Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Saltyard - Brookwood Hills in South Buckhead

Saltyard is located at 1820 Peachtree Rd NW, Atlanta GA 30309 towards the Southern end of Buckhead before getting to Peachtree Corners traveling South. It's also next door to another amazing restaurant, Watershed in the same low-rise brick building.



I've eaten at Saltyard many times - this is one of my favorite Atlanta restaurants and local concepts - I also take visiting friends and family here for the consistency and approachability - the food at here stops just shy of the ubiquitous food-as-art them and builds into something new and refreshing. Chef Nick Leahy takes the farm-to-table concept to new heights with conviction and a great understanding - that if you start with amazing ingredients you can end up with amazing food, no matter how complex the recipe or technique used in preparation. Besides sourcing great products, Saltyard "goes to 11" with brilliant presentation, delicious sauces and a downright special setting. The food is served "tapas" style with smaller portions on small plates or skillets so you can try a lot during a single sitting.  I don't want to make this an overblown review so I'll stop right there and let the food speak for itself.

 
The interior has tall ceilings and yet is somehow cozy, probably due to the lighting. Tables in general are smallish but so are the plates so you should still have plenty of room. I often sit in the front area at the high-tables for convenience and a quick bite - larger groups are generally more comfortable in the back. The kitchen and bar align the back side of the space which is split up into two areas - more of a bar area that you walk through to get into the primary dining space. The decor is modern-lofty with design touches everywhere - whomever did the graphics work did an excellent job branding this place with distinction - kudos!



The photos and food is a combination of several visits so if there's a bit of inconsistency, it's all my doing. Most of the ingredients were sourced from local providers (either grown locally or harvested nearby - the fresh Brunswick shrimp and coastal oysters are great examples, as are the local fungi - mushrooms provided by a local grower - and most if not all the items used are organic, grass-fed, free-range or otherwise procured from the most natural methods possible). That was my disclaimer, I hope to do this place justice.




The menu is divided up into a single front/back panel with three columns each - most of the items are relatively static in nature and easy to obtain, so it makes sense for these to be on a more permanent menu. Play special attention to the vegetables - this is one of the few places in Atlanta where I feel more than comfortable and completely sated by ordering a bevy of veggies and sharing amongst the table. Anything oven-roasted is just plain delicious - for instance, if you've read my blog before you know I really, really don't like brussel sprouts - those provided at Saltyard are the exception - these are just delicious, but I digress. Also provided are daily/weekly specials  that are provided on small clipboards. I tend to choose at least one of those, especially if it's something I don't usually see.



The last thing I want to mention before continuing is regarding the bar itself - including the drink specials and local craft brews. Feel safe my friend that you are in good hands - the concoctions provided by the talented bartenders will get your head spinning and your taste buds a-twirl. Awesome stuff here folks - I usually hit the 3 Taverns or other local brews to start then maybe one of the awesome specialty cocktails or white bourbon.

3 Taverns "Theophin the Recluse" Russian Imperial Stout (and if you like stouts, try the ice-cream if it's on the menu made from the same!)


3 Taverns "A Night in Brussels" white IPA



On with the food.

Deviled Farm Eggs with bacon and sriracha - must stop eating these but they are so good. Nice way to start things off...



Roasted Cauliflower with thyme, lemon, chili - you can do no harm with this dish.


Flash Fried Brussel Sprouts with sweet chili - only brussel sprouts in Atlanta I've found worth eating.




Blistered Green Beans with bacon, ginger, cider reduction - delicious - the bacon with a balance of acid makes this dish



Pappardelle pasta with prosciuitto cream and locally sourced mushrooms - filling and so satisfying



Grilled Lamb Loin with tuscan whitebean puree, harissa



Crispy Fish Tacos with chef's spicy jalapeno aiolo, cilantro lime slaw


I've also had the ahi tuna tartare, pimento cheese and wild musthrooms which were all delicious but un-photographed.

And for dessert...

Sorghum Pecan Pie with bourbon ricotta ice cream



S'More Bread Pudding with maple and banana ice cream



I don't remember what this was but it was delicious!




Everything I've tried at Saltyard has been amazing and the service, both at the bar and in the dining room has been amazing. Parking is a bit weird - it's in the back decks - they offer valet but I usually just find a space on the second floor.


-- John

(much shorter review also posted to Yelp)
Click to add a blog post for Saltyard on Zomato