Rose + Rye
Rose + Rye’s backstory makes you want to like it. First, the staff is overwhelmingly female, and our city’s restaurants could use more women in charge. Executive chef Lindsay Owens and sous chef Anu Adebara make up the back of the house, and general manager Jessica Schilling runs the front. Second, Rose + Rye brings Midtown’s quirky “Castle,” a 1900s mansion that sat mostly empty for years, back to life. But just before he opened Rose + Rye in October, Thaddeus Keefe, who also owns 1Kept in Buckhead, said, “We’re crafting elements taken from concepts from Los Angeles to New York to Bangkok in terms of lighting, standards of service, flow of service, and culinary trends.” Why can’t Atlanta’s new restaurants look inward more? Rose + Rye misses an opportunity to run with the deep history of its architecture and instead seems to suffer from an identity crisis. There’s a skull stuck in one alcove upstairs, a theme that doesn’t quite carry over to the dining room’s slick white leather banquettes. A confused menu offers a seemingly undressed beet salad (a salt cure alone doesn’t provide enough flavor), burrata with modernist pesto “foam” that’s really more of a mousse, homey chicken mole with wilted kale, and a $30 seared tuna dish that belongs at a spa. Desserts do a bit better: Olive oil cake looks worthy of a birthday party, but brushed with pickled plum juice and iced with whipped mascarpone, its sweetness is elegantly restrained. 87 15th Street, 404-500-5980
Ten Apart, the group behind the Mercury, the Pinewood, and Proof Cocktail Syrups, opened Bar Americano in Buckhead’s Andrews Square in November. (It houses a second concept called Bar Créma, where beverage director John Fogleman, formerly of Octane, offers espresso drinks and pastries starting at 7 a.m. [8 a.m. on weekends] and cocktails and small plates into the night.) Chef Adam Waller, who has worked at Bocado and Sotto Sotto, serves well-executed Italian-American classics like baked cannelloni, eggplant Parmesan, and flounder piccata (in caper and white wine sauce). The menu isn’t trying to knock your socks off with innovation; it’s trying to comfort you, and it does. The cacio e pepe’s bucatini pasta is al dente and littered with fresh-cracked black peppercorns and grated pecorino romano; the 12-inch pizza pies are crispy on the edges; and, unlike most red-sauce joints’ subpar chopped salads, Bar Americano’s version deftly combines fine strips of salami with shaved radishes, carrots, and other seasonal vegetables, all lightly dressed in red wine vinaigrette. 56 East Andrews Drive, 678-515-0697
Perhaps the Ten Apart team opened one too many new concepts last fall. Just a few weeks before Bar Americano, Deep End opened across from Ponce City Market in the former 4th & Swift restaurant space. While general manager Brent Hesse claimed it wouldn’t be “your typical hipster establishment,” it appears to be just that: not a customer over 30 and many wearing brimmed hats and heavy eyeliner; a Tex-Mex menu that trendily includes breakfast items for dinner (Deep End opens at 5 p.m. on weekdays, 12 p.m. on weekends); and a stage that suggests it’s really more of a music venue than a restaurant. Service comes with a side of we’re-too-busy attitude. Here’s hoping Deep End tightens things up because it’s got some serious patio real estate (dog-friendly, too) and, except for Sundays, is open until 2 a.m. 621 North Avenue, 470-823-3102
This article originally appeared in our February 2018 issue.