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Seed Kitchen & Bar

Roswell may have the buzzier food scene, but last November, East Cobb scored the northern suburbs’ most charismatic dining addition in years. Doug Turbush, former executive chef of Buckhead’s defunct Bluepointe, opened his own restaurant in the back corner of sprawling Merchant’s Walk shopping center, and the place immediately settled in as a neighborhood nerve center. The dining room channels contemporary Denmark with blond oak flooring and a dramatic use of white for walls, chairs, shelves full of cookbooks, pendant lighting in funky shapes over the bar, and the alabaster tile that flows around the open kitchen.

Sip a frisky cocktail like La Paloma Caliente (tequila, lime, serrano syrup, and a splash of grapefruit soda) as you crunch into a starter of smoked chicken tacos. At first glance, Turbush’s modern American menu looks to tag along with current trends, serving well-executed versions of chicken schnitzel, fish and chips, and a bevy of Southern ubiquities (grits fritters, deviled eggs, smoked pork chop with greens). But scan more closely to find global-minded prizes like gently cooked swordfish—or another catch of the day—doused with sweet-sour Thai herb vinaigrette and matched with roasted cauliflower and caramelized Brussels sprouts. Dishes like this, as well as an appetizer of shrimp glazed with mild sambal (chile sauce), hint at Turbush’s expertise with Southeast Asian cuisines, and he should slip more exotica into the mix: I’m betting the crowds, clearly won over, would embrace a red curry or rice noodle soup alongside the familiar comforts. 1311 Johnson Ferry Road, Marietta, 678-214-6888, eatatseed.com