There aren’t many chefs in Atlanta who can cook like Brian So, who has chosen to open his first restaurant not in the city but in Marietta. Spring is located just one block off of the square in an almost-hidden, minimally decorated room inside a 100-year-old freight depot. It’s intimate, to say the least—you can hear every move So makes in the kitchen, down to the swipe of his whisk against a stainless steel bowl—but that’s a bantam price to pay for access to his technical, restrained, reverent cooking. It’s clear that his goal isn’t necessarily to innovate; it’s to perfect: Meaty, pan-seared flounder bounces back with brio when prodded with a fork; its bed of English peas, radishes, and baby leeks screams spring (So’s favorite season to cook—thus the name of the restaurant); and the daffodil-colored sauce is both tart and creamy, rich but not fatty. It’s textbook beurre blanc. You could eat at Spring every night and never find an element that wasn’t similarly flawless. So helped tend over 40 garden beds as the chef at the now-closed Korean Southern diner Sobban, and Spring’s menu continues to honor the work of Georgia’s soil.
Must-order: Bread and butter
So does many things right—those crisp-tender vegetables!—but his sourdough bread, springy in texture and pleasingly tart, with a dark and toothsome crust, is not to be missed. He even makes his own cultured butter.
90 Marietta Station Walk, Marietta, 678-540-2777