The lofts life of West Midtown has little to do with the roughing it that urban pioneers once faced when they reclaimed sturdy spaces from the industrial age to make living close to art and commerce a pleasure. Now within easy reach of Atlantic Station, dining presents a host of choices from memorable to casual, from familiar to exotic. In fact, a dining itinerary in West Midtown today can offer all the pleasures of a real excursion.
Marcel is a good place to begin. A first-rate steakhouse and bar in the Westside Provisions District, named for legendary French boxer Marcel Cerdan, the restaurant by chef Ford Fry prides itself on a classic approach. An atmosphere for lingering, for laughter, and for smart, honest talk among friends and lovers is the setting, and the centerpiece is a menu that features what have been called, pound-for-pound, the best steaks you are likely to find anywhere. For different meals and different occasions, Marcel is just up the road from a favorite breakfast and lunch spot, the West Egg Café.
Before creating Marcel, Ford Fry chose Chef Brian Horn to helm JCT Kitchen and Bar, where the thrust is “simple done well.” Horn had caught Fry’s attention from his stints at Atlanta’s noteworthy restaurants, Canoe, along the Chattahoochee River, and the bistro known as Spice. The menu at JCT features comfort food composed from fresh, local ingredients, and combined in a style that might be called home-cooked – if at home you have close French relatives.
A purely American and tastefully regional dining experience awaits, nestled for over 20 years in a bungalow on Crescent Avenue, at South City Kitchen. To start with, their she-crab soup is the advice of many locals, and moving on from there involves choosing from among Southern favorites like shrimp and grits, fried chicken, or pan-roasted redfish.
New and different is the modern Israeli cuisine of Aziza, where locally sourced, fresh ingredients are combined in a contemporary take on traditional Israeli hospitality. Dishes such as braised lamb shank, butternut squash, and Akko prawns with falafel toast beckon for a welcome change of pace.
When refreshing, healthy, sustainable cuisine is on your mind, Upbeet is here to offer healthful food that includes customizable salads and grain bowls with organic vegetables. Good vibes and pure ingredients are their way at Upbeet. Their protein dishes range from vegan to grass-fed beef, pasture-raised chicken, wild-caught shrimp, and sustainable trout.
When date-night calls for sushi, the choice in West Midtown is the Eight Sushi Lounge, on Howell Mill Road. The feeling is sophisticated and yet relaxed. The sushi is vibrantly fresh, traditional and yet imaginative. They call it An Evolution in Sushi, and people fortunate to live in the lofts of West Midtown call it a local favorite.
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