Article 14, Atlanta GA (CLOSED)

We were invited to visit Article 14 in midtown on the occasion of a new fall menu spearheaded by the executive chef, Chris Blobaum. Article 14 is one of a small number of places in town owned by Legacy Restaurant Partners, including a trio of well-known places at Marietta Street and Baker downtown: Der Biergarten, Stats, and the really good Max’s Coal Oven Pizza, one of our city’s most underrated pizza joints.

Article 14 opened last year in the company of a sister restaurant and event space, Olmsted, in the location formerly occupied by Trois. That space was gigantic, and in some prime real estate on 14th and Peachtree, on the ground floor of the King & Spalding building, and probably works better divided into two restaurants. To be clear, the building address is 1180 Peachtree, because, when you’re Atlanta’s most well-known law firm, you want your address to say “Peachtree,” but the entrance to Article 14 is actually on 14th Street, a couple of steps down from the parking garage.

I love the design of this place. They’ve played up the legal eagle angle really well, with a wall of portraits of prestigious Atlanta attorneys, all done in the same style, stark black and white with splashes of red. The menu, crafted within the same modern, upscale Southern footprint of the nearby Empire State South, is laid out like a draft document of serious import. The food, however, is fun, very creative, and delicious.

We decided to start by sampling a few of the appetizers and small plates. Marie was most taken by the fresh Georgia peaches, grilled and wrapped in prosciutto, but we also enjoyed some deviled eggs and a really fun combo that I stumbled upon. The okra “chips” are flash-fried and served with a tomato-mayo aioli, but be sure to order the pimento cheese along with it. That comes with crispy toast and celery, but seriously: use the cheese as a dip for the okra. Oh, heavens, that was wonderful.

Marie agreed that the okra was pretty good, and so was the pimento cheese, but she just could not bring herself to try both together. “That’s just too southern for me,” said the girl eating peaches. Dames!

To be truly honest, as much as I enjoyed my entree of scallops served over a little bed of succotash, and I certainly enjoyed them, I liked the okra and pimento cheese even more. The scallops were very tasty, and I was thrilled by how well they mixed with the succotash; I just preferred the small plates.

Marie really scored with her order, however. It was a very pleasant surprise, the sort of entree that I would have sworn would not have worked at all before I tasted it. She had the halibut, which is a quite mild fish, served over butter beans with an olive tapenade. Now, to be clear, we enjoy the tapenade that we pick up when we can from Olive Affairs in Brunswick a good deal, but it is also a very mild blend. This stuff, well, they say that fortune favors the bold and that’s what this is: made from very bold and intensely flavorful olives. I was so pleased that this mixes so well; rather than overpowering the halibut, it somehow complements it just perfectly. This was an incredibly delicious entree.

Neither Marie nor I drink much hard liquor or cocktails at all, and didn’t wish to try any here, but this place has had a great reputation since it opened for its bar, which is constantly evolving. Late last month, Arianne Felder, formerly of Seven Lamps and Southern Art, joined Article 14 as head mixologist and beverage manager and is rolling out new drink ideas. We spoke a little with general manager Matt Youhess, who is very proud of the bourbon selection. For the curious among you, try the Manhattan Assembly, which allows you to build your cocktail from a menu of fourteen whiskeys, seven vermouths, and twelve bitters. It’s an excellent idea, and Youhess is very excited about some new bourbons coming to the bar in the next couple of months.

We had a really good evening at Article 14. Whether you’re looking for a place in midtown for a power lunch amid the movers and shakers or a quiet evening with cocktails and contemporary southern cuisine, we’d definitely recommend you consider this. And don’t forget to pair the okra and pimento cheese. Tell ’em I said to order it!

(Naturally, this was a media event and our meal was complementary. It’s our policy to always note when we’ve received our meal without charge. If you would like to invite us to your restaurant’s media events, please drop Grant a line at .)

Other blog posts about Article 14 or Olmsted:

Atlanta Restaurant Blog (Mar. 19 2013)
Ultra Epicure (May 1 2013)
Caroline in the City (July 5 2013)

We’re pleased to note that this is our 800th post at Marie, Let’s Eat!, and that we’re pretty enthusiastic about the next 800. Thank you all for reading, and remember to tell your friends about us!

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