We have good news and bad news concerning Atlanta chef and "Top Chef All Stars" champ Richard Blais' brand-new Midtown restaurant The Spence. The much-anticipated eatery will finally open its doors this Memorial Day weekend. Alas, all reservations for Saturday and Sunday are already way beyond booked to capacity and restaurant reps are now urging frantic foodies to patiently wait until The Spence goes live on Open Table for reservation bookings Monday.
Hopefully, the tasty details sent to us by Concentrics Restaurants, the operating group founded by Bob Amick and Todd Rushing partnering with Blais on The Spence, will help to soothe your hunger pangs in the interim. Of the restaurant's name, Blais explains: "We were looking for a word that would describe the spirit of the design and offerings. We all landed on the word 'larder' simultaneously. After some research, my wife Jazmin stumbled upon the word 'spence,' a synonym for larder. We loved that it refers to a place where families would sit and eat together. In keeping with its many meanings, The Spence is about the contents of our pantry and coolers, our fantastic purveyors and specialized ingredient sources and sitting down with family and friends."
Among the whimsical, very Richard Blais-like creations on the inaugural menu at The Spence include "simple and fun" appetizers like asparagus, duck egg and black garlic ($7), bone marrow, tuna tartare, quail egg ($13) and General Tso's sweetbreads ($11). Entree options will feature sea bass, miso and green peach ($22), chicken schnitzel and cucumber noodles ($16), porchetta, celery root and mustard sauce ($20). Sides will include macaroni and headcheese ($5), bag o vegetables ($4) and braised leaves and tops ($3).
Pastry chef Andrea Litvin's desserts will likely inspire diners to save room at the end of the meal: malted barley panna cotta with sorghum ($5) and a tahini chocolate mousse and Campari ($6).
The Spence is located at 75 Fifth Street and will be open for dinner Monday-Thursday 5 to 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday 5 to 11 p.m. For more information go to thespenceatl.com or become a fan of The Spence on Facebook.