As Matthew Ridgway sees it, Southern food is simple, sophisticated, seasonal and definitely not stereotypical at The Southern Gentleman. Ridgway is right at home in The Shops Buckhead Atlanta gastropub, and he’s introducing a new menu that leans toward the modern South with roots firmly planted in local meats, produce and classic flavors. At lunch, twirl forks around new Dixie bacon carbonara with turnip greens and thick spaghetti with house-made bacon cured using blackstrap molasses, black pepper and brown sugar. Well-entrenched favorites such as the chicken-fried chicken salad sandwich meet delightful newcomers including crushed field peas with house-made farmer cheese on griddled benne seed toast; Italian burrata; and a country ham Reuben with Brussels sprout slaw. Pre-supper bites add roasted kabocha squash salad with petite arugula, Georgia pecans and onion vinaigrette; steak tartare with cottage-fried potatoes, frisée and black-eyed pea salad; and chicken-fried sweetbreads with Parmesan and house-made Parker rolls and hot sauce. Winter warmers on the supper menu include Creekstone Farm beef cheeks braised in red wine and spices, Creole mustard, bread dumplings and pickled Brussels sprout salad; Riverview pork cochon with baked Gold Rush apples and browned butter cabbage; and North Georgia trout wearing gunpowder cornmeal, pan-fried and served with Carolina long-grain dirty rice and chow-chow. Sides are worthy in their own right -- like roasted heirloom carrots with sorghum and sumac; charred okra with ginger, shallots and garlic; and salt-and-pepper corn fritters. Even in the New South, no one wants to surrender dessert, and blueberry upside-down cake, salted caramel pie, brown butter cake, strawberry financier, peach tarte tatin with preserved peaches, thyme caramel and brown butter ice cream, seasonal ice cream sandwiches and scoops of the day are sweet victories indeed. The Southern Gentleman serves lunch daily from 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Dinner hours are Sunday-Wednesday from 5-10 p.m. and Thursday-Saturday from 5-11 p.m. Make reservations online or call 404-939-9845. Valet parking is available.
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