There is always a lively spirit of creativity at The Sound Table, but it changes throughout the night. The upstairs dining room boasts a menu that "zigzags through global influences: Belgian-style frites, Oaxacan hanger steak with salsa verde, Chinese grilled ribs redolent of soy and chile," says Atlanta magazine, which placed restaurant on its list of the area's 50 Best Restaurants. However, the menu's capricious nature doesn't stop at the recipes, it also affects the availability. The selection changes frequently as the chefs incorporate new, seasonal ingredients. On the downstairs level, the bar is a bit more consistent, although still inventive. In addition to the international assortment of wine and beer, the bartenders mix drinks that Creative Loafing Atlanta hailed as "some of the best cocktails in the city." These shaken and stirred concoctions are separated into categories that range from bright & dry to strong, rich & strange, and they occasionally feature nontraditional ingredients such as pine liqueur or garam masala. Although the food and drinks help keep spirits high, it's the live music that transforms the two stories of exposed brickwork, booths made of wooden slats, and soft industrial lighting into a lively neighborhood dwelling. Typically starting around 11 p.m., an ever-rotating lineup of DJs and bands performs throughout the week, energizing the crowds with anything from the raw, percussive fusion of African and Latin jazz-funk to globally-influenced psychedelic.
Executive Chef Tara Mayfield's mastery of the kitchen manifests in the form of an all-American menu at TEN Atlanta, an inviting restaurant that charms diners with upscale touches and down-home comfort food. From chicken livers with madeira sauce to house-made pimento cheese sandwiches and fried pork chops with a peach mango chutney sauce, the dishes here are both familiar and fancy—just like a postman who always wears a tuxedo. The brunch menu includes eggs, pancakes, and shrimp and grits, in addition to house-made jams and sweet potato fries.
Show the ocean who’s boss by gulping down large quantities of its delicious denizens. With today’s Groupon, $10 gets you $25 worth of seafood and spirits at Steamhouse Lounge, the popular Midtown seafood restaurant owned by Nightcap Food & Spirits, the group that brought you Vickery’s, Fontaine’s, Gene's Haufbrau, and Highland Tap.
What do you get when you cross local, farm-to-table ingredients with a southern-cooking mentality? It’s a question that Briza attempts to answer with food that stands out for its dedication to quality—yet doesn’t skimp on the playfulness. When making the menu, Executive Chef Janine Falvo was inspired by her family’s robust culinary traditions and by the chefs she worked under as she made her name in the business. From them she contracted a passion for working with only fresh and local ingredients whose flavors pop on their own merits.. Her cornmeal fried green tomatoes up the ante on the Southern staple, with a breading that melds with the acidity of its pickled shrimp accompaniment. Halibut comes on a bed of lobster homefries, in which each chunk of crustacean and each tiny, crisp potato cube contributes flavor or texture. Then there’s the organic smoked and fried chicken, which adds a new layer to a well-loved dish. Certainly it’s that creativity that played a part in previously awarding Falvo with Restaurant Hospitality's Rising Star Chef accolade. Looking around the modern-meets-baroque dining room, it’s evident that a mix of textures is just as important in the scenery as it is in the food. Velvety couches flank stainless steel cocktail tables in the bar area and the dining room cozies studded armchairs up to heavy wood tables. Everything looks touchable, yet museum-worthy—a conundrum that thankfully doesn’t apply to the pretty and magnetic food.
Midtown Atlanta has plenty of gay bar options, but Burkhart’s Pub remains a popular spot due to its weekend-only drag shows, which kick off to capacity crowds at 11 p.m. If you’re hoping to catch the show yourself – or simply want to enjoy the tiny dance floor – plan on arriving early, lest you be left out in the cold. Smoking is allowed in certain parts of the bar, and with cheap drinks and a friendly crowd nearly every night of the week, Burkhart’s remains a low-key spot for the city’s gay population to come together. Waits at the bar can be lengthy during peak hours, but with a neon-lit second level and plenty of nooks for hiding away in, there’s always at least a little room to maneuver.
Not very many people get inspired by tacos served out of the back of a nondescript van. But when Nacho Mama's Street Taqueria founder Ray bit into one of those freshly prepared tacos, he found his calling: make quality Mexican food. After attending Le Cordon Bleu, he began serving tacos from the back of his own food truck. Now, he's got his own restaurant.
Each taco, burrito, or rice bowl comes with your choice of meat, such as pork cooked with green chilies, chicken in a chipotle sauce, and traditional braised carnitas. For vegetarians, there's roasted corn and poblanos instead. The final product is paired with a side of chips and salsa. Meals can be washed down with Jarritos soda, which comes in an array of unique flavors, much like jelly beans after merging with that spice company.