Good Word Brewing & Public House
Anchoring historic downtown Duluth’s Parsons Alley new entertainment district, this ambitious brewpub has an impressive pedigree—its co-owner is Mike Gallagher of Decatur’s famous Brick Store Pub. Housed in a newly-built giant complex of mellow red brick, the facility is split down the middle, with fermenting tanks on one side and a vintage beer hall on the other. Brewer Kyle Jeppesen, who hails from Nova Scotia, started with six impeccably handled beers (among them: a light British ale, a dry moderately hoppy saison, and a superbly balanced American IPA), served at the peak of freshness in the restaurant next to an additional selection of local beers. The fare, influenced by one of the owner’s Puerto Rican roots and southern upbringing, is relatively inconsistent: the pernil—braised pork shoulder with Carolina gold rice and Sea Island red peas—and the giant empanada with braised pork have yet to catch up to the vivid citrus guacamole or the hand-pressed tortillas filled with organic wild mushrooms and crispy baby kale or spicy curry chicken with honey yogurt. 3085 Main Street, Duluth. 404-973-2077
Compared to the beloved breakfast and lunch counter in the Candler Park Market, this restaurant, inserted into the more bougie Grant Park Market and operated by the same team, is a much grander affair. It serves some of the same soups, burgers, and sandwiches as its Candler Park counterpart, but the menu developed by chef Christina Conde, who came from St. Augustine, also includes fresh Spanish-style tapas for dinner, a proper wine list, and original creations. Try the mellow steak sandwich on Cuban bread or the hot muffuletta, which uses the ingredients of a typical New Orleans deli sandwich but with a different bread that’s toasted on the flat grill long enough to blend the flavors. All the cooking takes place in plain sight behind an elegantly appointed quartz counter at the front of the market, with hospitable community trestle tables that rest on patterned tiles evoking Italy or Spain. While you’re waiting, browse the grocery aisles, which are stocked with a mix of luxury and natural goods (including a great wine inventory) but also the sensible everyday items of a neighborhood market. 519 Memorial Drive, 404-330-8014
Mourning Dove Cafe
It isn’t just the coffee and the espresso drinks that you’ll admire in this outpost of Alabama-based, fast-growing Revelator; you’ll also marvel at the elegant modern décor, the ambitious talent of manager/pastry chef Andrea Kirshtein (whose husband, Eli, owned The Luminary and now works in development for Revelator), and the growing menu she oversees out of a minuscule kitchen and pairs with a small but significant list of organic, biodynamic wines. Andrea rises at 4 a.m. to bake the dense, tangy sourdough bread and serves it slathered with an intense sweet onion harissa next to a highly concentrated Israeli shakshuka. She smokes turkey breast in a Green Egg, and bakes the chocolatiest chocolate chip cookies in the whole of Atlanta. This refined luxury café, in Buckhead Atlanta, is the perfect addition to this stretch of Peachtree—Buckhead’s version of Rodeo Drive. 3065 Peachtree Road, 404-835-2967
Right next door to Shoya Izakaya, in a plaza tucked between Peachtree Road and Buford Highway, this new ramen house has an impeccable Japanese pedigree down to the artful fake food in the windows. You’ll detect an immediate visual and gastronomic connection between the two places (they are owned by the same family) and—especially if you come by in the evening when the food is better and more varied—you’ll enjoy the greater simplicity and approachability of the new concept. Go for the more straightforward bowls (soy broth, pork, braised egg, robust noodles) and the delicate pan-fried gyoza first, then venture into items such as Nagasaki champon noodles with an ocean’s worth of seafood and Chuka (Chinese) rice or noodle dishes. Add a small bowl of Japanese curry or rice with spicy fish roe to your order for a mere $6 or $7, and you’ll have a comforting meal typical of a Japanese diner. Sake in a can, beer in a mug, and Japanese sodas add to an experience that can be a bit rushed but is still hospitable. 6035 Peachtree Road, Doraville, 678-691-6737
This article will appear in our March 2018 issue.