Friday, January 29, 2010

What's Not to Like About Gastropubs?

Since moving back to Atlanta from New York City, I have been on a quest to find food that is both affordable and amazing. Two years in, and I have not been let down; Atlanta's restaurant scene has improved exponentially since I left. The Porter Beer Bar is one of my favorite haunts. Run by former Seeger chefs, Nick Rutherford and Molly Gunn, the Porter is an amazing jewel shining in the rough. The beer list (though I don't drink beer, I can appreciate the artisanal efforts which go into the making) is hundreds long, and my favorite, they offer several ciders, especially Samuel Smith's Organic Cider, which is dry and appley.
The best thing about Porter is the amazing food at amazing prices. I love their black bean burger, piled high with feta, homemade pickled onions, and a delicious red pepper mustard. The arugula salad is a great combination of spicy, sweet and tangy, due to additions of sweet golden beets and creamy goat cheese.
But my favorite things about the Porter are the seasonal menu specials. A few times back, I had a chicken liver mousse terrine. The liver mousse was thick and creamy, and the bitterness offset by drizzled honey, to be spread on perfectly toasted crostini. Fantastic! I don't even really like liver that much, but this was a success. I really admire chefs who are returning to a holistic food approach: the whole animal is put to use, the ingredients are seasonal, condiments and sides are freshly made, etc, and chefs Nick and Molly go to extra lengths to offer that kind of food on their menu.

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