You may have noticed that we’re more likely to visit and write about a fifty year-old barbecue shack a hundred miles from anywhere than we are to sip cocktails at a nice patio in a major metropolis, but one doesn’t like to turn down invitations to mixers, and so a couple of weeks ago, I joined a few other local writers for a meet-and-greet at the absolutely beautiful Garden at Community Smith, located atop the Renaissance Hotel on West Peachtree in midtown.
There are two separate restaurants within the space. Community Smith itself is on the ground floor (it opened in January, replacing a restaurant called Briza) and the Garden, which has been open for two months as of today, is up a beautiful, winding spiral staircase, around a modern art chandelier. The Garden has a smaller menu than the restaurant below it, although it sports the same bar menu and specialty cocktails.
One of those cocktails is called the Zombie, and it’s made with some bourbon or other and ginger beer. I asked for ginger beer; I had three or four glasses of it. I don’t suppose that I’ll ever understand cocktails, but sipping ginger beer in a comfortable loveseat on such a glorious patio with good company, well, that, I can get behind.
We sampled a few things from the kitchen. The oxtails and the duck pate on crisp toast were both really good. The crispy squid, with a gentle dust of cayenne and some green olives, was even better. I completely loved this, and further demonstrated my utter unsuitability for a nice place like this by looking around for a gigantic bowl to dump these into. Micah Willex is the executive chef; hopefully he will consider it a compliment that his squid is so delicious that I was left fantasizing about utterly impractical portion sizes.
Alas, I am allergic to mussels and couldn’t try these, but other people said that they were very good, and I made up for not sampling them by helping myself to an additional portion of squid.
I don’t know that I left with a very good “feel” for the restaurant as a restaurant, if that makes any sense, and so, as I’m putting this little report together, I’m noticing a little hesitation in my writing. I just don’t seem to have learned very much about it, but maybe that’s not all that necessary all the time. It’s a nice space with a terrific view of Atlanta, comfortable, with very good snacks and a nice selection of local brews, silly cocktails, and good ginger beer. What more is necessary for a place to relax with friends in the early evening?
(As noted, this was a media event and my 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 .)
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!