If it weren’t for the fact that The Renaissance Hotel – on Midtown’s West Peachtree Street – didn’t already boast the best valet and concierge around, I might never venture over to that side of town (after all, I’m an East Atlanta kind of gal). Not only do they have that going for them though, they also have an incredible outdoor patio and restaurant affectionately – if not ironically – called, The Garden at Community Smith. One might question the likelihood that a garden can exist amongst concrete and steel but I assure you, they’ve done a wonderful job creating a kind of green oasis with beautiful potted plants and small trees throughout. That, paired with the unique blue glass and steel twig fire pits along with high top, family-style tables makes this ambiance a perfect balance between earthy and chic.
A generous seating area with comfortable patio furniture and an attractively heaping portion of food positioned toward the back awaited us on a lovely spring evening. The food was a perfect combination of seafood and proteins. From the crispy squid with smoked paprika, tahini and halved green olives, to the pan seared mussels with Calabrian chili and charred toast, the pulled oxtail toast with aged gouda and piri piri, and the more adventurous duck pate toasted points with Satsuma orange, parsley and celery leaves, everything was well-conceived and beautifully-presented.
Their specialty cocktails were fantastic also. I went with the Westside, a crafted concoction of mezcal, Cointreau, strawberry, mint, and balsamic reduction. Refreshing and different which is always a welcome departure from filling and monotonous – wouldn’t you agree? A close contender was the New American Zombie made of Bulliet Bourbon, St. Germain, Pear Brandy and Ginger. I know what you’re thinking, “an Atlanta spot with a zombie-themed menu item? You don’t say!” Jokes aside though, this drink sounds and looks amazing.
The menu consists of small plates, local craft beers and unique cocktails and the space is open for gatherings and parties alike. They’ve even got a fox statue made exclusively out of silverware and dubbed ‘Dash’ by the restaurant’s fans. Open March through November, here’s your chance to check it out.