Looking for a break from the ho hum chain restaurants downtown? Look no further than White Oak Kitchen and Cocktails.
Though White Oak has a mix of classic cocktails and their house specialty ones, I always try to choose the house as they are unique and probably wouldn’t be found elsewhere. They come with playful names like Ryed in the Streetcar, Dimming of the Day or my choice Follow Your Bliss made with Gin, Cucumber, Elderflower and Mint. It hit the spot on this warm summer evening.
The menu is a refreshing change from so many other restaurants thanks to changes implemented by Chef Todd Richards. With four simple categories: starters, salads, entrees, and sides, very different than when I visited White Oak last year. That’s it – not 9 different categories that takes me forever to figure out what I want. From the starters we chose the Anti-Ramen with Pork Belly and Broth, sans ramen. The plate is artistically presented and the broth poured onto the dish at the table.
Another appetizer the lamb bacon was thick and served with mushrooms, grit cakes, sheep’s milk panna cotta. The lamb was so thick, in fact, it seemed more like pork belly. Both appetizers were hearty and substantial, but I’d recommend one or other but not both unless you really love pork belly.
A gorgeous watermelon salad is served with pecan brittle and pimento cheese fritters. It doesn’t get much more southern than this as my born-in-the-south husband can attest to. From the pickled rind, to the pimento fritter (just gotta have something cheesy and fried on the plate) and the sprinkle of salt, it took him right back to dinner at his grandmother’s.
Pork is the specialty, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t urge you to get the smoked pork chop, thick and glazed with apple cider, it is a standout dish. Not to downplay my colorful shrimp with creamed corn ravioli and pretty edible purple flowers, but it just isn’t in the same league as the pork chop.
Tip: You can park for $5 in the lot across the street or White Oak Kitchen has complimentary valet.
For dessert, I was expecting something overly sweet, such as Peach Cobbler, but based on the quality of the meal we just had I should have known better. A simple yet delicious pound cake with fresh peaches was drizzled with a balsamic glaze and served with a side of vanilla ice cream.
White Oak Kitchen & Cocktails is a terrific spot to take out of town guests for a meal when you are taking in the downtown activities. Weekends are quieter as this spot caters to many business dinners. White Oak is open for lunch as well.
White Oak Kitchen & Cocktails website
270 Peachtree St
Atlanta, GA 30303
Disclosure: My meal at White Oak Kitchen and Cocktails was complimentary, but the opinions expressed are my own.
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