Chef Chris Hall, one of the three locals behind the eatery’s moniker, sources fresh, seasonal ingredients from area farmers and weaves them into creative and playful comfort dishes. For example, the chefs show off some of the region's best meats—and some of their own butchery skills—in the Notorious P.I.G. charcuterie plate, and they modernize the classic meatloaf by subbing in a sophisticated pâte and pairing it with pickled seasonal vegetables.
More than 100 varieties of wine quite literally surround guests at Local Three, where the bottles are tucked into the walls in a private dining room. Space behind the curved oak bar is reserved exclusively for spirits, including more than 40 bourbons available by the glass or flight. The bar’s taps flow with local and international craft brews, and bartenders shake up a seasonal cocktail list that, more often than not, features a drink inspired by The Big Lebowski.
Most locavores dwell more on where their food comes from than where it’s prepared, but the owners of Local Three poured a lot of thought into their kitchen—which, at more than 4,000 square feet, is actually larger than all the restaurant's dining rooms combined. This sprawling workspace houses enough gadgetry to make just about everything from scratch, including a duck-fat fryer, two smokers, and a computer-controlled oven complete with USB port. There's even a designated pasta room that operates on a separate heating system to control humidity.
A perfectly plumped cupcake trimmed with a sweetly swooped frosting lid is a lovely loaf, perfect for parties, weddings, and staring-contest victory celebrations. This Groupon gets you four of them for $5 at Sweet Pockets, which is proud to call itself Atlanta’s first shop devoted to the dainty dessert.Follow @Groupon_Says on Twitter.
Cold Stone's ice cream inhabits a quantum flux between soft-serve and traditional ice cream, with a rich, creamy texture that whispers tales of its super-premium quality as it glides over taste buds. The ice cream generously welcomes dozens of toppings, as traditional as crumbled cookies and chopped nuts or as quirky as granola and black licorice. Choose your favorite ice cream from among dozens of silky flavors, such as Irish cream and butter pecan. Then make certain no one will try and steal a taste by topping it protectively with brownies, gumballs, and cherry pie filling. Whatever Frankencream you create, it'll be scooped cold off the grill into a freshly made waffle cone or bowl. Cold Stone's ice cream and toppings vary between seasons and location, and the creamerie also offers sorbet and an array of lighter toppings such as fruit and honey. Ice-cream creations run between $3.79 and $5.29, depending on size and location.
Every day, Rita's serves up fresh, fruitified Italian ice (around $1.89–$2.89) in more than 30 flavors (several are sugar-free), including strawberry, root beer, Swedish Fish, chocolate chocolate chip, piña colada, vanilla, key lime, and the unearthly RitaBerrious (formerly Mystery Ice). Along with creamy ice, Rita's also sells icy cream. Case in point: Rita's famously frozen old-fashioned custard (around $2.49–$3.59), a robust dish that—like revenge—is best served cold in a cup, cone, or overflowing El Camino truck bed. Rita's custard involves a different freezing process than ice cream and boasts a higher egg to yolk ratio, for a creamy texture that makes regular ice cream feel like gravel sprinkled with sandpaper shreds. Rita's most popular frozen treat, gelati (around $3.45–$4.39), takes its cue from brunch, twilight, and sporks and blends two great things to create an even greater thing—in this case, the flavorful variety of Italian ice with the smoothitude of frozen custard. Rita's also offers an assortment of specialty Misto shakes ($3.49–$3.99), fat-free soft-serve Slenderitas ($2.49–$3.49), and frozen-coffee Ritaccinos ($4.25), all of which make for a tasty treat as well as a deliciously soothing topical treatment for chicken pox.
On the surface, Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee House is just selling coffee?albeit high-quality coffee brewed using a French press, pour over, or Chemex. But look deeper and the cafe's true mission has more to do with creating community, both locally and globally.
A spacious outdoor patio and free WiFi give regulars a reason to stick around and enjoy classic coffee drinks, signature carminallas, and lattes that, with their intricate foam art, are perfect for hanging on the wall. Thursdays feature wide-ranging trivia contests, and live musicians enliven the space on Fridays and Saturdays.
And beyond the coffeehouse premises, Land of a Thousand Hills works to strengthen communities abroad. Its Rwandan coffee beans are sourced from growers at higher-than-fair-trade prices. The cafe also invests profits in community projects in Rwanda, such as a sustainable farm for orphans and a soccer field.
Fifth Group Restaurants began in 1993 with a hunger-driven dream and the opening of South City Kitchen in Midtown; in the intervening 17 years, the restaurant management company has grown to include a caravan of five grumble-silencing victual villas in a variety of cuisine styles. The restaurant group is also actively involved in a number of charitable and green programs, including a no-trash initiative where at least 95% of waste is either composted or recycled (Ecco is dumpster free and recycles or composts everything).