Riddle me this, Batman... what's the only thing better than two Foodies trying out a new restaurant? The answer? THREE Foodies! My pal Lorie Marrero from The Clutter Diet was in my 'hood last week and happily, the timing worked perfectly for us to have dinner together. As a bonus, Christmas Boy came along.
We made reservations at a little place called Home, which is the current digs of Top Chef Season Four Runner-Up Richard Blais. Formerly Seeger's, then Posh, Home is a decidedly quaint but not "cute" or cramped establishment boasting intimate, cozy spaces that invite you to stay all night. (Not so great for turning tables, but the guests love it). The cuisine is what I might call Modern Southern, and mmmm boy is is delish. Classic Southern fare with Richard's own little spin fills the menu and makes it hard to choose. How do you decide between Fried Chicken Confit and Slow Roasted Beef Brisket? (just to name two of the might yummy entrees offered).
When you walk in, the first thing you notice is the the tiny bar to the right. The space is small and the bar itself is a smooth curve of white marble with comfortable seats, chatty tenders, and a flat screen playing a steady stream of Food Network television. (a welcome change from sports and news) The lounge surrounding the bar can only be described as, well... homey. No pun intended. Modern sofas, soft chairs and coffee tables fill the wall niches and make you feel as if you've just stopped at friend's house for cocktails...
Speaking of cocktails, while we were waiting at the bar for Lorie to show up, Blais, known for his penchant for molecular gastronomy, chatted us up and gave us a couple nitrogen margaritas. (OMG they were SO incredibly cold!) You could end up with your tongue stuck to the spoon, re-enacting the flagpole scene from A Christmas Story if you're not careful. Ouch. But I digress. More on nitrogen later.
Home has two tiny dining rooms on the upper level, two on the main level and one super cool badass private dining room in the basement. All in all, I'd venture to guess the whole place seats about 160 people (but that's totally a guess -- I may not even be close, but I thought guessing would be better than counting chairs in the middle of dinner). Regardless, the place doesn't feel crowded or too loud to talk. As for decor, it's perfect. By that I mean it's not wild, avant-garde, or such a stand-out that it's distracting from the food. In fact, it's so comfortable that I can't remember much about it, except to say that it's comfy, just like the menu. What can I say? I was food-focused! Frankly, I'd much rather have fantastic food and service in a comfortable restaurant than to be wowed by decor and eat average food.
Richard's farm to table concept is wonderful. The menu changes daily according to what's fresh and in season at the market, but thankfully, some menu items linger for a while. A few notable long-term pleasers are the deviled duck eggs topped with duck confit, a crabcake with the most amazing smoked aioli and Blais' signature fresh bacon dish. Combine any of Home's delectable menu items with their homemade biscuits with pepper jam, and you'll barely have room for dessert. But lawdy, do save room!
Wielding liquid nitrogen like Shakespeare wielded a pen, Blais sets out to create unusual-but-familiar concoctions to tempt your tastebuds, like his spin on a true Southern classic -- the Moon Pie Coca-Cola Float. I can't even describe it, I just know it had steam coming off the top and I liked it! If you're more of a dessert traditionalist, there's always Red Velvet cake or homemade sorbet.
So the next time you're in Atlanta, remember there's a lot to do. Be sure to stop by the aquarium, check out the new World of Coke or maybe catch a Braves game, but for Pete's sake, don't forget to go Home.
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