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The Southern dining experience is something that Atlantans
not only know quite well, it’s something that they often expect when deciding
to dine out. It’s because of this familiarity with the cuisine, that new
restaurants specializing in southern cooking are in for initial skepticism and harsh
critique if the food fails to live up to expectations. Conveniently located
right in the heart of downtown Atlanta, White Oak Kitchen & Cocktails has a
lot to live up to by referring the restaurant as “Downtown Atlanta’s
Contemporary Dining Experience.” This boastful claim could be a good thing
however, if the food at this new restaurant lives up to hype that precedes it.
Venturing inside the space at White Oak Kitchen &
Cocktails, you are greeted with a shabby chic version of medium brown wood
paneling and tables, which bring about an old southern flair. Meanwhile the
contemporary light fixtures, design accents and overall floor plan, speak to a
modern southern sensibility. Combined these elements speak to southern
contemporary description that White Oak prides itself on. The bustling view of
Peachtree Street, only adds to the ambiance.
Make no mistake about it though, it’s all about the food
here and the menu is definitely tempting and worth at least a first try.
Executive Ben Vaughn has successfully crafted a menu that is equal parts down
home comfort food and upscale fine dining, fare worthy of those with even the
most elevated palate. Some of the menu
items that should be sampled right away include: Fried Chicken (muddy rice,
black pepper pan gravy, Fleur de Sel potato chips), Shrimp (jumbo white shrimp,
shaved mirliton, green papaya, baby butter Bibb, grapefruit, Tupelo honey
emulsion), Beaufort Stew (roasted prawns, homemade Andouille, fingerling
potatoes, hominy, smoked pork belly brood) and lastly the Snapper, which
contains virgin snapper, Carolina Gold hoppin’ John, wilted kale, warm tomato
and artichoke vinaigrette. While other desserts are offered, it’s the decadent
cakes here that really make a lasting impression. The Caramel Cake, Double
Chocolate Cake and the Red Velvet 4-Layer Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
simply scratch the surface of what sweet treats are to come. The drink menu
features an impressive list of draft beer all from Georgia. There are also
several signature cocktails that celebrate the southern influence of not only
the location of the restaurant, but the food inside as well.
White Oak Kitchen & Cocktails is located at 270
Peachtree Street, Atlanta, 404-524-7200. Operating hours are: Lunch 11:30 a.m. –
4 p.m. Mondays-Fridays; Dinner 4 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. Mondays-Sundays. For more
information visit www.whiteoakkitchen.com.
For more information about the author, Danielle Jennings, please visit my Google+ profile page.