Eat in Atlanta — 20 July 2013
Eatery celebrates its three-year anniversary with a new chef at the helm.

By Hope S. Philbrick

Atlantans, it’s time to put down those lamb lollypops*.

Grab some lamb ribs instead.

“I love barbecue, but gave up eating pork awhile ago,” says Mark Phillips, who earned his culinary arts degree at Johnson & Wales University and is now executive chef at Buckhead Bottle Bar & Bistro. He cooks lamb ribs—which he can get at a bargain price since they’re not yet popular (operative word = YET)—using the same techniques and recipe he’d previously used on pork ribs.

One bite proves it’s an inspired idea.

Lamb barbecue rewards taste buds with new depths of flavor, strutting across the palate in a seductive tango of savory and spicy.

The ribs are served with a side of truffled mac ‘n cheese; the truffle note is kept subtle for a skillful balance of flavor. The accompaniment is just the right tune.

fish & grits at Buckhead Bottle Bar & BistroAnother winner is the fish and grits. Blackened salmon arrives atop sautéed spinach and a grit cake that manages a tricky duet of simultaneous crunchy and creamy textures. It’s all surrounded by an intoxicating roasted red pepper cream.

Whatever your entrée, don’t miss the corn and crab chowder as a starter. It will have you licking the bowl clean.

When it first opened, Buckhead Bottle Bar & Bistro had one of the city’s exceptional chefs in its kitchen; after he left for Murphy’s, reviews plummeted. Phillips’ new leadership in the kitchen should help the restaurant regain positive reviews. (So if you read negative reviews elsewhere, mind the date. Phillips started just a few weeks before this posting.)

Phillips’ menu boasts American and International cuisine, often with a Southern component. As one example, his shrimp and lobster bruschetta gives the New England lobster roll a sweet Italian twist with crostini and Balsamic plus a Southern touch with shrimp.

Whatever you order, expect artful presentations and delicious bites.

More Information…

*A ‘lamb lollipop’ is a Frenched rib chop, often served at swanky galas since they can easily be eaten by hand without a plate or fork. They’re also common inclusions on small plate menus.

@21plusTravel Tip: Parking in the adjacent lot is free after 7 p.m. Don’t think you can sneak in early: A dude stands in the lot to wave restaurant patrons away until 6:59 p.m., when it’s reserved for neighboring retailers. If you want to dine earlier than 7 p.m., he can point you to other nearby parking options.

Buckhead Bottle Bar & Bistro
268 E. Paces Ferry Rd.
Atlanta GA 30305
404.474.9892
Buckhead Bottle Bar & Bistro on Urbanspoon

-Photos © HSP Media LLC

HopeP_144Hope S. Philbrick is founder and editor-in-chief of Getaways for Grownups. She became a freelance writer and editor because she believes that work and fun should not be mutually exclusive. Her work has appeared in dozens of publications nationwide. When not writing, she can usually be found on the road or savoring something tasty.

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