08 October 2011

4th & Swift - Atlanta

On a recent trip to Georgia I had the opportunity to try out a restaurant that wasn’t around during my collegiate years in the ATL.  I have to thank a special friend at Turner for making the introduction to 4th and Swift—I owe you one when you come to NYC.  

4th and Swift is the brainchild of Owner & Chef Jay Swift and is located in the old 4th ward neighborhood in Atlanta, the birthplace of Martin Luther King, Jr.  The actual restaurant is part of the Southern Dairies Building Industrial Adaption Project and sits in the original Engine Room of Southern Dairies.  As soon as you walk in, the atmosphere is warm and inviting with the original brick and the exposed piping.  One can come here for a nice romantic dinner for two or feel free to bring a large group of friends!  If the weather is nice, you even have the option to dine outside on the patio.

4th & Swift Dining Area (courtesy of 4th & Swift)

4th & Swift Bar Area (courtesy of 4th & Swift)

They call the cuisine “Modern American Comfort Food with a Southern Twist”.  They use local and sustainable farms for their dishes.  And I have to admit, the food is so good that I ate there two days in a row!  I get hungry just thinking about the menu.  You have two, farm-to-table, options from the Seasonal Menu and the Market Menu.  Both have phenomenal selections where you can whet your appetite with items such as Pan Roasted Blue Cod, Wood Grilled Kurobuta Pork Belly and Braised Domestic Lamb Shoulder.  You have small plate and large plate choices on both menus along with a vegetable and potato of the day.  They even have an extensive collection of ports, cognacs, bourbons, scotches and wines.  Who knew they had Sunday Brunch, which I didn’t even find out about until after I started writing this post.  No matter what your desire, 4th & Swift will have something you will fall in love with.

Below are some of my favorites from my back to back visits:

Small Plates
Whether you order from the Market Menu or the Seasonal Menu, you can make a meal off of the “Small Plate” selections.  I decided to eat only off this menu during my second day visit.  I left just as full and satisfied as I did on the first night.

Crispy Brussels Sprouts Salad (Market Menu)
I didn’t even know that I liked brussels sprouts until I tried this dish.  These definitely are NOT your mama’s brussels sprouts!  I know it sounds impossible, but just imagine North Georgia apples, apple cider reduction, crema, and toasted pistachios.  However they cook the brussels sprouts makes them nice and crispy.  I couldn’t stop eating them!  I am so thankful to the host for convincing me to try them.  He said I wouldn’t be disappointed and he was right.

Crispy Brussels Sprouts Salad (Courtesy of 4th & Swift)

Wood Grilled Tybee Island Shrimp (Seasonal Menu)
First I have to let you know that Tybee Island is a place.  I didn’t know this.  It is an island AND a city.  It is near Savannah and is the easternmost point in the state of Georgia.  Now for the dish, I tried this on my first day at 4th & Swift when I was with Mister E.B.  I was trying to be polite and not look like a total pig since I was sharing it with him so I only ate 1 of the shrimp and let him have the other 2.  I REALLY wanted to eat the whole thing by myself so it was then that I decided that I must return the following the day for seconds.

Wood Grilled Tybee Island Shrimp

The Tybee Island Shrimp sit on top of a sweet corn “pudding”.  It has shitake mushrooms—my favorite—and a tomato vinaigrette.  This is a very interesting combination which reminded me of one of my Southern favorites, Shrimp n Grits with a twist. 

Lamb and Ricotta Meatballs (Seasonal Menu)
Lamb is one of my favorite meats so when I saw the Lamb Meatballs, I just had to try it.  These delicious meatballs sit in a creamy polenta with parmesan melba and were simply scrumptious and extremely filling.  Trust me, you have to try them.

Large Plates (Seasonal Menu): Pan Roasted Maple Leaf Farms Duck
They had me at “Duck”!  Anyone who knows me knows that I am a SUCKER for duck.  It doesn’t matter the restaurant or the cuisine, if there is duck on the menu, I am going to get it!  I couldn’t even really focus on the rest of menu once I saw the duck, which is another reason why I decided to return to 4th & Swift.  The duck was accented with farro—whatever that is—leeks and Verjus pickled cherries.  I didn’t want to be rude and take a picture while dining with Mister E.B. so no photo of the duck but just believe me when I say it was wonderful!

Truly the best part of any meal.  And I am NOT ashamed to admit that I ordered not just one but two desserts since once again I had to share the first night and I ate them both!  My trainer has his work cut out for him.

Warm English Sticky Toffee Pudding
So nice I ate it twice!  All I could think about when Mister E.B. suggested this dish was Spotted Dick because I knew that it was in the same family of classic British puddings.  I will have to try the British version later this month when I visit London in October but for my first taste of sticky pudding—the American version—it was roll your eyes in the back of your head good!  PERIOD.  Once again, trying to be polite, I didn’t fight my buddy for the last bite, it just confirmed that I would have a future visit.

Warm English Sticky Toffee Pudding

Apple Cobbler (Seasonal Menu)
The menu had Peach Cobbler listed but I was not upset to learn that they were switching to Apple Cobbler for the Fall.  To be honest, I prefer apples—sorry peach state.  This isn’t your traditional cobbler at all.  Just look at the picture.  I really get the modern comfort food with a southern twist in this dish.  The ice cream isn’t your standard vanilla bean either; it is actually Black Summer Truffle Ice Cream.  I have never had truffle ice cream before and I can’t imagine life without it now.  The combination of the cobbler and truffle ice cream makes it all worth the calories.

Apple Cobbler

I wish I could have stayed in Atlanta for one more night so I could go back just one more time and try a few more items.  I will make sure to stop back in on my pilgrimage to the South which I do every holiday season.  In the meantime to all of my Atlanta friends, please make a visit to 4th and Swift for dinner of Sunday Brunch, I know you will love it.

Special note to Mr. Jay Swift, thank you for sharing the pictures for this post.  I will learn to check my camera for the memory card in the future!!  

Epicurean Girl’s Conclusion:  5 VIPs
4th and Swift gets our highest ratings of 5 VIPs.

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