked tofu buns at El Super Pan.
Follow Candyce H. Stapen on Twitter: @FamilyiTrips