By Hope S. Philbrick
Guests at Loews Atlanta Hotel have an enviable commute to one of the city’s best restaurants. They can simply ride the elevator down.
Saltwood Charcuterie & Bar is a contemporary Southern restaurant that just so happens to be located inside Loews Atlanta Hotel.
You might have to drive, but it’s a trip worth making. (It won’t cost much to park: Toss your keys to the valet, get your stub validated, and you only need to tip the valet because parking is complimentary for restaurant guests.)
The ambiance is fantastic; the dining room feels like a hip Atlanta restaurant.
The menu features local favorites like meat and cheese platters with pickled veggies and jams, fried chicken, shrimp & grits, steaks, burgers and seafood, all upscale preparations with tasty twists that elevate the restaurant from ho hum to yum.
Chef Jeremy Williamson, who helms the kitchen in Atlanta (a position he’s held for three years), explains, “We try to stay as local and regional as possible. ‘Farm to table’ has become a generalized statement. We’re uniquely local. It’s kind of the old way of doing things, working with neighbors, the way food should be.”
That approach has been in place at Saltwood Charcuterie & Bar since the restaurant opened nearly five years ago, and it inspired a new program throughout Loews Hotels. “Flavor by Loews Hotels” is a locally-inspired food and beverage program now at 21 locations including Atlanta, Georgia.
Flavor by Loews Hotels aims to bring the unique culinary scene of each city to the menus of its restaurants and bars, so guests can experience a taste of the destination without ever having to step foot off property. “You can sit here and get a taste of Georgia,” says Williamson. “So any guests who are here only for a night or weekend can still enjoy an authentic Georgia experience.”
Though the quality of food at Saltwood Charcuterie & Bar remains as high as ever, the Flavor program has increased emphasis on local, “pushing to a new level” of sourcing, explains Williamson. “We’ve had relationships with local farmers for quite some time,” he says. In fact, Loews Atlanta Hotel was a forerunner of the Flavor program that now spreading across Loews.
At Loews Atlanta Hotel, dishes at Saltwood Charcuterie & Bar feature items from vendors like…
- Woodsman & Wife cheese, a mom & pop artisan dairy located in Douglasville, Ga., focuses on delicious small-batch, soft-ripened cow’s milk cheeses with quirky names like Blackrose, Backyard Blue, The Flower Girl and In The Weeds.
- Orpheus Brewing is supplying seasonal beers on tap and specialty brews before they even hit retail shelves.
- ASW Distillery’s American Spirit Whiskey will be served in limited-edition, seasonal cocktails, including the “Boulevardier,” a mix of ASW’s Fiddler’s Bourbon with Campari, Sweet Vermouth and Fresh Lemon.
- Hunter Cattle Farm’s natural, locally-sourced, grass-fed beef and pasture-raised pork will be featured at Saltwood Charcuterie & Bar as well as on In-Room Dining menus.
Williamson’s goal is to “try to do the best” of everything that he makes. His cooking techniques are “a little French, a little Southern.” He favors a pure and simple approach that let’s the ingredients shine, thus quality at the source is crucial. Basic “salt and pepper,” are what he cites as his preferred seasonings.
“Hunter Cattle is our longest Flavor partner,” says Williamson, singing the praises of the grassfed pork. Making charcuterie is one of his passions as a chef. Using that grassfed pork from Hunger Cattle, he’s making prosciutto on site; the process takes 16 to 17 months. About two and a half years ago he started curing hams, so now about 100 at different stages hang in his temperature controlled meat lair.
He also adores the cheese by Woodsman & Wife, including a cow’s milk cheese that’s coated in a vegetable and pine needle ash.
“Orpheus is my favorite brewery in Atlanta,” he says. “They’re just cool. The artwork on their cans is all by local artists.” The restaurant sometimes hosts beer dinners, multi-course affairs that pair beers with food. “The beer pairs so well with food, great flavors, not too harsh.”
Odds are you’ll adore whatever you sip or stick a fork into off this menu.
Loews Atlanta Hotel
1065 Peachtree St. NE
Atlanta GA 30309
– Photos © HSP Media LLC
Featured products, services and/or travel arrangements may have been complimentary in part or in full; this affords the research opportunity but does not sway opinion. Thanks to Loews / Saltwood for hosting my visit.