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75 Best Restaurants in Atlanta: Empire State South

Empire State South

It’s been eight years since celebrity chef Hugh Acheson opened Empire State South. A lot has changed since then, but Empire State South remains a destination restaurant in a part of Midtown that has too few of them.

Which is the right sparkling wine for your party?

Is there any party that can’t be instantly improved by the sound of a cork popping for sparkling wine? But not all bubbles are created equally: you might want the best champagne or a rowdy midnight toast with Solo cups. To help you plan, we sat down with sommelier Steven Grubbs, wine director at Empire State South, for a blind tasting of four sparkling wines.

Re-review: Empire State South’s surprising next chapter

It’s been eight years since celebrity chef Hugh Acheson opened Empire State South and challenged Atlanta’s notion that Southern food is something preciously preserved in the past. But a lot can change in eight years. Empire State South’s next chapter, under newly installed executive chef Adam Waller, marks a deliberate return to the basics.
Riesling

3 favorite Rieslings from Empire State South’s Steven Grubbs

Don’t mistake this complex grape for a sickly sweet, second-class pour.

Sommelier: Steven Grubbs

“Old enough to drink itself!” “Take this one out to the bocce court.” “A gullet full of rocks, she is.” It’s breezy but accurate descriptors like these that make Empire State South and Five & Ten wine director Steven Grubbs the coolest cat in the cellar.

High on the Vine: Riesling talk with Steven Grubbs

In this weekly column, Evan Mah asks Atlanta’s sharpest wine minds about all things vino. What’s Karthäuserhof? Eitelsbacher Karthäuserhofberg? Kabinett? If you don’t know, ask Steven Grubbs. On a recent Sunday afternoon at Empire State South, Grubbs is leaning into a booth, his sleeves rolled up to his elbows, revealing a dark tattoo sprawling down his arm. The subject of talk is Rieslings, a grape varietal from Germany noted for its high levels of acidity, complexity and warm honey bouquet. And it is clear in this moment that nobody in this city loves this often-misunderstood grape more than he does.

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