Last year, we were invited to visit Article 14 in midtown for the first time. (Here’s the story.) We found it to be a very nice experience in a brilliantly-designed space. It’s on the ground floor of the King & Spalding building, and when we were invited to give their new menu a try, we definitely missed a trick by coming for supper again. In the evenings, this is a pretty good choice for people looking for a nice, quiet date night, and we certainly enjoy having those once in a while. But in the afternoons, we understand that this place is absolutely hopping with people enjoying boisterous power lunches. We should try that one day for the different experience.
There’s been a considerable menu revamp since our previous visit, losing just a touch of the legal humor that amused us last time. The old “amendments” are now simply “sides” like everywhere else! Now with Bethany Thompson as general manager, the main emphasis is on the small plates, and we enjoyed three quite good ones. We were glad to see that the prosciutto-wrapped peaches were still present, as we really enjoyed those on our first visit, and are sure that you good readers would like that as well. This time, though, we asked for the duck fried rice, which was completely splendid, and the grilled octopus with an heirloom tomato salad. That was just smashing. The octopus was cooked perfectly, with just a hint of sear. They also sent out their shrimp risotto for us to try. Another holdover from last year’s menu, this was also really good, and this creamy herb dressing was very flavorful, but the octopus was our favorite.
Incidentally, the photo just above is not one that we took – could you tell? – but our friends at Melissa Libby PR provided this shot of the octopus by Dan Carmody, who seems to have been working with substantially better lighting and equipment.
Marie really enjoyed the grilled trout, and I ordered something that not even the talented Mr. Carmody could shoot and convince you that it was as tasty as it was, which is why there’s no photo. It was the grilled bavette steak, and it came with a thick smear of a green salsa atop it. The flavors – juicy steak and back-of-your-teeth zing from the salsa – complemented each other so well that I didn’t object to how dadgum ugly the thing was. It’s served with some little marble potatoes and I was very pleased with it. Meanwhile, the trout was absolutely delicious and they’ve sourced some very good asparagus to accompany it.
Article 14 is not yet among the crowd of restaurants that gets singled out as a destination by food hobbyists, but they have a very good kitchen and a superb staff. For those of you interested in adult beverages, they also have one of the most amazingly dense list of whiskeys that I have seen around town, and they still have their celebrated “build your own Manhattan” shtick, which sounds like it’s great fun. We had a good date night here, but next time, we’re definitely going to have to come for one of these busy mediations-over-Manhattans lunches that I envision. Maybe we can negotiate a book deal or something and we’ll fit right in.
(As noted, this was a media event and our meal was complimentary. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org .)
Other blog posts about Article 14:
You can see all the restaurants that we have visited for our blog on this map, with links back to the original blog posts. It’s a terrific resource for anybody planning a road trip through the southeast!