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Southern fried lobster tail with roast garlic mash, brown butter and spinach
Prime Cutby Wendell Brock | Photography by Andrew Thomas Lee | Jezebel magazine | March 6, 2014
Step into hotel manager and restaurateur Muzo Saritas’ latest venture, and you’ll be welcomed by an expansive 13,000-square-foot space filled with Euro-chic design and a well-rounded menu sure to please the palate. In January, the Istanbul native and 20-year ATL resident unveiled Cuts Steakhouse, a buzzing Downtown spot that sits on the site of an old Steak & Ale. But this up-and-comer isn’t just for the business crowd—there’s a sports bar complete with flat-screens and beer taps, and plans for a large patio to open this spring. Hello, happy hour!
Taking credit for transforming the property into Saritas’ vision for a destination restaurant is ATL-based Innerworks Design Group. On the culinary side, North Carolina-transplant Donnie Wicker has taken the reins as executive chef. Wicker brings a free-ranging, vaguely Southern touch to the menu, where you’ll find the likes of pecan-crusted salmon with peach gastrique, shrimp and grits, and pimento mac and cheese, along with the requisite prime cuts and steakhouse fare.
On a recent evening, we slipped from work mode into a pair of nice dry vodka martinis, scooted into a curvaceous booth under a grouping of ceramic antlers and proceeded to sample Wicker’s wares. Both the braised beef short ribs (with mushrooms, cabbage ragout and grated horseradish) and smoked salmon (with remoulade, pickled shallots and flatbread crackers) appetizers were delicious. Wicker may be Southern at heart, but his menu has global intentions. So among the tarragon chicken soup and fried green tomato starters, you’ll also find shrimp ceviche, sesame seared tuna and goat cheese-risotto fritters.
Because my guest was a tall manly bro who was determined to eat steak, I indulged him, selflessly. He chose a 12-ounce rib-eye, and I went for Southern fried lobster tails. Now those tails were pretty tasty, competently battered and fried, with a scorching-hot ramekin of drawn butter and sides of spinach and smashed garlic spuds. But I confess I was rather envious of my partner’s steak—not to mention the creamy horseradish sauce and tangle of thyme-scented, caramelized onions that he chose as go-withs.
Dessert choices are pretty straightforward here—apple cobbler with salted caramel and vanilla ice cream; cheesecake with peach coulis; chocolate walnut brownie a la mode. We picked the cheesecake and found it to be a straightforward finish to a rich and extravagant meal.
Hats off to Saritas for following his dream and upping the ante on ATL’s steak game. From Southern comfort selections sure to please the palate to a buzzing atmosphere that will satisfy the see-and-be-seen crowd, Cuts is a sleek slice of resto heaven.
60 Andrew Young International Blvd. NE