Sunday, June 20, the nation takes a day to celebrate dear old dad. We've all spent more time at home with dad due to lockdowns and working/schooling from home, so why not get him out of the house? Treat your old man to dinner at one of these fun, new Atlanta spots.
Atlanta's first vegan barbeque joint has opened, and it's just the place to get the robust flavors of traditional BBQ without the guilt. The mock meats are all made in-house and then cold smoked for hours over hickory, maple, and cherry wood. The signature sauces are slowly simmered to lock in the flavor. Top of the list to try is the “Titustown,” which really shows off what plant-based "veef" can do slathered in Vidalia onion VBQ and topped with celery root and chickpea slaw. Not all of the sandwiches are made with mock meats. Some, like the blue oyster mushroom po'boy (cornmeal-dusted mushrooms, whiskey B&B pickles, and creole remoulade) enforces how well vegetables fit into the southern BBQ tradition.
Celebrity Chef Jonathan Waxman's Baffi is a casual Italian-inspired eatery that's perfect for a family meal. The locally sourced, seasonal menu items are served in a spacious dining room and well-appointed outdoor patio. Start with the braised pork and veal meatballs with mascarpone geechie boy grits, or get a sausage and ramp pizza for the table. The JW gnocchi, a Waxman specialty, comes in a green garlic cream with grilled Vidalia onions and crispy fried sage. If you're avoiding carbs, Waxman's famous roasted chicken with rosemary potatoes and salsa verde will leave you licking the plate clean. The chocolate budino is perfect for dads with a sweet tooth.
Chef/Owner Richard Tang (of Char) has a new spot in Reynoldstown, Girl Diver. The open-air bar and ample patio are the perfect places to enjoy a meal with Dad. The cuisine is American southern and Asian fusion with influences from all over the Pacific. A stunning example of this marriage of cuisine is the hushpuppies which come with yuzu mayo and malt vinegar. There are lots of seafood options and oceanic platters to feed the whole table. The “Novice” platter sends out a pound of shrimp, two clusters of snow crab, a pound of crawfish, a lobster tail, four sausages, four corn cobs, and four potatoes. That's the smallest option, and it's already enough to feed an army.
The Woodall (named after a nearby creek that borders Moores Mill) is the next venture from the team that brought you Marlow's Tavern. The mural by local artist Thomas Turner is a focal point amid the white-washed brick walls and modern fixtures. Bring the family together with shareable items like upscale pigs in a blanket made with wagyu hot dogs, or creamy brie fondue, and smoked salmon dip with crispy capers and horseradish. If your old man is a meat and potatoes guy, order him the center cut filet served with whipped potatoes and a demi cognac pan sauce. The cocktail menu is diverse and includes two spirit-free options giving everyone a reason to raise a glass.
If your dad is an oenophile, Storico Vino is the place to take him. The cellar has nearly 80 wines to uncork that represent all of the biggest wine-growing regions in Italy. Start the celebrations off right with a bottle of sparkling rose from Abruzzo or, if dad prefers sparkling reds, a bottle of Emilia-Romagna Lambrusco. Pair wines with east coast oysters, an antipasti platter loaded with cured meats, cheese, and vegetables, or a refreshing red snapper Crudo. Larger appetites can splurge on a lobster tail. The hearty lasagna is layers of fresh pasta, besciamella, and veal and pork ragu grana. Finish sweet with tiramisu or scoops of gelato. The gelato flavors celebrate the classic flavors in Italian gelaterias: pistachio, chocolate, stracciatella, and fior di latte.
Bar Vegan ATL
Head to the Ponce City Market for good vibes and vegan drinks. Bar Vegan, from the same team behind the much-loved Slutty Vegan food trucks, has a new joint with incredible cocktails and vegan treats. The snack menu is small, so you're really coming for the handcrafted cocktails—Chow down on Impossible cheesesteaks or cheesesteak egg rolls. Throw in a side of tater tots (or sweet potato tots) seasoned with Dinkies famous seasoning. The cocktails lean heavily into the classics with old-fashioned lemon drops, mojitos, and margaritas. But there's also a Mexican martini that brings out the vegetal qualities of agave and a strawberry bourbon smash that is just right for summer.