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Rack of Colorado lamb is served with pimento cheese potato purée and grilled ratatouille.
Holding Courtby Wendell Brock | Photo: Austin Holt | Men's Book Atlanta magazine | March 5, 2013
Gentlemen, be advised. We have heard your complaints about the lack of a suitable club for esquires in the executive corridor of Midtown. So we are pleased to inform you of Article 14, the new restaurant in the envelope-like space that was the former lounge and bar of TROIS. After considering the strength of the cocktails, the culinary pedigree, the deportment of the staff and the librarylike aspect of the room, we are delighted to issue our opinion in true lawyerly fashion.
Location: Superb. It’s in the 1180 Peachtree Tower at Peachtree and 14th streets, where the city’s best legal minds converge with the cultural brain trust of the Woodruff Arts Center. There are more than 2,000 attorneys and hundreds of businesses within walking distance.
Team: Native New Englander Bernard McDonough is the chef. The parent company is Legacy Restaurant Partners, which also runs the more casual Olmsted on the two floors above.
Food: McDonough’s cuisine is witty, refined, never stuffy, and full of flavor and surprise. No ho-hum country-club fare here!
Drink: Sip classic and creative cocktails, including a kicky House Old Fashioned (Bulleit rye, black-cherry syrup and Bitter End Memphis barbecue bitters). The wine list, mostly California and European bottles, is strong, but not intimidating. More than 30 whiskeys are poured. The craft beer selection is small but solid (Bitburger, Chimay, Fat Tire).
Cleverest cocktail: The clubby origins of the classic Manhattan, circa the 1870s, are celebrated here—with a diagrammatic menu that allows sippers to choose whiskey (14 pours), vermouth (white, red, sweet, dry) and 14 bitters (celery, lemon, peach).
Cleverest appetizer: The ham and cheese—a riff on the chef’s favorite bar snack—is a lovely combination of artisanal dairy, salty country ham and condiments, such as peach preserves or local honey making for a wonderful sweet-savory cocktail nibble. Runner-up: medjool dates stuffed with Sweet Grass Dairy’s Asher Blue and wrapped with house-cured-and-smoked bacon. No objections here.
Best entrées: A Berkshire pork chop is cold-smoked, glazed with sorghum, grilled to juicy perfection and then served with sweet-potato gratin and ginger-apple butter. You may also get fish and chips (for the British barrister), a 14-ounce bone-in New York strip or the popular seared scallops, which are served with grilled corn pudding, baby spinach, bacon-shallot jam and crisped potato.
Service: Quiet, classy, unobtrusive. Servers offer suggestions gracefully, but let you be the boss.
Design: Lots of dark woods and plush rounded booths—it’s hushed, secluded and slightly lower than street level. Legacy’s in-house team worked on the project, along with Tamala Herd Interiors and ASD architects.
Clientele: While the building is famously home to King & Spalding—the powerhouse Atlanta-based international law firm—the restaurant draws from other firms (such as Alston & Bird), plus the city’s financial and art sectors.
Caricatures: Some customers have been asking how they can get on the Sardi’s-style wall of legal luminaries. The caricatures, by Atlanta artist William Rossoto, include Judge Leah Ward Sears (former chief justice, Supreme Court of Georgia), Oscar Persons (Strickland Brockington Lewis) and Mason W. Stephenson (King & Spalding).
Desserts: The 14-layer hummingbird cake—made with banana and pineapple puree and slathered with cream-cheese frosting—is amazingly light and ethereal for such a hefty wedge. Also a winner? Banana pudding is concocted with vanilla-bean pudding and Scottish shortbread, and served in a jar.
Attire: Don’t wear jeans, but don’t feel like you need a tie—a sports coat for the fellows, dressy cocktail attire for the ladies.
The verdict: The concept is deliberate, thoughtful and original. Nothing else like it in town.
1180 Peachtree St., Suite B, 404.443.8432, article14.com
Lunch/dinner: Mon.-Fri. 11am-11pm; Sat. 5-11pm; closed Sundays.
Appetizers and salads:
Lunch, $6-$10; dinner, $9-$14
Lunch, $14-$20; dinner, $17-$30
Enter on 14th Street.