Empire State South brought chef Hugh Acheson’s innovative southern food sensibilities to midtown Atlanta in 2010. Now, chefs Ryan Smith and Sam Herndon run the kitchen and have turned up the volume with a gratifying repertoire of heirloom grains and pickled and jarred snacks. Because what do we really want? We want pimento cheese and bacon marmalade in a jar. And we want collards. With ham hock, like our grandma made. Wine director Steven Grubbs has authored a list that mirrors the menu’s eccentric personality. Riesling abounds, as do grower bubbles, each listing annotated with engaging descriptive like “righteous harmony” or “Paul’s boutique of old-vine intensity” for a Paul Garudet Meursault. (Perhaps Grubbs has fond memories of listening to the Beastie Boys while driving up the RN74 in Burgundy…) Steal a seat at the bar for lunch and order a fried bologna sandwich with a vibrant Touraine cabernet franc from Domaine de la Garrelière. You won’t want to leave—unless it’s for a round of bocce on the outdoor court.
999 Peachtree St. NE, Atlanta, Georgia
This story appears in the print issue of June 2013.
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