empire state south

So, I won’t bore you with the all the details as to why it has been radio silence from me in the blogosphere in recent weeks, except for one excuse – a 10 day trip to the south – which brings some good food suggestions from afar!  The first half of my trip was to Atlanta, where arguably the best meal of the whole trip happened – at Empire State South.  A beautiful space was created in the 999 Peachtree building in Midtown – including a bocce court in the back – which set the scene for a lovely lingering lunch with the mama and Suz.  The menu, full of southern classics with modern and culinary-school twist, was created by Hugh Atcheson of Athens, GA acclaimed restaurants 5&10 and The National (not to mention some James Beard awards thrown in for good measure) and Ryan Smith (Baccanalia, among others are on his impressive resume).  It was incredibly hard to choose from all the lovely options on the menu – so I opted for a plate of 5 sides, so that I could sample a bit of everything: a cheese-y squash cassorole, brussel sprouts with marcona almonds, collard greens, skillet okra, and a field peas with Carolina rice dish that was a beautiful lemon-tinged risotto type deal.  All of which made this displaced-southerner deeply satisfied in a cure-your-homesickness kind of way.  The vanilla bean lemonade cut the richness perfectly – and the tiny gingerbread whoopie pie for dessert was the perfect bite of sweet to end the meal!

Other highlights of the Atlanta trip were the newly opened Tomatillos – a homage of sorts to long-lost Tortillas that is in East Atlanta – not fancy, but good straightforward stuff.  And the new Wrecking Bar a brew pub that has found its place in the former home of the architectural salvage place of the same name in Little 5 Points.  These guys are serious about beer, and make a lovely “in fashion” as well (thanks Lee!).  It was a great visit with my southern peeps, and a lot of fun was had with the kiddos during the 3-day Halloween extravaganza.  Next stop – New Orleans!

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~ by brayhayden on November 11, 2011.

3 Responses to “empire state south”

  1. I second everything Bray says! Wonderful company with my girls and great food!

  2. SO beautiful! I hope to eat here one day.

  3. […] the South by Hugh Acheson – the chef behind 5 & 10, The National (both in Athens, GA) and Empire State South in Atlanta.  My stepmother may have given me this cookbook with a hint of irony (“there is […]

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