Sunday, November 13, 2011

4th & Swift

Several years ago I was sitting in Chef Jay Swift's cramped office off the kitchen of the former Rainwater Restaurant. "I'm going to have my own place...I need my own place." he insisted. I remember smiling to myself and thinking, all Chefs say that.

I should have had more faith. Chef Jay got his own place and 4th and Swift is most certainly a culinary “Aha!”

The menu is fabulous...American, seasonal, creative. I wanted to try everything. We opted for several small plates rather than the usual courses.

Crisp Brussels Sprouts
First up was a plate of crisply grilled Brussel sprouts that gave me the first foodgasm of the night. It was like eating lovely green candy. We followed the sprouts with smoky grilled octopus paired with charred red onions. The sweet octopus was cooked perfectly; I loved the smooth luscious mouth feel it had with the smokiness of the onion.

Duck confit---which I jumped at when I saw it on the menu---was an over salted disappointment. I sensed that it could have been really good if the seasonings were correct. However, lamb ragu tossed with tiny pasta is braised deliciousness and the pork belly is tender melt in my mouth perfection.

We should have wrapped up the meal with something sweet but we were just too full. A good reason to go back, I'd say. Congratulations Chef Jay. You've raised that culinary bar to dizzying heights.

621 North Avenue NE Atlanta GA 30308

The former dairy building 4th and Swift occupies still shows its lovely old bones and is set off by a muted color palate, white washed brick, comfortable, well spaced seating, crispy linen and candle light.

Service and staff are professional and friendly; our server, Clarissa, was well informed and very accommodating and we were seated promptly...a minor miracle on a Saturday night in Atlanta.

Prices are reasonable. Small plates run from $9 - $13 and are not so small that you couldn't share. The wine list is beautifully balanced and also well priced. We drank a lovely fruity Argentine Malbec (Camino del Inca $44).

Complimentary valet parking; all major credit cards.

4th & Swift on Urbanspoon

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